The Greenwood Trail
and Scenic River Trail
make for some of the best and easiest to access trail in the Marietta Unit. This ride has a variety of terrain ranging from smooth, rolling ridge tops, rocky rolling traverses to technical switchback filled climbs.
Early spring brings amazing wildflower blooms along the trail. There is an optional out & back section on the Scenic River Trail
that's 2 miles total. Other nearby trails and roads can be used in a number of combinations to add mileage to your ride.
As described, the only drawback of this route is the challenging, nearly 500 vertical foot climb right at the beginning of the ride. Getting that climbing out of the way early makes for a great remainder of the ride. This loop is able to be ridden in both directions should you choose to switch it up!
At the lowest point on the Greenwood Trail
you'll cross a gravel driveway near the creek crossing. If you drop down the driveway, you can bail out to Archer's Fork Rd (CR 14). A left on CR 14 will pop you back out to SR 7. This is a great way to avoid the final climb on the Greenwood Trail
if you're feeling the pain or have mechanical issues etc. NOTE: The gravel driveway is a right-of-way through private property so please be courteous and respectful.
If you're looking for something to eat after the ride, Newport has a couple of options. B & J's, The Jug or Station Pizza (St. Mary's WV across the bridge) are all good choices.
The Scenic River Trail
begins at Leith Run Campground. When entering the campground from SR 7 you'll see a small paved walking path on your right.
The Scenic River Trail
splits off of this paved path onto a wooden boardwalk. After rolling flat ground for about 0.5 miles the trail crosses SR 7 and begins a 500 vertical foot switched backed climb.
A short way up the climb, you'll pass the Greenwood Trail
(you'll come out of this trailhead later). Continue up the climb on the Scenic River Trail
. Though some of the switchbacks are pretty tight, with some good bike handling skills the entire hill can be climbed clean.
After a short false summit, the climb finishes with one last spike to the top of the ridge. From this point, the Scenic River Trail
is pretty smooth sailing all the way to the CR 9 trailhead. Expect a few smaller climbs but nothing major.
A couple of miles after topping out on the ridge you'll come to the upper trailhead for the Greenwood Trail
. A left turn onto the Greenwood Trail
at this point will get you back to Leith Run Campground at about 11 miles total.
Continuing out-and-back to the CR 9 trailhead for the Scenic River Trail
will add 2 miles to your ride and is well worth it.