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Fork Mountain Trail - Ridge Section

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.7 (3)

Old school deluxe! Rocky, rooty, solitude complete with small boulder hucks and yeehaw water bars through mixed terrain.


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Map Key

13.0

Miles

21.0

KM

Singletrack

4,223' 1,287 m

High

3,082' 939 m

Low

652' 199 m

Up

1,751' 534 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

15%

Max Grade (8°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Be aware of deer and turkey hunting seasons and plan on wearing orange if riding during those times.

Description

This is a ridge ride that has more downhill than up as it encompasses the western 13 miles of cleared Fork Mountain Trail. It was once an old road that has constricted into a great singletrack. It's still possible to see the stones that were hand laid during the CCC days.

As it follows the ridge, the trail travels through several rhododendron tunnels, so June and the Fall are some of the best times to ride. The remote area has a quality of solitude and adventure. There's essentially no cell phone service or easy ways off the trail, so come prepared.

You can escape down Big Run or North Bend trails. Big Run is 6 miles in from Bear Run Road and can make a loop. Big Run is a technical downhill (in the drainage ditch) and has a blue variation that bounces back and forth around the drainage ditch called "Pin Ball Wizard". North Bend trail is 13 miles in. North Bend is a fun and fast downhill.

Continuing past North Bend, there is a nice series of smooth waterbars in a downhill section before Desert Branch (gravel) road. Can exit left there to Richwood or cross the gravel road and continue down to the Gauley Ranger Station area on Hwy 39.

As you pedal you may have the honor of seeing bear, wild turkey, deer and other species. Climbs are relatively short but can be punchy. The trail also features about six rock gardens for a nice rugged and technical feel.

To access the top of this section of the Fork Mountain Trail, riders can pedal or shuttle Highway 39 and then take Bear Run Road to reach a convenient starting area. The Richwood Visitor Center makes a good place to park or leave a recovery vehicle. Currently, the section of trail beyond FSR #946 (called Fork Mtn trail - Desert Branch section) has 2 new bridges. This version is rideable now with a reroute around the beaver pond. Alternatively, at the road, simply follow it left to descend back toward Richwood.

Contacts

Shared By:

Steve Jones with improvements by Robin Bruns

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#2

in Richwood

#6781

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#2

in Richwood

#143

in West Virginia

#6,781

Overall
6 Views Last Month
1,107 Since May 22, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Summer Ferns on Fork Mtn trail.  Photo by Joe DeGaetano.
Jul 4, 2020 near Richwood, WV
Rolling along on Fork Mtn trail
Apr 7, 2020 near Richwood, WV
Mountain man and mushrooms on PocaFork.
Jul 29, 2022 near Richwood, WV
April Snow!
Apr 11, 2022 near Richwood, WV
Dwayne and Laura on Fork Mtn trail.
Jul 29, 2022 near Richwood, WV
Rider in the fog on Fork Mtn trail.  Photo by Mike Boyes.
Jul 30, 2022 near Richwood, WV

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

May 17, 2022
Steve Jones
Dry and beautiful.16.28 miles to the gate at the end of Desert Branch Rd. Add another mile if you ride all the way to pizza place in Richwood. — 3h 46m
Jul 19, 2020
Kathleen Hall
beautiful trail! 12.8mi
Sep 30, 2018
Phillip Troutman
Rode Fork Mt Trail from Bear Run Rd to escape catch at Big Run Trail (mi 5.3). Some small fallen branches and two small trees fallen. 5.3mi