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Kennison Mountain Trail

Difficult
 5.0 (5)

'High in the mountains and deep in the pines. Lies a vortex where certain forces align.' - The Sword


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Map Key

9.5

Miles

15.3

KM

Singletrack

4,402' 1,342 m

High

3,018' 920 m

Low

683' 208 m

Up

1,756' 535 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

26%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Description

This is a true back-country trail with some technical features (a few rock gardens, roots, mud bogs), and ends with a fun descent to the Cranberry River.

Deep pine forest with bright green ferns and moss covering the forest floor. It is a slow, energy-sucking ride. It is not heavily traveled and there can be a few downed trees, and overgrown spots are not uncommon, but this adds to the back-country experience. It primarily goes along the Kennison Mountain ridge although there is some climbing, particular near the beginning. It is definitely best to start at the top off of Rt. 39 and head NW towards the Cranberry.

For a great loop, start at the Cranberry Nature Center and head west on Pocahontas Trail for a couple of miles, then turn on Blue Knob Trail #255 and cross Rt. 39 to the Kennison Trailhead. At the end, cross the Cranberry River and there is a forest road about a 100 feet ahead (although you may not be able to see it as you cross river). Turn right and head up the gated forest road to the Cranberry glades. Ride the road out of the glades back to Rt. 39, turn left on 39 and go about a mile back to the C-Nature Center.

Most people start on Dogway Road parking area, just before the locked gate. Park there and ride East on Frosty Gap trail, then left on Kennison mtn trail. Ride Kennison mtn trail about 8 miles to the Cranberry River crossing. Ford the river here (American Whitewater level of 2.5 feet is easy crossing). After crossing the river, go straight 200 ft or so to a gravel rd, FSR 102. Go right and ride up to the parking lot at the backcountry gate. Keep going up 102, then right on Hwy 39. Climb to the Kennison Mountain parking area, then a bit further on Hwy 39, go right on Dogway Road (FSR #232), back to your vehicle.

There is a river crossing at the bottom of the trail. 2.5 - 3.2 is an easy level to cross. You can check the level at americanwhitewater.org/cont…

Thanks to some folks from Fayetteville, there is a new loop. Start at Eagle Camp trail, ride up to and go left on Pocahontas, then right on Frosty Gap, then left on Kennison Mtn trail down to the Cranberry River, right on Cranberry River road and 102, cross Hwy 39 at Bruffey, up Bruffey, right on Pocahontas to Fork Mtn trail down to the Hills Creek Falls parking lot, then left on Hwy 39 for a 1/2 mile to the Eagle Camp parking lot. Total distance: 32 miles.

Part of the Yew Mountain Doozy facebook.com/WVDoozy

Contacts

Shared By:

Steve Jones with improvements by Tom Sauvageot

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 5 votes

#1

in Richwood

#938

Overall
  5.0 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#1

in Richwood

#10

in West Virginia

#938

Overall
22 Views Last Month
2,504 Since Oct 27, 2021
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Photos

Cranberry River crossing - Photo by Mike Boyes
Sep 23, 2022 near Richwood, WV
Kennison Mtn trail end at the crossing.  Photo by Mike Boyes.
Jul 29, 2022 near Marlinton, WV
There is something about Kennison Mountain Trail that draws people to it. Photo by Mike Boyes.
Jul 2, 2019 near Richwood, WV
Riding through fern gully on Kennison Mountain Trail.
Jan 10, 2018 near Marlinton, WV
Kennison Mountain Trail with fall colors.
Oct 24, 2020 near Richwood, WV
Cranberry Crossing.
Nov 12, 2022 near Richwood, WV

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Unknown
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Check-Ins

May 22, 2021
Ike McLEvin
Trail is in ok shape. Overgrown in a few sections. Mud bogs but not too wet. Trail signage at Cranberry River is not the best. 20mi — 3h 50m
Oct 11, 2018
carig lintz