Trail from the parking lot down is smooth. Once you cross the bridge after the dam, things become moderately rocky. Continue a short way until you see a blue blaze on a tree (2nd trail on right). Take this, which will lead up to a senic meadow above a grassy highwall. Getting to the meadow is a rooty, steep, creeky challenge, 90% of riders will have to dismount at some point. Stay on the trail here, as the signs will advise! This area has many hidden roots. Eventually you will come to a gravel/rocky area, remnants of an old strip mine. Watch carefully for blue blazes here. The trail should eventually take a sharp left and go down a sweet drop. Right side for dual-suspension, left for hardtails.
The trail continues gradually downward, keep your eyes open for the many downed trees across the trail. Some can be cleared, some can't. Use good judgement here, you're a long ways from any medical assistance. Eventually you'll intersect another trail, hang a left here, ride a nice downhill section to a bridge and try to make the uphill on the other side of the bridge.
After this bridge it stays relatively rocky and rooty for the rest of the ride, with a mild uphill climb. You'll reach an intersection, stay on the trail (pretty much straight). Eventually after a fairly rough climb you'll pass where you originally turned-off. Cross the bridge and dam again, and either ride the Pendelton Trail back to Pendelton Overlook, or stay on the gravel road, and take a right on the access road to Pendelton Lake (turning left takes you to the lake, where you can boat and swim). Another right will take you back up to Pendleton Overlook if you took the road.
While you're at Blackwater Falls SP, even at the Pendelton Overlook, take the opportunity to hike the trail to see Pendelton Falls, they're spectacular. Also, carpe diem on the trip down the boardwalk to Blackwater Falls. Right now, August 2004, the boardwalk is closed, but it should be open by mid-September. There's an alternate overlook on the other side of the river, by the Lodge.
Dobbin House Trail makes a good warm-up for other trails such as Plantation, Lindy Run, or the Fire Roads. Also in the same area is Canaan Loop Road, just keep driving past the Lodge. It may be worth your time to drive to Lindy Point, park, take a stroll out to the point, then bike the 8-10 miles down Canaan Loop Road to the Table Rock overlook. This is beautiful. Depends on how much riding you want to do, but you could also ride Plantation back from here.
Take Rt. 32 to Davis, WV. Turn-off on marked road to Blackwater Falls State Park. At intersection w/ big sign, continue straight. After a series of picnic areas, pull into the Pendelton Overlook parking lot. Trailhead is off the rear-right corner of the lot, marked with a sign. This is the Pendelton Trail. Take this to a gravel road, turn left, cross the dam and a bridge, and begin following all blue blazes.
Summary: It was an alright trail, it holds well in rain, but I don't think I'd drive to the specific trail to ride it again. A lot of roots if I remember and there was a pretty gnarly little steep technical descent that was fun to go down but aside from that not many other noticeable parts.
Summary: Well, I wrote the initial trail review, so I just wanted to give it a rating. Still a good trail.
Recommended Route: Park at Pendelton Overlook, take the Pendelton Trail, hang a left, go over the dam and bridge, follow blue blazes to first intersection, take a right, stay on trail, following the blue blazes. Near the end take a left onto another trail and cross another bridge, ride back up along blue blazes, and back to Pendelton Overlook.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Plantation, Canyon Rim, Limerock, Dobbin House Grade (from Douglas to Hendricks), Timberline bike trails.