April 10, 2001
2 of 5
Reviewed by: lexibridgejumper
, from OH
Extreme. This trail starts out deceptively easy off of FS 18. After going just far enough you can't turn back, you hit hell on wheels. Most of the trail is perched on a narrow ledge above the Blackwater Canyon. There are ditches that are shoulder-deep and arm-spread wide. Then there are million, billions of stinging nettles and thorn vines. Carry at least 3 innte tubes per bike. Of course, there are rock gardens; they have a huge potential to send you hurtling off the side. When you think this gradual downhill trail can't get worse, you start hitting the mammoth boulder-waterfall crossings. Count on 3 people to be able to safely portage your bikes across these.
Four of us, most of us intermediate or better bikers, entered this trail one August evening at 5:15pm. We did NOT get out until 7am the next morning as the portages and tube blowouts stranded us on the ledge overnight...despite proper preparations. This is not a trail to be taken lightly. With a little work clearning nettles and thorns and removing large downed trees AND starting early in the day w/a group, this has the potential to be great trail.
BTW, Blackwater Bikes is closed, has been closed for 2 years...If you want local info see Sam and Diane at Highland Scene Tours (http://www.highlandscenetours.com) at the top of Canaan Mtn.
If you want an adventure, this is the trip; if you want a good ride, try some of the other trails in the area.
219 From Parsons east to FS18, Olson Tower parking area. Ride down the FS road to first FS road to the right. Take this down to Limerock trailhead. From parking lot about 8 miles to trail. Trail is about 4+ miles. Shuttle back to mtn top, or leave second car at base in Hendricks, off of end of Blackwater trail.
Other recommended trails in the same area:
Plantation, Firetrail 6, old Railroad grade, Mountainside, Dobbins House... you can't go wrong riding in Canaan Valley. Check it out sometime instead of the Snowshoe area. Also check out downhill trails w/lift service at Timberline