Bear Creek Lake Park - TRAIL

Bear Creek Lake Park - Trail, Cumerland, Virginia

Willis River Trail is the way to go. There are several hiking trails that tie into the WRT, but they are not policed by the park rangers. Various trails of roots, rocks, hills, dips, jumps.

User Reviews (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6  
appyhappy   Cross Country Rider [May 27, 2011]

My 2 cents.... I frequent a lot of trail sites, I love the time I spend outdoors. Not on a bike, but a horse.... I have worked with several trail conservation groups and worked to help clear, maintain and rehab multiuse trails in several states. Not just for my enjoyment but for yours, too. There is a lot to be said about working together to protect multi-use trails. I have ridden many trails that have been rutted out from heavy bike traffic as well. The answer to this problem is EDUCATION!!!! Tread lightly, that also means that if the trails are wet, stay off of them. I am glad to see hikers, bikers and riders on the trail, together.... We have just as much right to be there as you do. When I meet a fellow trail user it makes me happy! I hope that they are having just as great a day as I am! I also think about how lucky we are to be able to have trails left to travel..... As for the emissions, I do say proudly that my choice in transportation is GREEN. I have been on trails in other states (TENN)were MB have been outlawed on trail systems due to abandonment issues. In the some areas in the Smokies it was such an issue that if you are caught by a ranger, they remove your tire and you carry the bike out. Unfortunately, there is plenty of blame to go around. Just don't throw the baby out with the bath water. I guess I will just have to wonder if the next biker I meet really has an issue with sharing the trail with me.... Guess what though, I'll wave and smile at you anyway! I normally won't let anti-equine comments bother me, too much. I have spent the last 10 years teaching both new and "old hat" riders, trail conservation to protect trail use for all of us. It doesn't matter how you are getting around, everyone needs to do there part.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
fly4u   Racer [Jun 27, 2010]

Not many reviews of this trail and I suspect the reason is the few MTBers in the area. Two items to consider when riding in Cumberland County State Forrest. #1, the Willis River Trail is only open to hikers. From what I can tell, the only trail available for MTB's is the CMT trail. #2, the CMT trail traverses the Cumberland State Forest. Virginia state forest now require a special use permit to ride MTB's on the states property. The cost is $16 and can be obtained online at: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/licenses/ Yes, the page will say "Hunting and Fishing License", however if you follow the online links, you will eventually see that bikers are required to have a special use permit to ride bikes on state forest land. Sorry, don't shoot the messenger.

The CMT is a combination of single track, old unused double track fire roads and gravel roads. I didn't see any other MTB tracks on the trail but did see plenty of damage left by horses. There were places where the trail was almost impassible because of the damage left by horses. These were in low lying areas but it was the worst I have ever seen. Otherwise, because there are not a lot of options in that area, this trail was ok. It wasn't always easy to find the markers in order to follow the trail but I was able to find my way around. Because this trail isn't used too much, watch out for stray limbs and such. I caught one after 20 miles of riding and it snapped my rear derailleur. A few good short, steep climbs as well as a few extended moderate climbs.

Customer Service

Two parking options. Bear Creek Lake State Park and the Cumberland Forestry Center. Parking at Bear Creek Lake State Park "may" require an entry fee and will include a few miles of gravel road to get to the trail. The forestry center is located on Oak Hill Rd, 4.2 miles from the intersection of Rt. 60. Park at the gate leading to the Forestry Center. Start by riding back down the paved road you entered on. Make a right and look for the trail on the left in the utility right-of-way. From here, you "should" be able to follow the blue blazes as well as the "CMT Trail" markers. Two spots where you can miss the marker. One will be on a double track with a clear cut on the left and a heavily posted property on the right. Keep an eye out for a left turn into the clear cut with a CMT marker that has been shot up. If you miss the turn, it should soon be obvious by the overgrown vegetation. The second is a good 8 miles into the ride when the trail crosses a paved road. Cross the road, turn left and the trail continues on the utility right-of-way.

Similar Products Used: This is the only trail I've ridden in the area.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
biker128pedal   Cross Country Rider [Mar 12, 2005]

The Willis River Trail-I was hiking some of the trail today ansd it is much better shape than reported last summer. The ranger told me there was a trail race last fall so all the big trees and brush have been cut back. It is still a rarely used trail. Wish I had brought the bike. This trail needs more riding. Oh the blaze marks are white and sometimes hard to find. Bring a compass.

Customer Service

Best thing to do the first time is to start at Bear Creek State Park. Pay $2 to park. Park at the lot for the CMT before you get to the swimming area. There are trail guides in a box. If none ask the ranger. They are very nice but don't know very much about the Willis River Trail. Go straight on the CMT trail until you get to where the Willis trail crosses. (The CMT is good for beginners as it is setup more for horses.) If you go right toward Winston Lake. (There is parking there.) If you go left you go toward the Warner Forest Road off Rt 608. There is very little parkig there but he swingin bridge is neat. The trail crosses the bridge but I don't know wherw it goes from there.

Similar Products Used: Cheap Plug - Beaver Dam Multiuse trail in Gloucester VA. It needs more bikes on it. The horses have chewed it up. PLEASE ride it to pack it down so it won't be so muddy or rough when dry. 10 mile out and back or you can ride to Rt 17 at Ark and circle around on the road. Go the direction to give you a tail wind on Rt 17. The hole loop is then 23 miles and takes about 2 hours.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
craigy   Cross Country Rider [Aug 20, 2004]

According to the literature presented me at Bear Creek Lake State park the Willis River Trail is not actually a hiking trail. The guidebooks said it was so I rode it anyway. PANTS! The trail has not been used for a season or two, you can barely make out a trail in most places and in many more any semblance of a trail has dissapeared. The white marks on the trees are still there but you have to stop frequently to look for the next one. The terrain in nice, some ups and downs as it winds through the hardwoods of Cumberland State Forest. Probably due to Hurricane Isabel in 03 the trail hasn't been maintained in some time, lots of deadwood blocks the trail, most of which I had to get off the bike and toss aside. If you want a real 'native & un-used' trail then this is for you, if you like to get up a head of steam and ride through rolling twisty wooded singletrack then this is not for you. I checked with Ranger Smith and no trail maintenance is scheduled this year (that he knows of) Shame, if the trail were clear it would be a blast

Customer Service

Willis River Trail

Similar Products Used: Cumberland Multi Use Trail Forest roads
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
The Flaming Irishman   [Oct 09, 2000]

The trails was great when we finally found the f*&@ing thing. Don't listen to the park rangers. Be on the look out for the "leafy" areas. They cover up sharp rocks, roots and oh yeah... horse shit. Awesome

Customer Service

Don't listen to the park rangers. Get the VA Mountain Bike Trail guide and follow it. Several trails... Willis River Trail, Piney Knob Trail, Lake Trail, Quail Gap, Circumference Trail... all good, just try to stay away from the fire roads.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Fishnutz   [Oct 16, 2000]

Fun single track, lots of fun little technical stuff here-and-there, a good confidence-builder for your significant others (if they aren't ripping it up yet), dog friendly (though you need to watch out for horses--and their crap!!!), Like the Irishman said, DON'T LISTEN TO THE RANGER'S DIRECTIONS-he sent us on a wild goose chase. Lot's of roots, jagged rocks, slick leaves...sweet trail around the lake with lots of rooty technical obstacles to play on.

Customer Service

Willis River Trail---the fire roads are quite boring.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-6 of 6  

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