Ballard - Trail, Charleston- Kanawha State Forest, Virginia

Ballard - Trail, Charleston- Kanawha State Forest, Virginia

DESCRIPTION

Pretty steep, rocky, technical downhill singletrack trail with a blistering fast section about halfway down.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-8 of 8  
[Feb 09, 2010]
wvmatt567
Racer

A nice downhill, ( or up) not many can make it up. The first traverse is slow and rocky. There is one hard rock shoot, but is rideable. After that it opens up for a fast finish.

Customer Service

Ride up middle ridge and then descend, look for new connector to hoffman on the right.

Similar Products Used:

All KSF

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jun 25, 2009]
Jeremy
Cross Country Rider

This is the summary of my last ride on this trail (by myself). Started at top, rode to first rock garden (too fast.)

Out of work for 3 weeks, off of bike for 8 weeks. It's a long walk to the bottom, especially with a gimpy arm, and no cell service. Be careful, control your speed and lean back.

Similar Products Used:

Just about all of them. Teaberry Rock is probably my favorite in KSF, and the Little Creek decribed path in Robin Boyd's book is probably my favorite trail.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jun 26, 2007]
outdoornut
Cross Country Rider

Awesome trail. Will tune up your skills for Mossy Rock, Teaberry and Black Bear Trails.

Customer Service

Take Middle Ridge Rd. and Trail to the top and ride down.

Similar Products Used:

Teaberry
Mossy Rock
Black Bear
Wildcat

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 25, 2005]
sidhoyer
Downhiller

this is a great trail. I would not quite call it advanced, but it will certainly challenge all levels. Ride the Dub-vee

Customer Service

up the fire road and down the trail.

Similar Products Used:

wild cat ridge Mossy Rock Teaberry all good rides!

OVERALL
RATING
0
VALUE
RATING
0
[Jun 09, 2000]
ig

Very nice cut trail. Very technical in points. In one particular part I found it very difficult to crank through narrow rocks. One 2 foot drop and several nice log crossings. The quick part at the end is the best part of the trail

Customer Service

Take Middle ridge road about 3 miles. It is on the left

Similar Products Used:

Other trails of Kanawha State Forrest

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
[Oct 07, 2000]
Singletrack96

This is one of my all-time favorite trail systems. I have recently moved far north of this area, but will never forget the incredible times I spent in Kanawha St. forest. The decents are technical and fast. You have no choice but to spend lots of time climbing, and the fire roads are worth your time!!!! This is a must do if you are within 3 hrs radius.

Customer Service

The recommended route is the same as the reviewer's

Similar Products Used:

Slatyfork

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jul 30, 2002]
JasonWVU

Nice 2.1 mile climb up to the trail head then it is all down hill. Once you see the rock cliff on your right be ready for some technical rock crossings, very hard to make it through this middle section without putting a foot down. The last half is just blazing down some sweet rocky downhill. Make sure you have good brakes!!

Customer Service

Same

Similar Products Used:

All trail in KSF

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Apr 23, 2003]
AMiller

Middle Ridge is probably the worst part about the whole trip. The bottom is nice and shady, but then it comes out to this wide-open dusty and very loose surfaced road, which sucks right until you hit the top. The beginning of Ballard is a pretty smooth and easy ride. After the two trails separate, try to do the log. Atleast give it a try before you go around it. The top of Ballard (actual Ballard not Ballard/Polecat) is pretty nice, but then watch out when you get to the area of the cliffs. Remember how much taller you are up in the air on a bike, and where your pedals are. It is possible to get through ALL of that as long as you keep pedaling, don't stop unless you MUST! After the cliff section there is only one more tricky part for awhile, this being the big and slippery rock going perpendicular to the trail. I wouldn't recommend riding over it, you are likely to fall and slide off it into the woods below, sometimes even when walking. After the rock, you take a 180 corner, cross a stream, and head for the fun downhill section, over carved logs and loose rocks. It's a pretty fun section, one of my favorites in KSF. Watch out for the ending though, it has a pretty good reputation for really messing with people and tossing them about. I've landed on my face numerous times there from not paying any attention to it.

In my opinion, the best time to ride this is in the evening. Start up Middle Ridge when the sun is still in full force, during daylight savings probably around 6:00-6:30PM. You should get to the trailhead by 7:15PM at the latest, and the ride is maybe a half-hour down, so let's say 7:50PM by the time you are out. The road ride back is only about 10 minutes, but it is really cool when it is getting dark enough that you can still see the road, but the white tire tracks really stand out, and very cool to come down into a land darker and darker than when you left the top.

Customer Service

Park at the area just to the left of the park enterance. Ride along the gravel road heading out to the shooting range. Middle Ridge Road will be at the crest of a hill with a gate across it, heading off to the right. If you come to a road with a mobile home close to it, you've gone too far. Ride up Middle Ridge Road for what seems like an eternity, this is not fun in the summer or anytime it is hot and humid. Once you get to the turn-off for Teaberry Rock Trail, Middle Ridge Road will level out and go slightly downhill, make sure to stay on Middle Ridge though. Keep an eye out for a trail on the left named Lindy. Ballard's trailhead is the next one on the left. It may be marked as Ballard and Polecat, but its the same thing. Ride down until Ballard and Polecat split up, and head to the right. You will finish the trail on the road that Middle Ridge Road branches off of. Turn left, try not to cringe at the explosions from the shooting range, and head back to your car.

Similar Products Used:

Teaberry Rock Trail, Mossy Rock Trail, the Middle Ridge Trail system, Pigeon Roost, Wildcat, Polecat, Davis Creek (mild)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jun 19, 2003]
Deadman

The first 1/4 mile rides the ridge and has some high speed sections that lead into sharp uphill turns. Really no need to touch you brakes as long as you lean hard into the turn. From there it cuts back across the mountain into a straight rock garden with some decent sized boulders. Just carry mad flow through this section and you may be able to clear the uphill rock chute. It meanders along the mountain side for a while, cutting rather close to several trees, which may be a problem for those with extra-wide bars. An off-camber rock looks un-rideable, but just try it once and you'll be able to rail the rest of the trail. From there you enter a fun and fast rock garden via a 90 degree bend in the trail. This rock garden has a FS and hardtail exit. Squishy bikes should keep to the left and roll over several roots and large boulders into an off-camber turn, while those proud souls that ride a rigid frame should cut to the right and negotiate a small rock chute into the turn. From there the trail really opens up. My advice: find the straightest line and let go of the brakes. There are about three decent descents in the trail with a flat section to regain control. Don't attepmt to ride around fallen logs, just roll over them. You definetly need to switch into your middle chainring after the final big descent, because there's a tricky section with two trees insanely close together that you'l need trackstanding skills to negotiate. After that,it's just fast and rolling to the exit at a road.

Customer Service

go up middle ridge to the trailhead

Similar Products Used:

Teaberry, Black Bear, Mossy Rock, Polecat, Black Bear

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-8 of 8  

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