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song of the saw-whet owl
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
West Virginia (aka West by God) is a serious source of passion for us right-coasters who love to play outside, so I thought I would bring a little to these pages. Ok, so I'm not a camera wiz, nor have a high dollar camera, good light and some i took while riding.... so excuse the picture quality not being up to par with many here, but hey, this is about mtb passion, not photography passion right?

Davis/Canaan WV is steeped in rich MTB history. Its a birth place to the 24hr mtb racing, (and still home to granny gear productions who puts on the race series) and home to a few of the top pro mtb racers in the country. It's an amazing place to be year round for outdoor beauty, sports, and adventures for the mid-atlantic folks. This ride is from the special Dolly Sods North area, which is in Monongahela National Forest. Dolly Sods is a 30,000 acre rolling plateau at about 4000' with unusual terrain, flora, fauna and weather that you would find much farther north in Canada. This place is highly regarded as the crown jewel of backpacking destinations also. Mountain biking is still permitted in the north area, but not for too much longer because there is a bill in congress right now to tag the area as a protected wilderness area like the southern half of Dolly Sods already is. So, its time to get up there and ride as much as possible as soon as possible! This documents our recent ride...

There are a few ways to access "the sods". Drive up, ski lift up, or pedal up. Being in canaan valley already we chose to bike up the forest service road thru the wildlife refuge. Its an 800' vert climb in like 3 miles and gravel, so its not too bad, plus the ride back down is a nice way to finish the ride.



as you near the top, the road degrades fast and eventually turns into single track lined with red spruce and nice blooming laurels, as it skirts the back of the ski area towards the old dolly sods trail head.









Entering the north sods this way will greet you and kiss you goodbye with the locally nicknamed "wall of tears" section of trail. I assumed it was called that because its a real technical rock trail, but apparently its because of the upper stretch of it has water flowing down it much of the time. Riding up it is more challenging than riding down obviously.







As we pop out of the denser spruce, you are graced with nice views of the valley below, windswept high plains with spruce, alder, hawthorne, and rocks.









chunks out of trail signs here are usually from bears. note: when this a wilderness area, these usfs signs will most likely be removed i was told.



You will have to cross red creek few times, one being a smaller fork of it this looks down upon.



A fun little downhill..... high line or low line?



One big plus about riding here in July is, there are on-trail snacks to choose from in many places. Just pack a lunch, no need to pack snacks. Blueberries and Serviceberries are everywhere!





The big Red Creek crossing.. a little deep right now to ride with all the rainfall, but great for washing the muck out of your brakes and drive line.



after that starts a long gradual climb back up through more ferny, rocky and muddy riding to enjoy and endure. Ahh... the laurel is a good sign we are nearing the ridge again!









Looking back up trail on top of harman knob, saying goodbye to the high sods as we finish our loop. From here is a short stretch of of the ridge, back down the wall of tears and a 3 mile forest road downhill from which we came!



Sunnier, drier conditions are preferred, but if you like to ride here, you'll be used to riding and having fun in anything! In the fall (late sept here) this place is on fire with color and highly recommended. Incidentally, the loop we rode will be part of the infamous "Revenge of the Rattlesnake" race this fall that is put on by WVMBA and Blackwater Bikes in Davis, WV.
 

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i would kill for that kind of riding....beautiful...and i bet it even looks better when its nice and sunny out :thumbsup:
 

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the unvarnished nonsense
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It's been a few years since I've been up there. Too long. Hurt myself pretty good exactly where that "high line or low line" pic was taken. Started on the high line...ended up on the low one. Thanks for the memories...glad Canaan is just under 2 hours away from Slatyfork!
 

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Because I am !
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Awesome ! Thanks for the post oldnoob. Sorry Malibu and I didn't make if up there. We had all intentions of doing so untill the forecast kinda killed it for us. That's just a bit far with the cost of gas to justify one ride, even up there. It sure looks awesome. I'm sure I'll get in a ride there soon. Hope I can still obtain your services as the guide for a day when we do make it up.

Instead of travelling there we went out in the rain and worked on trails over in the Wayne National Forest. Clearing weeds, brush and logs off a 4 mile section of singletrack on Saturday and then 5 of us rode there on Sunday. Only had one short, light shower on Sunday. I can't wait to get over to Davis / Canaan again so we can hit the trails in your post. Those rocks look great. My favorite thing, as you might already know...:D

See ya soon

ODN
 

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ride like a girl
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oldnoob said:
West Virginia (aka West by God) is a serious source of passion for us right-coasters who love to play outside, so I thought I would bring a little to these pages. Ok, so I'm not a camera wiz, nor have a high dollar camera, good light and some i took while riding.... so excuse the picture quality not being up to par with many here, but hey, this is about mtb passion, not photography passion right?

Davis/Canaan WV is steeped in rich MTB history. Its a birth place to the 24hr mtb racing, (and still home to granny gear productions who puts on the race series) and home to a few of the top pro mtb racers in the country.
Long, long ago, I've ridden that trail with the MORE group. A little camp action at Black Bear campground. I loved it, but always wondered if I was going to run into some Deliverance-type folks, He's got a real pretty mouth on him, don't he?

I also raced the 24 Hours of Canaan twice. That was a hell of a course! Rocks don't give, you give. :) (I have scars to prove it)
 

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song of the saw-whet owl
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
outdoornut said:
Hope I can still obtain your services as the guide for a day when we do make it up.
well, you might do better with a GPS, but im learning alot of nooks and crannies from a friend who seems to know every inch of canaan/davis and every living being there also. Best quote of this ride was near the end when i got slightly confused (maybe from being worn down from the mud)... me: "you sure we are supposed to take a left here?" my friends son: "ya, this is my backyard dude!"

Those rocks look great. My favorite thing, as you might already know...:D
yah how bout showin some of y'alls "moon rocks" passion here, thats some unique stuff! WV riding represent! :)
 
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