This text was produced in partnership with West Virginia Division of Tourism.
The wild and rugged landscapes of West Virginia have lengthy served as a playground for final thrill-seekers of each selection. From its rolling hills and dashing rapids to its pristine lakes and rambling forests, it’s no surprise this place is named “Virtually Heaven.” There’s no denying the Mountain State is a dream vacation spot for anybody pursuing a full-throttle getaway—however one in every of its most epic adventures can also be one in every of its best-kept secrets and techniques.
Not many vacationers understand it, however West Virginia is an unimaginable ATV and off-roading vacation spot. The mountainous terrain creates superb situations for limitless backcountry escapades and one-of-a-kind excursions. However the true jewel is the legendary Hatfield-McCoy Path System, one of many largest off-highway automobile programs on this planet.
1,000+ miles to discover
The Hatfield-McCoy Path System consists of 10 distinct trailheads that embody greater than 1,000 miles price of world-class trails. Some even interlock, creating tons of of miles of uninterrupted routes. The paths zigzag by way of beautiful mountain landscapes, loaded with thrilling elevation adjustments, dramatic twists and turns, and jaw-dropping overlooks at each flip. It’s all undeniably spectacular, however not simply due to the community’s outstanding measurement. The way in which the paths are marked, managed, and maintained make them a real work of pure artwork. In the present day, they’re revered because the blueprint and benchmark for different path programs. And it’s additionally among the finest methods to discover West Virginia’s uncooked magnificence and historic heritage.
Questioning the place the identify comes from? The moniker was derived from the well-known feuding between the Hatfield and McCoy households, which unfolded throughout West Virginia following the Civil Warfare. The Hatfield-McCoy Path System formally launched in October 2000, with 300 miles of trails, and has expanded a number of instances since its inception.
So, in the event you’re searching for an autumnal escape with some horsepower, look no additional than West Virginia. This off-road paradise is full of spellbinding websites and heart-racing routes for riders of each ability stage.
10 Trails in Hatfield-McCoy Path System You Have to Know
Opened in 2000, Bearwallow holds the distinction of being one of many authentic three programs of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. And it’s nonetheless as standard as ever, because of its abundance of single-track trails. Bearwallow accommodates adventurers of all expertise ranges and provides a mixture of straightforward using and harder trails. It’s additionally the one path open to ORVs along with ATVs, UTVs, and off-road motorbikes, so it routinely attracts a various set.
2. Buffalo Mountain
Probably the most historic of the bunch is Buffalo Mountain, with its trails crossing by way of a number of websites the place the world-famous Hatfield and McCoy feuds came about. It additionally boasts a bevy of single-track trails, luring grime biking daredevils all 12 months lengthy. The system conveniently connects to a few ATV-friendly cities in West Virginia: Matewan, Williamson, and Delbarton. From Buffalo Mountain, riders also can discover interconnected trails like Satan Anse and Rockhouse—so the probabilities are limitless.
3. Satan Anse
Satan Anse hyperlinks up with Rockhouse and Buffalo Mountain, making it straightforward to find greater than 300 miles of using potential. Nearly all of these trails skew on the harder facet, nevertheless it’s effectively definitely worth the problem. With direct entry to gasoline, meals, and in a single day lodging, Satan Anse is a strong place to begin for any long-haul off-road journey.
One other one of many three authentic Hatfield-McCoy trails, Rockhouse really offers the most important single path system, with greater than 100 miles in whole. Rockhouse isn’t one of the best for newbies and tends to attract probably the most excessive riders in quest of a heart-pounding expertise. Plus, it provides direct entry into the cities of Man and Gilbert, each identified for his or her heat sense of Southern hospitality.
5. Indian Ridge
Available in the market for a multi-day expedition? Then think about trying into Indian Ridge. It occurs to be one of many largest steady areas of the Hatfield-McCoy Path System community, connecting with the Pocahontas, Pinnacle Creek, and Warrior trails. Positioned in McDowell County close to the city of Ashland, this method provides quite a lot of path sorts and is good for all issue ranges.
6. Pinnacle Creek
Recognized for its jaw-dropping surroundings and scenic outlooks, Pinnacle Creek is picture-perfect within the fall. It’s linked with three different programs (Indian Ridge, Pocahontas, and Warrior), so it’s superb for prolonged off-road escapes. Pinnacle Creek can also be inside an hour’s drive from different world-class West Virginia adventures like climbing, whitewater rafting, and snowboarding in the course of the winter months.
Pocahontas is one other perennial favourite. The trailhead will be tracked down in Coaldale, and structure geeks flock to close by Bramwell to witness the charming city’s assortment of grand Victorian mansions courting again to the twentieth century. This feature tends to supply more durable trails, however there’s additionally a justifiable share of simpler using alternatives.
The aptly named Warrior path system originates within the metropolis of Warfare—the southernmost metropolis in West Virginia. Mixed with the three earlier trails, it (together with Indian Ridge, Pinnacle Creek, and Pocahontas) creates probably the most intensive steady path system east of the Mississippi. Jam-packed with scenic views, Warrior additionally accesses the ATV-focused metropolis of Gary.
This newly minted Cabwaylingo path opened to riders in March 2021 and marks the primary in Hatfield-McCoy Path System to be positioned inside a state forest. Cabwaylingo State Forest sprawls over about 8,300 acres in southern West Virginia. The identify is a mixture of the 4 closest surrounding counties: Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln, and Mingo. Right here, riders can discover practically 100 miles of pristine trails.
10. Ivy Department
Positioned simply 20 minutes from West Virginia’s capitol metropolis of Charleston, Ivy Department is one other newcomer to the path system. Its strong mixture of difficult trails provides an actual sense of journey for riders of full-sized, off-road autos like Jeeps and land cruisers together with ATVs, UTVs, and grime bikes.
What to Know Earlier than You Go
All of it sounds fairly epic, proper? Effectively, earlier than you pack up your baggage and head off in your off-road quest, there are a number of extra issues to remember. You will discover the complete checklist of guidelines and rules on-line, however listed here are some starter suggestions and tips that’ll assist make your journey an entire lot extra gratifying.
Pack Your Protecting Gear
With regards to any daring pursuit, security at all times comes first. These hoping to hit the paths should put on a DOT- or Snell-approved helmet, together with correct eye safety. It additionally helps to carry alongside waterproof clothes, over-the-ankle footwear, gloves, and loads of water, sunscreen, and bug repellant.
Don’t Neglect Your Allow
Consumer permits are required for all drivers and passengers on the paths. You should purchase a seasonal person allow on-line ($50 for non-residents), or in-person at choose trailheads, on the Hatfield-McCoy Trails Welcome Heart, and at greater than 100 approved retail areas all through West Virginia. Test the Trails Heaven web site for all the main points.
Respect the Age Limits
Any operator or passenger youthful than 16 have to be underneath the direct supervision (and inside eyesight) of their mother or father or guardian always whereas on the paths. No youngsters youthful than six years outdated are allowed on the paths.
Comply with the Guidelines
Certain, it may be enjoyable to problem the foundations generally, however not on the paths. Obey all indicators, gates, boundaries, and preserve to the marked trails (they’re solely open throughout daytime). You’ll even be anticipated to keep away from littering and lighting fires, and it is best to depart your glass containers at house.
At all times Function Responsibly
There’s a whole lot of freedom on the paths, however don’t break that belief. Riders are anticipated to function at cheap speeds and stay in command of their automobile always. And you’ll want to preserve your eyes peeled for oncoming site visitors, particularly with regards to blind curves and hills. No alcohol will be consumed or possessed by anybody accessing the paths. It goes with out saying, however don’t drink and drive—you’ll solely create a harmful atmosphere for your self, your passengers, and different riders.
Seize a Path Map
Irrespective of how good you’re with instructions, we advocate selecting up a path map while you snag your allow. You may also discover maps stashed on the trailheads. All the paths are well-maintained and clearly marked, however you’ll wish to have a map on-hand, simply in case. You may also obtain digital path maps, in the event you want.
Journey into City
Whereas it’s tempting to stay to the paths all day lengthy, you’d be dishonest your self in the event you don’t take a while to discover the encircling cities. Primarily all of the cities across the path system are historic, so you’ll want to carve out a while to take a look at the native websites, seize some meals, and store for the right memento. You’ll be glad you probably did.
Plan a Fall Getaway
The paths are unimaginable all 12 months lengthy, however they tackle a very unforgettable ambiance within the fall. From the paths themselves to the encircling cities, all of it bursts to life with dazzling fall foliage and storybook attraction within the autumn months. Need to time your journey completely? Take a look at the West Virginia Fall Shade Map.
Further Off Roading Locations
Sure, the Hatfield-McCoy Path System will get a whole lot of (much-deserved) hype, however the off-road adventures don’t cease there. When you’re looking for one other solution to put the pedal to the steel, then you definitely’re in luck, as a result of West Virginia provides loads of different choices to get off the overwhelmed path and discover. We’ve rounded up a number of suggestions under which might be price including to your checklist.
Burning Rock Off-Street Park
Positioned only a few miles from the city of Sophia, Burning Rock Off-Street Park encompasses 10,000 acres with over 100 miles of trails suited to each sort of rider. Problem spans the spectrum from family-friendly runs like Tams Loop to the “enter-at-your-own-risk” possibility, The Amazon. Deliver your bike, ATV, UTV, or Jeep to see all of it for your self. Or you possibly can choose to journey mild and make the most of their on-site leases. After, spend the night time at one in every of their rustic rental cabins, only a stone’s throw from all of the motion. Additionally they supply glamping lodging, platform tents, RV websites, and extra.
New River ATV
Certain, the New River Gorge area is legendary for its whitewater rafting, however this slice of Virtually Heaven can also be a kick-ass vacation spot for off-road lovers. New River ATV is an skilled clothing store with top-of-the-line gear that’ll assist any rider discover the realm’s finest hidden gems. From newbie to professional, there’s one thing for everybody to find.
The Greenbrier Off-Street Adventures
The Greenbrier (identified affectionately as “America’s Resort”) has a glowing status, boasting a guestlist brimming with presidents, royals, and celebrities alike. However regardless of its subtle legacy, in addition they know learn how to get down and soiled. White Sulphur Springs is a hub for outside journey, and their non-public 11,000-acre resort provides the right playground for off-road lovers. Hire tricked-out Jeep Wranglers or Polaris RZRs to cruise throughout creeks and whip round towering hills with Greenbrier Off-Street Adventures.
Chaos Off-Street Park
Craving a full-throttle journey that you just’ll blabber on about for many years to return? Then ebook it over to Chaos Off-Street Park, positioned in Capon Bridge. The park covers 400 acres of West Virginian wilderness and has all of the makings for the journey of a lifetime. Deep mud pits, scattered rock gardens, and miles upon miles of seemingly limitless mountain trails make this a must-see spot.
These in quest of a extra family-oriented expertise ought to take a look at Mountwood Park. Nestled within the picturesque Mid-Ohio Valley area, this nation park opened Mountwood ATV Adventures in 2014. This part contains roughly 20 miles of thrilling, well-marked trails that vary in grade from straightforward to average (with a few tough choices for extra seasoned riders). There’s additionally a spacious overlook that serves up spectacular panoramas of the mountains ablaze in all their autumnal glory. After, discover the park’s 50 miles of climbing, biking, and horseback using trails; splash round within the 50-acre lake; or spend the night time at one of many 87 campsites.
The place to Keep
After an adrenaline-fueled day spent navigating the paths, you’re going to need a comfy place to relaxation your head. Fortunately, West Virginia has no scarcity of lodging choices to contemplate. From cozy cottages to rugged state park campgrounds, there’s one thing to suit no matter you’re looking for. Listed here are a number of concepts to get the ball rolling, however don’t overlook to discover all the opposite lodging choices ready for you in Virtually Heaven.
Appalachian Outpost (Lyburn)
Benefit from the recent air and wide-open areas of Appalachian Outpost. This retreat boasts 25 rustic cabins which might be glowing clear and geared up with all the trendy comforts of house (like free high-speed web). Right here, privateness is essential, and every cabin provides a furnished kitchen, three separate bedrooms, and two full bogs. However the true deal with comes while you enterprise past the cabin partitions. The compound overlooks the Guyandotte River together with breathtaking views of the majestic mountain surroundings. It’s positioned inside a quarter-mile of the Rockhouse Path System, which connects to the Satan Anse and Buffalo Mountain trails.
Chief Logan State Park (Logan)
Positioned within the coronary heart of West Virginia’s southern coalfields, Chief Logan State Park provides friends an genuine Mountain State escape. Right here, it’s all about reconnecting with Mom Nature and appreciating the encircling pure magnificence. The campground contains 26 items in whole, a lot of which have full water, sewage, and electrical hookups. It’s one of the vital frequented amenities within the West Virginia State Parks System, possible aided by its proximity to the Hatfield-McCoy trails. Different treasures right here embrace a swimming pool, an outside amphitheater that hosts seasonal performances, a novel Museum within the Park attraction, quite a few picnic websites, and extra.
Buffalo Path Cabins (Bluefield)
Tucked away in Bluefield, Buffalo Path Cabins is the unofficial headquarters for ATV lovers. Positioned simply 3.5 miles from the Pocahontas trailhead, friends can actually begin kicking up grime in a matter of minutes. The serene setting contains 26 cabins (starting from single-room choices to six-bedroom leases) and 6 full-hookup RV websites. For an much more Instagram-worthy keep, ebook one in every of their seasonal rustic treehouse campsites, or snag an final treehouse (full with all of the bells and whistles). When you must gasoline up for one more daring day forward, swing by their on-site restaurant and brewery.
Twin Falls Resort State Park (Mullens)
Set alongside an enthralling wooded ridge within the craggy mountains of Wyoming County, Twin Falls Resort State Park provides a very idyllic getaway that’s additionally conveniently positioned to the Hatfield-McCoy trailheads. Friends can select between spending the night time on the 47-room lodge, reserving one of many 14 secluded trip cabins, or organising camp one of many 50 websites (25 of which provide electrical hookups). The park additionally options an 18-hole championship golf course, swimming pool, and the absolutely purposeful Pioneer Farm, which provides guests a peek at what life actually regarded like for early frontier settlers.
Cabwaylingo State Forest
The Cabwaylingo State Forest encompasses roughly 8,300 closely forested acres in southern West Virginia. Right here, guests can get cozy in one of many 13 legacy cabins, constructed from stone or wooden frames. For a extra fashionable keep, there’s additionally a standalone trip cabin geared up with a hearth, tv, absolutely geared up kitchen, outside firepit, and heating and air-con. Most cabins can be found from mid-April by way of the tip of October. ATV, UTV, 4×4, and grime bike riders can have a blast venturing alongside practically 100 miles of unspoiled trails.
So there you may have it—the whole lot you must know earlier than you go and embark on the off-road journey of your goals. The Hatfield-McCoy Path System is open three hundred and sixty five days per 12 months, so you possibly can plan your journey everytime you need (however we extremely advocate squeezing in a go to as quickly as potential to catch the unbeatable fall foliage; use this map to examine the standing). For much more journey concepts and inspiration, you may get a free West Virginia trip information mailed straight to your door, or click on by way of the digital model. And for an immediate hit of wanderlust, take a look at the #AlmostHeaven hashtag on social media to see real-time user-generated content material from the paths and past.
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