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 speeding rapids to its pristine lakes and rambling forests, it’s no surprise this place is called “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 notice it, however West Virginia is an unimaginable ATV and off-roading vacation spot. The mountainous terrain creates perfect situations for limitless backcountry escapades and one-of-a-kind excursions. However the actual 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 value of world-class trails. Some even interlock, creating lots of of miles of uninterrupted routes. The paths zigzag by means of gorgeous mountain landscapes, loaded with thrilling elevation modifications, dramatic twists and turns, and jaw-dropping overlooks at each flip. It’s all undeniably spectacular, however not simply due to the community’s exceptional measurement. The best way the paths are marked, managed, and maintained make them a real work of pure artwork. At the moment, they’re revered because the blueprint and benchmark for different path programs. And it’s additionally top-of-the-line methods to discover West Virginia’s uncooked magnificence and historic heritage.
Questioning the place the title 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 Battle. 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, should you’re on the lookout 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 talent degree.
10 Trails in Hatfield-McCoy Path System You Have to Know
Opened in 2000, Bearwallow holds the glory of being one of many authentic three programs of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. And it’s nonetheless as common as ever, because of its abundance of single-track trails. Bearwallow accommodates adventurers of all expertise ranges and gives a mixture of straightforward using and tougher 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
Essentially the most historic of the bunch is Buffalo Mountain, with its trails crossing by means of a number of websites the place the world-famous Hatfield and McCoy feuds happened. It additionally boasts a bevy of single-track trails, luring filth biking daredevils all 12 months lengthy. The system conveniently connects to 3 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 tougher facet, however it’s properly definitely worth the problem. With direct entry to fuel, meals, and in a single day lodging, Satan Anse is a stable place to begin for any long-haul off-road journey.
One other one of many three authentic Hatfield-McCoy trails, Rockhouse truly supplies the biggest single path system, with greater than 100 miles in whole. Rockhouse isn’t the very best for newbies and tends to attract probably the most excessive riders searching for a heart-pounding expertise. Plus, it gives 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 take into account 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. Situated in McDowell County close to the city of Ashland, this method gives quite a lot of path sorts and is right for all problem ranges.
6. Pinnacle Creek
Recognized for its jaw-dropping surroundings and scenic outlooks, Pinnacle Creek is picture-perfect within the fall. It’s related with three different programs (Indian Ridge, Pocahontas, and Warrior), so it’s perfect for prolonged off-road escapes. Pinnacle Creek can also be inside an hour’s drive from different world-class West Virginia adventures like mountaineering, whitewater rafting, and snowboarding throughout the winter months.
Pocahontas is one other perennial favourite. The trailhead could be tracked down in Coaldale, and structure geeks flock to close by Bramwell to witness the charming city’s assortment of grand Victorian mansions relationship again to the twentieth century. This feature tends to supply more durable trails, however there’s additionally a fair proportion of simpler using alternatives.
The aptly named Warrior path system originates within the metropolis of Battle—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 title is a mix of the 4 closest surrounding counties: Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln, and Mingo. Right here, riders can discover almost 100 miles of pristine trails.
10. Ivy Department
Situated simply 20 minutes from West Virginia’s capitol metropolis of Charleston, Ivy Department is one other newcomer to the path system. Its stable mixture of difficult trails gives an actual sense of journey for riders of full-sized, off-road automobiles like Jeeps and land cruisers together with ATVs, UTVs, and filth 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’ll find the full checklist of guidelines and rules on-line, however listed below are some starter suggestions and methods that’ll assist make your journey an entire lot extra gratifying.
Pack Your Protecting Gear
In terms of any daring pursuit, security all the time 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
Person permits are required for all drivers and passengers on the paths. You should purchase a seasonal consumer allow on-line ($50 for non-residents), or in-person at choose trailheads, on the Hatfield-McCoy Trails Welcome Middle, and at greater than 100 licensed retail areas all through West Virginia. Examine the Trails Heaven web site for all the small print.
Respect the Age Limits
Any operator or passenger youthful than 16 have to be beneath the direct supervision (and inside eyesight) of their dad or mum or guardian always whereas on the paths. No kids youthful than six years outdated are allowed on the paths.
Observe the Guidelines
Positive, it may be enjoyable to problem the foundations typically, however not on the paths. Obey all indicators, gates, boundaries, and maintain 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 go away your glass containers at dwelling.
At all times Function Responsibly
There’s a number of freedom on the paths, however don’t break that belief. Riders are anticipated to function at affordable speeds and stay in charge of their automobile always. And you should definitely maintain your eyes peeled for oncoming visitors, particularly in the case of blind curves and hills. No alcohol could 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 whenever you snag your allow. You can too discover maps stashed on the trailheads. All the paths are well-maintained and clearly marked, however you’ll need to have a map on-hand, simply in case. You can too obtain digital path maps, should you favor.
Experience into City
Whereas it’s tempting to stay to the paths all day lengthy, you’d be dishonest your self should you don’t take a while to discover the encircling cities. Primarily all of the cities across the path system are historic, so you should definitely 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 really 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. Wish to time your journey completely? Take a look at the West Virginia Fall Coloration Map.
Further Off Roading Locations
Sure, the Hatfield-McCoy Path System will get a number of (much-deserved) hype, however the off-road adventures don’t cease there. In the event you’re trying to find one other solution to put the pedal to the metallic, then you definitely’re in luck, as a result of West Virginia gives loads of different choices to get off the overwhelmed path and discover. We’ve rounded up a number of suggestions under which might be value including to your checklist.
Burning Rock Off-Highway Park
Situated only a few miles from the city of Sophia, Burning Rock Off-Highway Park encompasses 10,000 acres with over 100 miles of trails fitted 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. Carry your bike, ATV, UTV, or Jeep to see all of it for your self. Or you may decide to journey mild and benefit from 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
Positive, the New River Gorge area is known for its whitewater rafting, however this slice of Virtually Heaven can also be a kick-ass vacation spot for off-road fans. New River ATV is an skilled clothes shop with top-of-the-line gear that’ll assist any rider discover the world’s greatest hidden gems. From newbie to professional, there’s one thing for everybody to find.
The Greenbrier Off-Highway 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 refined legacy, in addition they know the best way to get down and soiled. White Sulphur Springs is a hub for out of doors journey, and their personal 11,000-acre resort gives the right playground for off-road fans. Hire tricked-out Jeep Wranglers or Polaris RZRs to cruise throughout creeks and whip round towering hills with Greenbrier Off-Highway Adventures.
Chaos Off-Highway Park
Craving a full-throttle journey that you simply’ll blabber on about for many years to come back? Then ebook it over to Chaos Off-Highway 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 searching for 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 consists of 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 mountaineering, 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 desire 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 trying to find. Listed below are a number of concepts to get the ball rolling, however don’t neglect to discover all of the different lodging choices ready for you in Virtually Heaven.
Appalachian Outpost (Lyburn)
Benefit from the contemporary air and wide-open areas of Appalachian Outpost. This retreat boasts 25 rustic cabins which might be glowing clear and outfitted with all the trendy comforts of dwelling (like free high-speed web). Right here, privateness is essential, and every cabin gives a furnished kitchen, three separate bedrooms, and two full loos. However the actual deal with comes whenever 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)
Situated within the coronary heart of West Virginia’s southern coalfields, Chief Logan State Park gives visitors an genuine Mountain State escape. Right here, it’s all about reconnecting with Mom Nature and appreciating the encircling pure magnificence. The campground consists of 26 items in whole, lots of which have full water, sewage, and electrical hookups. It’s one of the crucial frequented amenities within the West Virginia State Parks System, doubtless aided by its proximity to the Hatfield-McCoy trails. Different treasures right here embody a swimming pool, an out of doors 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 fans. Situated simply 3.5 miles from the Pocahontas trailhead, visitors can actually begin kicking up filth in a matter of minutes. The serene setting consists of 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 it’s good to gas up for an additional 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 gives a really 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 establishing 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 useful Pioneer Farm, which provides guests a peek at what life actually seemed 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 outfitted with a fire, tv, absolutely outfitted kitchen, out of doors firepit, and heating and air con. Most cabins can be found from mid-April by means of the top of October. ATV, UTV, 4×4, and filth bike riders can have a blast venturing alongside almost 100 miles of unspoiled trails.
So there you may have it—every part it’s good to 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 may plan your journey everytime you need (however we extremely advocate squeezing in a go to as quickly as doable 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 means of the digital model. And for an prompt 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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