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 marvel 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 all its most epic adventures can also be one in all its best-kept secrets and techniques.
Not many vacationers understand it, however West Virginia is an unbelievable ATV and off-roading destination. The mountainous terrain creates excellent circumstances for limitless backcountry escapades and one-of-a-kind excursions. However the actual jewel is the legendary Hatfield-McCoy Trail System, one of many largest off-highway car methods on the earth.
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 a whole lot of miles of uninterrupted routes. The paths zigzag by way of beautiful 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 outstanding dimension. The way in which the paths are marked, managed, and maintained make them a real work of pure artwork. At this time, they’re revered because the blueprint and benchmark for different path methods. And it’s additionally the most effective 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 Conflict. The Hatfield-McCoy Path System formally launched in October 2000, with 300 miles of trails, and has expanded a number of occasions since its inception.
So, should you’re in search of an autumnal escape with some horsepower, look no additional than West Virginia. This off-road paradise is filled with spellbinding websites and heart-racing routes for riders of each ability stage.
10 Trails in Hatfield-McCoy Path System You Must Know
Opened in 2000, Bearwallow holds the glory of being one of many unique three methods 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 simple 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 happened. It additionally boasts a bevy of single-track trails, luring dust 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 can even discover interconnected trails like Satan Anse and Rockhouse—so the chances are limitless.
3. Satan Anse
Devil Anse hyperlinks up with Rockhouse and Buffalo Mountain, making it simple to find greater than 300 miles of using potential. The vast majority of these trails skew on the harder aspect, nevertheless it’s properly definitely worth the problem. With direct entry to gasoline, meals, and in a single day lodging, Satan Anse is a strong start line for any long-haul off-road journey.
One other one of many three unique Hatfield-McCoy trails, Rockhouse truly supplies the biggest single path system, with greater than 100 miles in complete. Rockhouse isn’t the perfect for newbies and tends to attract probably the most excessive riders looking for 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 contemplate 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 technique provides a wide range of path varieties and is right 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 methods (Indian Ridge, Pocahontas, and Warrior), so it’s excellent for prolonged off-road escapes. Pinnacle Creek can also be inside an hour’s drive from different world-class West Virginia adventures like hiking, whitewater rafting, and skiing through the winter months.
Pocahontas is one other perennial favourite. The trailhead may 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 harder trails, however there’s additionally a fair proportion of simpler using alternatives.
The aptly named Warrior path system originates within the metropolis of Conflict—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 in depth 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 situated inside a state forest. Cabwaylingo State Forest sprawls over about 8,300 acres in southern West Virginia. The title is a mixture 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
Positioned simply 20 minutes from West Virginia’s capitol metropolis of Charleston, Ivy Branch 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 automobiles like Jeeps and land cruisers together with ATVs, UTVs, and dust bikes.
What to Know Earlier than You Go
All of it sounds fairly epic, proper? Effectively, earlier than you pack up your luggage and head off in your off-road quest, there are a couple of extra issues to bear in mind. Yow will discover the full list of rules and regulations online, however listed here are some starter ideas and methods that’ll assist make your journey a complete lot extra pleasing.
Pack Your Protecting Gear
With regards to 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 convey alongside waterproof clothes, over-the-ankle footwear, gloves, and loads of water, sunscreen, and bug repellant.
Don’t Overlook Your Allow
Person permits are required for all drivers and passengers on the paths. You should buy a seasonal user permit online ($50 for non-residents), or in-person at choose trailheads, on the Hatfield-McCoy Trails Welcome Center, and at more than 100 authorized retail locations all through West Virginia. Examine the Trails Heaven web site for all the details.
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 previous are allowed on the paths.
Observe the Guidelines
Certain, it may be enjoyable to problem the foundations generally, however not on the paths. Obey all indicators, gates, limitations, and preserve to the marked trails (they’re solely open throughout sunlight hours). You’ll even be anticipated to keep away from littering and lighting fires, and it is best to depart your glass containers at dwelling.
All the time Function Responsibly
There’s quite a lot of freedom on the paths, however don’t break that belief. Riders are anticipated to function at affordable speeds and stay in command of their car always. And you should definitely preserve your eyes peeled for oncoming visitors, particularly in relation to blind curves and hills. No alcohol may 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
Regardless 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 download digital trail maps, should you want.
Trip 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. Basically 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 unbelievable 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 allure within the autumn months. Need to time your journey completely? Try the West Virginia Fall Color Map.
Extra Off Roading Locations
Sure, the Hatfield-McCoy Path System will get quite a lot of (much-deserved) hype, however the off-road adventures don’t cease there. For those who’re trying to find one other option to put the pedal to the metallic, then you definately’re in luck, as a result of West Virginia provides loads of different choices to get off the crushed path and discover. We’ve rounded up a couple of suggestions under which might be price including to your record.
Burning Rock Off-Highway Park
Positioned only a few miles from the city of Sophia, Burning Rock Off-Road 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” choice, The Amazon. Deliver your bike, ATV, UTV, or Jeep to see all of it for your self. Or you possibly can decide to journey mild and reap the benefits of their on-site leases. After, spend the night time at one in all their rustic rental cabins, only a stone’s throw from all of the motion. Additionally they provide 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 clothes shop with top-of-the-line gear that’ll assist any rider discover the world’s finest 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 popularity, boasting a guestlist brimming with presidents, royals, and celebrities alike. However regardless of its refined legacy, additionally they know easy methods to get down and soiled. White Sulphur Springs is a hub for outside journey, and their personal 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-Road Adventures.
Chaos Off-Highway Park
Craving a full-throttle journey that you just’ll blabber on about for many years to come back? Then ebook it over to Chaos Off-Road Park, situated 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 looking for a extra family-oriented expertise ought to try Mountwood Park. Nestled within the picturesque Mid-Ohio Valley region, 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 simple to reasonable (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 here are a couple of concepts to get the ball rolling, however don’t neglect to discover all of the other accommodation options 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 provides a furnished kitchen, three separate bedrooms, and two full loos. However the actual 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 situated 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 models in complete, a lot of which have full water, sewage, and electrical hookups. It’s some of the frequented amenities within the West Virginia State Parks System, doubtless aided by its proximity to the Hatfield-McCoy trails. Different treasures right here embrace a swimming pool, an out of doors amphitheater that hosts seasonal performances, a singular Museum in the Park attraction, quite a few picnic websites, and extra.
Buffalo Path Cabins (Bluefield)
Tucked away in Bluefield, Buffalo Trail Cabins is the unofficial headquarters for ATV lovers. Positioned simply 3.5 miles from the Pocahontas trailhead, friends can actually begin kicking up dust 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 all their seasonal rustic treehouse campsites, or snag an final treehouse (full with all of the bells and whistles). When you’ll want to gas up for one more daring day forward, swing by their on-site restaurant and brewery.
Twin Falls Resort State Park (Mullens)
Set alongside a captivating wooded ridge within the craggy mountains of Wyoming County, Twin Falls Resort State Park provides a very idyllic getaway that’s additionally conveniently situated 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 supply electrical hookups). The park additionally options an 18-hole championship golf course, swimming pool, and the totally purposeful Pioneer Farm, which supplies guests a peek at what life actually appeared 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 hearth, tv, totally outfitted kitchen, outside firepit, and heating and air-con. Most cabins can be found from mid-April by way of the top of October. ATV, UTV, 4×4, and dust bike riders may have a blast venturing alongside almost 100 miles of unspoiled trails.
So there you’ve it—every part you’ll want to know earlier than you go and embark on the off-road journey of your goals. The Hatfield-McCoy Path System is open 12 months 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 doable to catch the unbeatable fall foliage; use this map to test the standing). For much more journey concepts and inspiration, you will get a free West Virginia vacation guide mailed straight to your door, or click on by way of the digital version. And for an prompt hit of wanderlust, try the #AlmostHeaven hashtag on social media to see real-time user-generated content material from the paths and past.
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