The Greenbrier River Trail is a 78-mile path through the scenic Allegheny Mountain country of eastern West Virginia. The converted rail-to-trail follows its namesake waterway on a flat grade from Cass to North Caldwell through some of the Mountain State’s most stunning terrain. The crushed gravel trail offers an accessible two- or three-day bike adventure for all skill levels. Along the way, cyclists pedal riverside through a vast swath of the Monongahela National Forest and two state parks, while 11 primitive camping areas sit just off trail.
Ride the Trail
“The whole appeal of the trail is the remoteness,” says Chuck Workman of Appalachian Sport (appsport.com), an outfitter that runs a shuttle service for Greenbrier riders. Pedaling the Greenbrier is predominantly a wilderness experience. Besides occasionally passing through an old railroad town like Clover Lick, the ride mostly consists of cruising through remote stretches of the Mon with wildlife sightings and endless opportunities for cooling off in the river. After you pass through the 500-foot-long Sharp’s Tunnel, there is a notable swimming hole just beyond the bridge at mile 65.
More in Marlinton
If you prefer to sleep in a bed, the small town of Marlinton (pocahontascountywv.com) at mile 55 has a variety of quaint B&B options that are easily reached from the trail. Before a long day in the saddle, grab a cup of coffee and a famous homemade Super Cookie Energy Bar at the Dirtbean Café and Bike Shop.
There’s a reason this area of West Virginia has been called the Eastern mecca of mountain biking. The Monongahela National Forest around Marlinton and nearby Slatyfork has over 200 miles of accessible trails for fat tire feasting. Right from Marlinton, you can ride the eight-mile Marlin Mountain Loop. For something more adventurous, try the epic 37-mile Gauley Headwaters ride, which includes the legendary Tea Creek Mountain descent.
Race the Trail
Every spring the popular Great Greenbrier River Race takes place in Marlinton. The 17-mile mini-triathlon, which can be done solo or as a team event, features a three-mile run, 10-mile bike ride, and four-mile paddle on the Greenbrier Trail and River. greenbrierrivertrail.com.