|Greenbrier River Trail|
Greenbrier River Trail is a 75 mile trail, stretching between Cass to
North Caldwell in West Virginia. For those who are not sure
exactly where that is, it is at the base of Snow Shoe Ski Resort.
It is a bit of a drive to the Greenbrier, and mostly on back roads through WV, but it is worth the trip. The trail offers bridges, tunnels, camping, and scenic views of the Greenbrier River. Wildlife is also abundant on the trail also.
This Greenbrier is one of my favorite trails for many reasons. First of all, the river is magnificent. It is a shallow, rocky, mountain river that just invites you to get in. When I rode the trail, we did get in the river on two separate occasions (and almost a third). Where we entered, we were able to walk out to the middle of the river, pull up a slightly submersed rock, and just enjoy the scenery. Now picture that; sitting in the middle of a river, that is in a mountain valley, looking at the pine trees that guard this picture perfect area with the sounds of nature providing the soundtrack. Unreal!!
It was also along this trail that I had my first encounter with some true wildlife. Yeah, yeah, I have seen deer, skunk, and even snakes, but this was my first time seeing a bear! As I rode the trail, I could see something that looked like a large dog in the distance almost hopping along the river bank. I actually thought nothing of it. As I continued to ride though, a bear popped out of the woods to my left, ran across the trail, and disappeared into the woods on my right. Whoa!!! I just came to a complete stop....what else could I do?? More often than not though, the wildlife wants as little to do with you as you do them, so he did not even look twice at me!!
This trail has a lot to offer in terms of scenery. Much of the scenery is provided by the river as it curves through the mountains. There was one little town that we did pass through though. Any time you pass through these small towns, on any trail, I always recommend finding a local diner to get a flavor of the area.
On this particular trip, we rode well into the night fall which provided some real fireworks! I mean it, we actually got to see some fireworks since it was the Fourth of July weekend (2005). One down fall to that weekend though, was that every ideal primitive campsite we came to seemed to be taken. There was one site in particular that four guys with their kids occupied that would have been ideal. It was located right at the end of a bend where the river does a total u-turn. If you are ever on this trail, you will know exactly where I mean when you pass it, trust me.
One thing to note for bikers is that the trail is a gravel base, so at points, this makes it harder for riders with narrow tires, such as myself. I am not saying that it can not be done, I just found my tires digging into the loose gravel at times. This was only experienced in the beginning portion of the trail though.
I could write so much more about the Greenbrier. From the cottages along the river to the tunnel bored through solid rock that looks like you are entering a cave, there is just so much to experience on this trail. Anyone looking to ride a top notch trail packed with all the goods, the Greenbrier is your trail. It is about a 4 hour drive from Pittsburgh, PA, but it is worth the ride. Make sure to pack some food since towns are limited along the trail. Most of all, get ready to experience a trail that will take you to places you have never been before!!
Points of Interest: Greenbrier River, Marlinton, Tunnels, Bridges.
Trail Web Site- Greenbrier River Trail
This site was last updated 07/29/06