Thursday, May 2, 2013

Wild & Wonderful [Trail] Riding in West Virginia - Hatfield McCoy Spring Ride

Last weekend I returned to the mountains of West Virginia to ride the famous Hatfield McCoy Trails (HMT). For those of you that don't know about HMT and love off-road trail riding, find yourself in the know.

For southern trail riders that love Brushy Mountain and Durhamtown you will be blown away by the HMT.  Imagine the organization or Durhamtown and the elevation of Brushy and then imagine both with no red clay and the ability to absorb and drain rain water. If you are still on the fence allow me to add that all HMT participating towns allow you to ride on the roads (without plates/lights) and patronize their businesses with muddy gear. A $50 bill gets you a pass you can use on any of the 8 trail systems, 365 days of the year. I will also add that many (not all) of the trails are vintage friendly.

I pulled up to our posh rental cabin where I met a dozen buddies from my hometown that have been meeting and riding HMT for 7 years straight now.  The Hillbilly Hilton was fully equipped with a loaded game room, hot-tubs, multiple flat screens, cable, sound-system, in-deck grill and fire pit. First class digs for a low brow boys weekend.

The guys had already logged of day of soggy riding in the rain on Friday at the Bear Wallow trail which presented the weekend's first casualty.  A 1000cc Can-Am ran off the trail and came to an abrupt stop when it quickly found a tree.  Fortunately the only injury was the riders ego and wallet.

The lovely town of Logan, WV has a magnificent downtown with plenty of extracurricular activities for riders, but to protect the innocent and for the sake of keeping this post 'SFW I will leave you with the following pics and the assurance we had a great time.

On Saturday we loaded up the rigs and drove to the Little Coal River trail which is one of the oldest trail systems and historically the most rider friendly. 

About one hour into the ride, the group was quickly descending a ridge when the lead Can-Am launched into the air and smacked a tree ending it's weekend.  Rider and wallet were both shaken but fine.

With 2 Can-Ams on the trailer and later 2 Honda's having a rear luggage rack wardrobe malfunction, the rest of the group consisting mostly of Team Polaris and Team Motorcycle put the hammer down and logged around 100 miles making it back just before sunset.

Sunday morning I said farewell to my 4-wheel buddies and headed southward for some 2-Wheel-Me-Time passing through Gilbert, WV to the trial head of Pocahontas which is the newest trail of the HMT system and only 3 hours from Durham, NC right off I-77, North of Bluefield, WV

 Some of the the Pocahontas trails are amazing and some are still in development with gravel connectors and semi-paved shared use roads. Fortunately one of the connectors led me into the Indian Ridge trail system  where I was tempted by some of the famous unofficial "Outlaw Trails" but since I was riding alone I decided not to tempt fate. After 140 miles and the gas tank on reserve I headed back to the truck with plans for summer and fall trips in the works.

For more information on the Hatfield McCoy Trails go to:

Ton Up NC = Riding, Restoration and Racing of Vintage Motorcycles