Take five days to explore the best of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia gravel! On this gravel tour of the Mountain State, we’ll ride and hike to some of the most scenic vistas the Appalachian Mountains have to offer.
Our central location is Davis, West Virginia, the highest town in the state and a hub of world-class outdoor recreation opportunities, with outstanding access to pristine and wild public lands. Davis is also becoming home to a thriving scene of local businesses, artisans, eateries, and breweries. You’re sure to find something amazing around every turn of this fantastic gravel tour in the mountains. Many portions of this tour take place on the Monongahela National Forest.
At first glance, it may seem like relatively low daily mileage compared to our rail-trail or road bike tours. However, gravel miles pack a bit more of a punch than expected. The unpredictable nature of gravel combined with climbing in the mountains can be slower, and time-wise equals out to about 2-3 times a road or rail-trail mile. Even with some of the shortest ride days on this trip, you’ll end the day feeling accomplished and ready for some time out of the saddle.
* The tour is only for riders with advanced bike handling skills on varied surfaces. Due to safety concerns, we do not allow e-bikes on this ride. Thanks for understanding!
* Bike requirements: A gravel bike (a drop-bar bike with wide, grippy tires) with wide 700×45 or 650×47 tires is strongly recommended. (Highly experienced gravel riders could ride a 700×35, but this is the absolute minimum tire width.)
The Purple Fiddle
Wilds of West Virginia
Adventurous gravel roads
Small-town local breweries
The Bright Morning Inn
After gathering together, we head off for the first ride of the trip to warm up for the days of fun gravel ahead. The ride will start in the Canaan Wildlife Refuge along some beautiful gravel roads. We experience a good mix of surfaces today, with gravel, pavement and even some rail trail!
West Virginia is an often overlooked, but endlessly wild state. As the tourism and recreation industry grows to be one of the state’s largest economies, there is still evidence of West Virginia’s mining, logging and other extractive industries. On today’s ride, you’ll pass by an active mine that stands in contrast to the vast beauty of the high mountain valley. It is truly a peek into the Appalachian region’s quarrel between the past and the future. The ride ends right back at our lodging in Davis, where we have a chance to rest and get ready for a dinner all together.
This ride starts from the valley town of Parsons. A great start on the Allegheny Highlands Trail, a convenient rail trail that takes us out of town and towards the wilderness. You quickly hit secondary roads and then gravel as you climb and wind your way around the Shavers Fork river. This route takes you through some rugged back roads with great views of the river, giving you a healthy dose of authentic gravel riding. A great mix of town, river industry and wilderness!
After a big ride yesterday, today is a bit of an active rest day. We’ll do some hiking after a relaxing morning. However, we are still going to hop in the saddle for a short but scenic ride. We’ll start our ride from a beautiful overlook and drop down pavement to a gravel road that leads to a fire tower with a commanding 360 degree view of the area. We’ll end this ride by dropping down a couple of grand paved roads to the valley. This short ride will allow you some time to rest and explore the eccentric towns of Thomas and Davis, plus we have some bonus rides if you need more riding for the day!
After a rest yesterday, it’s time for the highlight of this Wild & Wonderful West Virginia tour. The ride starts at the highest point in the state. Spruce Knob sits at 4,863′ and we will drop from the top of the mountain to the valley floor, losing a whopping 4,238′ of elevation! Descending from the top of the state, you will pass high mountain lakes, farm lands, and sweeping vistas. This ride alone is worth a trip to West Virginia!
The last day of the tour features a short ride that packs quite the punch. Then, we will cap off the trip exploring Blackwater State Park by foot to explore some of the area’s waterfalls and overlooks. You’ll have a nice morning of checking out some of the sites that West Virginia is famous for, including the namesake water fall, Blackwater Falls!
“We loved the trip: leaders, routes, riding companions, and food. The trip leader, Jesse, put together an excellent gravel riding experience. He picked challenging and incredibly beautiful roads for us showing why West Virginia’s motto is ‘Wild & Wonderful.’ The co-leader, Rachel, was also fantastic: encouraging and supportive and guiding us through the rougher terrain. We highly recommend this ride to others.”
~Suzanne & Richard P., Asheville, NC
Trip Length - Days
4 Breakfasts | 5 Lunches | 3 Dinners
PP Double Occupancy
*This is required if you are traveling solo or if you are traveling with someone but require separate beds.