props trail sign 004 web

Roaring Run trail head

Bottom of Props Run. Sign on Rte 219 across from to Elk River Touring Center

***Note: Pick up local bike trail maps at Elk River Touring Center, Elk River Ski/Snowboard shop, The Dirt Bean Coffee shop in Marlinton,  or Mountain Valley Properties log home just past the bank & Exxon.

Reviews of the trails:

Driving directions to the top/start of Prop’s Run which is 9.8 miles from the intersection of Route 219 & Mine Rd

Best to have someone drop the bikers off at the top/start of  Prop’s run and pick up at Elk River Touring Center parking lot at the  bottom.  If you don™t have this option, then we suggest parking  somewhere near the top after finding the beginning of the trail, riding  down to ERTC, then back up to the top and your car. This is a 20 mile  loop with 1600 feet elevation change.  Bring your radios.  Some of the  locals suggest riding up first because the downhill is very bumpy.

Starting at the intersection of Rte 66 & Rte 219, next to Shaky Jakes, drive 6 miles South and turn Rt. on Mine Road (FR24).

***From here, we suggest that you drive up these roads before biking to become familiar since signs are lacking***

Drive 3.7 miles up to the parking & the start of the Tea Creek Trailhead.

Drive 1.8 miles to a Right turn on FR 24 (small sign). After another 0.8 miles, a sign marks 24C, don™t turn and continue straight on the road you’re on.

Drive 0.7 miles to a scenic overlook  looking over Slatyfork and the valley., After another 0.2 miles there is a right turn with a White gate and again continue straight on the  road  You will come to a rusted gate and if opened you can continue  driving to the start of Prop’s Run  If locked, you’ll have to decide  where to be dropped off and bike the rest of the way which is about 2.4  miles

Tea Creek Mountain Trail. (different from Tea Creek Trail)  Another difficult ride and another ride where you™ll need to have  someone drop off the bikers and then pick up at the end of the ride.

Drive 15 miles south on 219 to a right on the Highland Scenic  Highway 150.  Drive about 7 miles to the Little Laurel Overlook on your  right where the bikers are dropped off.  The pick up car will need to  continue on Highway 150 another 4 miles to the Williams River and wait  there.. 

This ride is 6 miles and starts  with a very steep run followed by a boulder field.   After about half  way, the trail begins to descend to the valley and the Williams River.   Just after 1/2 way you™ll come to another trail to the right which is  the lower end of the North Face Trail.  Don™t turn and continue on Tea  Creek until the bottom and you reach the Williams River and the Williams River Trail.  Ride along the trail back to the highway and the bridge  over the Williams River

Tea Creek Trailhead Sign on 24

Slatyfork, WV from Outdoor Trails

Often referred to as "The Mountain Biking Mecca of the East", there's a big secret in a little town in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains in eastern West Virginia. Some of the best mountain biking in the  United States can be found spread somewhat centrally around the tiny  town of Slatyfork (pop. 448) in Pocahontas County. Miles and miles  (often estimated at over 200) of single track, a little over 100 miles  of picturesque rails-to-trails double track on the Greenbrier River  Trail (see our review of this great trail) and West Fork Rail Trail, and seemingly endless  miles of forest roads can be found in the sprawling Monongahela National Forest, which encompasses 900,000 square miles of public land. Add to  that West Virginia State Park property and private areas, and you come  up with over 800 miles of trails to ride.

Propsrun trail map

Sharp’s Knob Scenic Ride  This is an easy 8 mile ride with incredible scenery and allows you to  park and return to your car.  Follow the directions above and park at  the Tea Creek Trail parking. 

Start your ride on Mine Rd, FR24 and continue up the mountain.  As you ride,  you’ll pass a left turn on Rt 135 so continue straight.  After 1.8  miles, you come to an intersection and turn right following the sign for FR24  Ride another 1.5 miles and the scenic overlook is on your  right  Across the street from the Slatyfork view is a dirt road to an  old strip mine with a view towards the west.  Continue on this dirt  road/trail towards the left and down through the forest. This  road/trail will end back on a road where you’ll turn left and ride back  to Mine Rd/FR24  Turn right and ride back to your car at the Tea Creek  Trail.

Greenbrier River Trail  This is a completely flat trail that is built on the old railroad  tracks and winds along the Greenbrier River.  Pack a lunch and enjoy the scenery with all ages.  Start your ride in the parking lot at Cass (Rte 66 over the mountain will take you there) and plan on returning to the  car at Cass.  After about 10/11 miles there is the town of Clover Lick  which makes a great destination.  There are no restaurants here.  If you don’t want to go that far, then there are plenty of places to stop  along the way including the town of Sitlington at 3 miles and the town  of Stony Bottom at 6 miles. (These are not towns in the way we normally  think of towns only a half dozen houses.

Greenbrier River Bike Trail

Mountain Biking Prop’s Run in Slatyfork, WV.

Props Run is 8.7 downhill miles in length. Mud, rocks, streams and ridge trails give this ride a distinctive personality.  Props Run is the one trail that pops up again and again when biking in  Slatyfork is the subject. It is supposed to be the signature trail of  the area as well as one of the best downhill rides in the United States. For these reasons, this was the only trail I insisted we ride during  our visit to Slatyfork. On a foggy and damp morning, Jeff, Christopher  and I headed out to ride Props. Leaving from the Elk River Touring  Center, we took SR 219 south about 2 miles to FR 24 (Mine Road), which  is where the lower mountain trails of the Gauley Mountain system are. We continued up and up on the Forest Road into the fog, eventually parking at the Tea Creek Trail trailhead. Our plan was to ride FR 24 for a couple of miles to Props Run's  trailhead and ride the trail down the mountain, back to the Touring  Center and then get in another car and go after the car we left at the  Tea Creek trailhead. Without two cars, you have two choices. Use the  shuttle service available at Elk River Touring Center to take you up the mountain or make a very long and grueling ride up a mountain and back  down.

Back at Elk River Touring Center, Christopher had reviewed the map and  directions to Props Run trailhead. This would later lead to a very  interesting situation. After parking and readying our bikes and gear, we began riding foggy Forest Road 24 north. Christopher mentioned that it would be a mile or  two to the trailhead. We soon came to a closed gate on FR 24 that  Christopher remembered from the directions. As we rode around the gate,  Christopher mentioned that he believed the trailhead to be a short  distance from the gate. Needless to say, it wasn't. We rode up and down  FR 24 several times and explored a side road looking for the trailhead.  One would think that a popular ride like Props Run would have a clearly  marked trailhead - one would think. After doubling back several times,  we decided to ride back to the car and ride one of the many marked  trails near there. The Forest Road was beautiful, but we were itching for some quality singletrack!

It began to drizzle. As we headed back, we passed an area that we had  noticed the first time we passed it. It looked like an overgrown, unused and closed trailhead. There was a small piece of blue tape on a tree, a trail sign that had been torn down and was missing the key parts and a  "Trail Closed" sign laying on the ground with no real trail in immediate site. I decided to give it look. What was the harm in checking it out, I thought. After riding a short distance on no real trail, I found some  nice singletrack. I waited on Christopher and Jeff to catch up. We  decided to give it a go and see what was down the trail. After a small  stream crossing, the trail became very interesting. The trail was  undulating and fun. the trail soon ran up a ridge that had steep 10 foot drop offs to each side offering a lot of excitement! I must have been  energized by the fact that I was off a Forest Road, because I  unknowingly dusted Jeff. I stopped at the end of the first ridge trail  to see if my compadres were going to ride a technical little descent off of the ridge. Christopher was pretty close behind me, but where was Jeff? Later than sooner he loped along the ridge with his head down and a big frown on his face. He was sad and pissed that we left him. After a few choice words we worked things out, gave each other a "man hug" and  all was good again

We still didn't know what trail we were on, if it was actually open, where it went, or if it ended anywhere that wouldn't entail a major journey  back to our car or the Touring Center. What we did know was that it was a fun trail and that we were finally on some sweet if not very muddy singletrack! The trail ran along a ridge and was predominately downhill. As the rain picked up we found ourselves riding several technical stream crossings and several more very fun ridge trails that were precariously  positioned above the area where the trail had been. Christopher was  demonstrating his ability to keep us entertained with interesting and  comical crashes. We even began to name them. First was the "Mystery  Wreck"  one where Jeff nor I saw it happen, we rode up to Christopher  standing over and staring with a certain level of anger at his then,  horizontal bike. There was also the "Slo-mo Endo"  an endo that looked  violent but slow; the "FAA Disaster" wreck where his bike shook with the fierceness of a 747 with its wings falling off, as he crossed a very  rocky creek and ended up in it. The most interesting incident, I dubbed  the "Peter Pan". I had stopped at the end of another ridge trail to see  if  my partners were going to ride the steep but short drop at the end.  What I immediately saw, as I turned, was a site I won't soon forget.  With no bike in sight, I saw Christopher flying through the air off the  ridge trail, legs splayed, arms out, with his feet at least 7-8 feet  from the ground! Seems he had slipped on a wet root on the top of the  ridge trail and had to abandon ship! It looked like he was trying to  fly! He landed safely - I laughed for a long time at the visual of him  flying through the air.

It REALLY began to rain soon after we did a little trail maintenance by  fixing the log "steps" that helped with riding up and over a large tree  that was laying over the trail. Did I mention that it REALLY started  raining? It did. If it wasn't muddy enough already, it was getting  worse. The mud actually made the ride that much more fun! As we  continued down, I mentioned that if Props Run was this good, it would be a great trail! I tried to ride through a small tree that covered the  trail. I thought it looked small enough to crumble when I hit it. I was  wrong, the tree won. It grabbed my bike and yanked it out from under me. Somehow I landed on my feet and continued running!

Rain, rain, rain.  it just kept coming! After riding through a picuresque  canyon area. we saw the first signs of civilization when we passed a guy walking up the trail with a fishing pole and then a very nice bridge  over a beautiful creek falling down the mountain. We stopped on the  bridge in the rain to take a few "look how muddy we are" photos. A short distance later we found ourselves at a noticeably lower elevation as we skirted a pretty field to our left. Finally an end of  some sort was in site, a sign in the distance marked the end of our  mystery ride. We took bets as we rode up to it as to what trail we had  been on. It was Props Run after all! It still is a mystery to me as to  why the trailhead of the signature run in Slatyfork is in shambles and  disarray.

We still had one interesting obstacle to overcome before riding the short  distance back down 219 to Elk River Touring Center - crossing the Elk  River. We hoisted our bikes and crossed the thigh-deep waters to the other side. This was a first for all of us and I have to  say, it was quite a cool ending to our interesting ride! We rode past a  lumber-yard and turned right onto 219. Back at ERTC a warm shower, a  "sort-of hot" tub that I sat in for all of 5 chilling seconds, and  several cold beers awaited!

5 Bedroom, 4 bath, private, quiet, mountaintop cabin

Top of the Ridge Cabin, Snowshoe, WV