2024 Challenge at Mountwood set for Sunday, April 21! More details to come!
The Expert, Sport and Beginner courses.
Racing starts at Noon.
Expert ~20 miles 2600 Feet elevation gain
Sport ~14 miles 1750 Feet elevation gain
Beginner ~7.1 miles 900 Feet elevation gain
Mountwood Park is located approximately 12 miles east of Parkersburg, WV on US 50. The 2600-acre park offers 30+ miles of trail, most of which is singletrack. If you’ve ridden at Mountwood, you know that these are some of the most well-maintained trails in the state. The trails are well packed and hold up great no matter the weather. Check the website for cabins, campsites, and more info.
Will start from the marina parking lot. Riders proceed up the road toward the sewage treatment plant where they will go left on Walter Taitt Trail (wide gravel forest road). Riders will follow Walter Taitt Trail approximately 1.8 miles almost to the end of Walter Taitt Trail where they will go left onto the connector trail to Caretaker Trail. Within 75 feet riders go left on Caretaker Trail and ride back toward 4 Corners. At 4 Corners, riders will take slight right up Minnehaha Trail.
Riders follow Minnehaha Trail all the way to the top of the hill. When riders enter the power line for the second time onto Power Line Trail they will go to the right (nearly straight through) and follow Power Line Trail back toward 4 Corners again. Note to rider: Keep your speed through the big dip in the hill and climb the next grade, there you will go left onto an old portion of Mansion Trail and then within 200 feet will go left again and onto Hunters Roost Trail where they will follow Hunters Roost Trail to Power Line Trail. Beginner Split Ahead: All Sport and Expert classes will stay right at the intersection of Haystack Trail (Signs Posted) and stay on Power Line to White Oak Ridge Trail (see below).
Beginners: Will go left onto Haystack Trail, take Haystack Trail to a connector to Log Jam Trail (will be marked) where riders will go left. Log Jam will meet Powerline Trail in about 1⁄4 mile at intersection where the trail climbs back toward Minnehaha. Riders will bypass Minnehaha and follow Collarbone Cutoff Trail to Collar Bone Trail. Nearing the end of Collar Bone Trail riders will go left on a connector and drop onto the new NICA “Beginner A” trail. Follow this trail and it will cross Walter Taitt (Gravel) Trail. Stay on the new NICA trail “Beginner B”, after crossing Taitt, till shortly after big metal bridge. When you enter Walter Taitt Trail the 2nd time stay left and follow Taitt Trail to the blacktop and then back to the parking lot on the blacktop road you started on.
About 7.1 Miles 900 Feet elevation gain.
Sport and Expert: After going past power substation, riders will cross Volcano Road onto White Oak Ridge Trail. Follow White Oak Ridge Trail to the blacktop road and cross onto Gary's Grind. Follow Gary’s Grind to the new Pumphouse Trail where you will go left onto Pumphouse. (Use Caution – Steep Sharp Turns). Near the bottom of Pumphouse there is a new connector trail to the right. Take that trail until you come out on Gary’s Grind trail and go right again. Follow Gary’s Grind to Little Gnarly and go left up Little Gnarly. At the top of Little Gnarly, go right on the new Sand Hill Trail and follow it 2.2 miles to its end where you go right onto Savannah Around the Moon. After going right, ride through the old picnic area and start climbing up through the field on an elevated boardwalk. At the top of the hill the trail will go to the right. Riders go across the top and down off the Moon back into the woods following Savannah Around the Moon. It drops down through a couple switchbacks with optional routes. After a short steep section with switchbacks, will go right onto Trip To The Moon Trail. Riders follow Trip to the Moon Trail to a new connector trail on the right that leads to Copperhead Trail where you will complete Copperhead Loop. Near the end of the Copperhead downhill watch for the Course Split. (Copperhead at Ratsnake).
Sport Classes: Will take a hard left, staying on Copperhead, and follow it out to the road near the Marina Parking Lot. Go across the road into the parking lot (be careful of vehicle traffic) segment ends before you cross the road. Total approx. About 14 miles and 1750 feet elevation gain.
Expert Classes: Experts will go right at the course split onto Rat Snake Trail and ride around to the gravel road that comes out on Volcano Road near the old park maintenance building. Proceed right on Volcano Road and go across the auto bridge and turn immediately left onto the blacktop road that leads past the torpedo. Follow the blacktop left through the parking lot and past the lake house rental and gate onto the gravel road (Lake Trail).
Riders will then turn immediately right onto Tecumseh Trail until it comes back out on Lake Trail. Go straight toward the yellow gate and then make a hard right onto rocky singletrack just before the yellow gate and go across the wooden bridge and again follow Lake Trail toward the dam to the first entrance of Medicine Man Trail.
Take the Medicine Man trail entrance right up a long climb and follow it all the way around. At the intersection with Tomahawk trail, riders will go right off Medicine Man (nearly straight through) and into two tight downhill switchbacks.
Riders will then stay left and continue on Tomahawk across the creek and follow Tomahawk across the wooden Walker Creek bridge to its terminus at the top of the southern end of the Mountwood Lake dam. From there, follow the rerouted Lake Trail, now scenically perched above the lake itself, to the large rock outcrop below the power line right-of-way.
Ribbons and signs will direct riders from this point to the southernmost entrance of the newly completed Boot Bridge Trail. (Prepare for fun.) Alternately technical and flowing, Boot Bridge Trail traverses two steep, rocky ravines and weaves in and out of rock formations along its 1.9-mile course. (Some ducking for taller riders may be required where the trail goes beneath rock overhangs.)
Riders will then exit at the northernmost entrance of Boot Bridge Trail back onto the Lake Trail. This will lead to the park’s waste treatment facility and blacktop. From there, follow the paved road back to the marina parking lot and then follow ribbons, cones and signs to the finish line at Carson Station.
Total course length is approximately 20.5 miles, with roughly 2,600 feet of elevation gain.