Minggu, 09 Juni 2013

An Off-Road Rider's Vacation Destination: The Hatfield McCoy Trails (A Dirt Bike/ATV Utopia)

Your vacation dollars are important (and usually in short supply) so you need to spend them wisely and plan accordingly. If you're an off-road rider, discovering a vacation destination that includes dirt bikes and ATVs is almost as good as finding out your favorite recently-deceased aunt left you some Berkshire Hathaway stock. Enter the Hatfield McCoy Trail System in West Virginia. You probably won't bump into Warren Buffet, but you're going to have so much fun that you're not going to care.
The Hatfield McCoy (HM) Trail System in southern West Virginia is an off-road utopia for ATV and dirt bike riders. There are over 600 miles of byways spread out across seven off-road systems, with more trails planned for the future. They range from scenic mountain views to tight and twisting pathways, and they offer something for every rider, beginner to advanced. Many paths connect to communities where you can ride your ATV or dirt bike right into town to get something to eat, re-fuel your machine and chat with the locals.
Hatfield McCoy officially opened in October 2000 with some 300 miles of trails. In 2002 another 100 miles were added, and an additional 100 miles in 2004, bringing the total to 500 miles. The Pocahontas Trail opened in 2012 and although it's only 57 miles, it offers a direct connection to two other routes (Indian Ridge and Pinnacle Creek) bringing the total rideable trails to over 600 miles, making it the second largest off-highway vehicle trail in the country, second only to the Paiute ATV trails in central Utah (roughly 2,000 miles). Although Paiute has more mileage, most of the routes are only open certain months of the year while the HM system is open all year.
Officials have done a great job of carving out a wide variety of trails for each off-road footprint and although all the trails offer each type of byway (easy to extremely difficult), some have a higher ratio of a particular type of trail. For example, Bearwallow, which is one of the larger trail systems of the HM Trails, is known for its difficult single track and having the most miles of difficult level trails, so if you're an experienced rider it might be high on your list of trails to ride.
The opposite side of the coin has Little Coal, which is most commonly known for its high percentage of green (easiest) level trails. Little Coal is also located near family summer activities. All the routes are well sign- posted and patrolled by Trail Rangers (who are graduates of the West Virginia State Police!).
The routes are color-coded by degree of difficulty and experience level needed, very similar to ski trails. The trails are rated easy (green), more difficult (blue), most difficult (black), and extreme difficult (black/red). The orange dirt bike trails (single track) are divided into more difficult and most difficult and are for experienced riders only. Be sure to contact the HM website for updated info and to get more details about each trail system, trail rules, where to buy permits, as well as more info about the surrounding area attractions and accommodations.
Whether it's a family vacation, or a group of off-road friends, spending time at the HM trails should bring a smile to all (even if you didn't get the Berkshire-Hathaway shares). We're only passing through - get out there and enjoy the Great Outdoors.
Thanks for taking the time to read the article - I hope it helps to bring joy to you and your family!
Stop by my website anytime at http://www.dirtbikes101.com

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