This route is brought to you by Kymberly Byers, a self proclaimed “vagabond bikepacker” whose passion is to ride the back roads to the roads less traveled. Photo Credits: Kymberly Byers
The whole route has a feeling of remoteness and riding along the Shaver's Fork River is particularly tranquil.
The resupply point is right in the middle of the route which is quite convenient.
The most challenging and difficult terrain of this route is near the beginning, so after that, you can really settle in, relax and enjoy all of the rest!
Miles 9 through 10 are very steep with grades around 20%. (So likely a hike-a-bike situation.)
Miles 10 through 11 are a rough, rocky and steep down hill section. It is bikeable but you'll certainly have to use caution.
The suspension bridge at mile 30.7 has an air of sketchiness. (Note the sign on the bridge about the lack of maintenance.) This bridge is the only option across without wading or fording the river. When I crossed the bridge in March 2021 it appears to be intact and safe enough for my personal standards.
Do this ride if you want a medium length route in West Virginia without thousands and thousands of feet of elevation gain. Don't worry though - the steep rocky climb and descent at mile 9 - 11 ensure that you will feel as if you have earned this ride!
The town of Parsons at mile 34 has multiple resupply/eating/bathroom options.
The return to Elkins is along the Allegany Highlands trail which has a very remote feel.
This route was lovely when it was done in March, but West Virginia is particularly beautiful when the trees are changing. Do this route in the Fall for even more spectacular scenery!
Park at the Allegany Highlands trailhead in Elkins which has parking.
Kymberly Byers is a self proclaimed “vagabond bikepacker” whose passion is to ride the back roads to the road less traveled.
Her current mailing address is in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but she gets around quite a bit and who knows where she’ll land next!
Kymberly began bikepacking in 2017 and has been doing multiple trips a year since. In 2020, She bikepacked 100 consecutive days from Fort Wayne Indiana to the Headwaters of the Mississippi to the Badlands, Black Hills, Devils Tower, over the Bighorn mountains, to Yellowstone, made a lap around the Tetons and many points beyond. She also completed smaller trips along the Gulf coast, Texas, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and more- 26 states in 2020 alone!
You can learn more about Kymberly and her 2020 bikpacking trip on the Girls Gone Gravel Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/girlsgonegravel/rebroadcast-strangers-self-worth-with-kymberly-byers-episode-25
“Basically, I just want to ride and experience the vast beauty of our earth. If I can share my experiences, then all the better.”