The old-school, East Coast riding that make the trails at Slatyfork famous more than two decades ago are back with an expanded race weekend at the Pocahontas Trails in West Virginia. The new, three-day format features a short track race, an XC race and an enduro August 22-24.
The weekend of racing showcases what the Slatyfork trails are all about: scenic singletrack, challenging rock gardens, 100-year-old railroad grades, spruce forests and spectacular vistas.
The Friday night short track event is fun for both riders and spectators, as the course features a mix of gravel road and singletrack with plenty of room for passing. The timed event will give the win to the rider with the most laps.
On Saturday the classic WVMBA Ultra Race tackles 25k or 50k of IMBA Epic trails with thousands of hours of work in the past few years to get them in perfect shape. Dinner and music on Saturday night will distract participants from their sore muscles.
The Pocahontas Trails were once one of the key destinations for riding on the East Coast, but the emergence of the downhill scene left the XC trails abandoned and neglected. It was slowly being reclaimed by the mountain landscape.
Then in May 2013, a group of like-minded trail junkies decided the time had come to revitalize the vast network of trails in the Monongahela National Forest, and the Pocahontas Trail Club was formed. In its first year, already hundred of miles of trail have been revitalized and ready for visitors.
In an effort to build better trail maintenance skills for its members, the club patterned with the IMBA Trail Care Crew for a three-day weekend of classroom and trail training. Eventually the event transformed into the West Virginia Trail Symposium, an opportunity for professional trail advocates, volunteers and users to network and share skills for long-term preservation.
The Symposium was held May 1-4 at the Elk River Touring Center in Slayfork, West Virginia. Respresentitives from the federal, state and county levels were in attendance, along with the president of the West Virginia Mountain Bike Association, staff members from Showshoe’s Mountain Bike Park crew, and local members of the community.
You might be thinking the trails are all about mountain biking, but the area has a wealth of opportunities for hiking, camping, caving, fishing and cruising the local rivers.
For more information on the trails, visit pocahontastrails.com.