Riding mountain bikes in the “Mountain State” of West Virginia is nothing short of challenging.  My wife asked me, after my recent trip,  how it went and I said, “tougher every year, dear.” 

The famous Moon Rocks at Davis, WV, put the “technical” in single-track. Not related to the rocks brought back by Apollo 11, but close. Credit: Pat McCloskey

Riding in Davis, WV, is always fun but you better bring your “A” game because currently there are mostly expert black diamond and double black diamond trails that are well marked and give you plenty of notice.  Not to mention that it rained six inches the night before we got there, according to local legend and mountain bike instructor Sue Haywood.

Davis is making an effort— along with the neighboring town of Thomas—to provide some entry level trails to boost tourism, but the folks who come to Davis know exactly what they are getting. 

If you go to MTB Project and look up :Moon Rocks” and “Hoo Doo Rocks”, you will be led to a post and a map that can guide you from the back end of the Shop N Save in town.  Also a wise move to perhaps check with the guys at Blackwater Bikes.  They can provide sales and service because you will surely need service on your bike if you ride in Davis.  

One of the more interesting places that you  will see if you ride the suggested route is the Moon Rocks.  This outcropping of 480 million year old sandstone is both scenic, unusual, and has sprung up out of the local bogs to provide a challenge to hikers, mountain bikers, and motorcycle enthusiasts. 

The Moon Rocks were included in the Blackwater 100—a classic motorcycle enduro race— and the 24 Hours of Canaan Mountain Bike Race created by Davis resident Laird Knight.  I can remember competing in the second 24 Hours of Canaan back in ’94 and doing my night lap at 4:00 AM. 

The Moon Rocks were not only a challenge but an eerie sight under the moonlight of the West Virginia skies.  In any event, after all these years, I was riding behind a younger guy this past weekend and after I told him I had socks older than him and that I was applying for Medicare this year, he asked me about the old days and how the trails measured up today.  I told him it was still the same challenging track that I always remembered and with the wet roots, deep mud puddles and rivers of water in the ditches that made up some of the trail system, it was still the usual challenging West Virginia riding.  Memories are often embellished, too, as I regaled him with tales of the race thinking to myself, “the older I get, the better I was.” 

It is never a true trip to the Mountain State if you don’t take in some genuine bluegrass music. Our band of aging warriors made our way to the Purple Fiddle to see a band from North Carolina called MIPSO.  After snarfing home made veggie burgers and quaffing local craft beers, we listened to MIPSO and enjoyed some of the mountain music that makes this area of the country so special. 

I don’t mean to scare you away from visiting Davis and the other local attractions like Blackwater Falls State Park and Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center. There are nice cross country ski trails nearby as well as alpine skiing at Canaan Valley Ski Area located adjacent to the conference center.  Tourism is king in this area and there are many sights and places to see, but if you want to mountain bike, and you are a good rider, these are some of the most scenic and challenging trails you will ever ride.

  Check out the video below for a Moon Rocks reveal.

Ride the Moon Rocks with this video from Blackwater Bikes.

One Comment

  1. Rock on Pat

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