Greenbrier River Trail (North Half)
Hillsboro, WV to Cass, WV
36 Miles (72 Miles Round Trip).
A 380 feet climb to Cass over 32 miles.
Flat railroad grade (0.2%).
Worst Grade: About 3 Percent near Cass.
Number of intersections: 14.
Number of people passed on the trail: 31.
Pros: A very quiet ride with hardly any people traffic. The 77 mile long unpaved trail has several designated biker/hiker camp sites. Drinking water pumps and restrooms are conveniently located along the trail. Trails goes through some very remote areas teeming with wildlife, including bear which is why campsites have bear-proof garbage receptacles. There is a coal fired train in Cass which you can take a ride on. A staff of 4 people maintain this trail and considering the length, they do a good job. Did not see a single piece of litter. Bathrooms were clean and had toilet paper.
Cons: A lot of dense canopy meaning the sun remains hidden much of the trip and you can't see the surrounding mountains or Greenbrier River. The trail is mostly two single tracks instead of being a wide trail. This means having to keep the tires confined to about a 2 foot area lest you run off into the grass. If you are claustrophobic, there is a tunnel on this trail. If you are afraid of bear, this trail is not for you.
Hindsight: 39 degrees at the start. Brrr. Trail book did not mention how much wildlife you can see along this trail. Had I known I would have brought a better camera instead of a point and shoot. How the deer and bear move effortlessly up into the rugged mountainous terrain is remarkable. This was about the best trail ride I've ever been on.
Ratings: (1-5 scale, 5 being best)
Trail: 4 (Lots of smooth, a little bumpy.)
Critters: 5 (First wild bear I've ever seen on a bicycle ride. Also saw about 150 deer seen in dozens of different places.)
Scenery: 3 (Not much change in scenery.)