December 15, 2015
I grew up within 10 miles of this park. I've been riding this loop and others in the area since I was on a cheap huffy at 12yo; and I love it just as much now. The lake pushed out many old WV frontier homesteads, and a good deal of evidence of this is visible if you keep your head on a swivel.
I prefer to ride counter clockwise. You enjoy the rocky, lake side, technical riding first, then enjoy a good long climb to the ridge (decide if you're done at the top lol) turn left and enjoy almost exclusive smooth DH grades back to the trail head, or split off halfway for another trip around the loop.
This trail can be wet, is rooty, and has some significant (I wouldn't say advanced and I ride a 26" HT) rock gardens. But, that is Appalachian mountain biking, don't come to Appalachia looking for smooth polished trails, it's just not what we do. This trip is absolutely worth it if you're even remotely in the area.