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Level: Advanced
Length: 37 mi (59.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Other
Elevation: +319/ -323 ft
Total: 22 riders

Mountain Biking Gauley Headwaters

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#14 of 109 mountain bike trails in West Virginia
#1,770 in the world

Busting out into a beautiful meadow, you'll be impressed by the stature of the Monongahela National Forest ("the Mon" in local-speak). Then loosen your jaw and relax your elbows as you dive back into the woods for more fun in the rocks. Stay way behind your saddle as a phenomenal singletrack descent - loca**ay it's the tightest downhill in Pocahontas County - drops you into the Tea Creek campground. You can refill your water bottles and prepare for more mossy, shady, rocky, singletrack en route to the headwaters of Tea Creek. Just when you think you've seen enough rocks and hills, you'll be rewarded with smooth sailing on downhill doubletrack. You'll push yourself hard and you'll wonder how you can feel so tired when you're smiling so wide.

First added by astroman on Oct 6, 2005. Last updated Apr 30, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
The Gauley Headwaters Epic is located in Slatyfork, West Virginia, high in the Allegheny Mountains, about 5 hours southwest of Washington D.C. Snowshoe Mountain resort is nearby, and Marlinton, WV, is 16 miles south.
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Gauley Headwaters Trail map

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Lorene Davidson (on Aug 28, 2016)
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(on Jun 13, 2019)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Slatyfork, West Virginia

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Intermediate | 5 mi
Intermediate | 17 mi
Advanced | 2 mi

Rider questions

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  • sapios

    This area is rugged and remote, but a heck of a lot of fun for the experience rider. Several trail systems in this area that are rocky, full of roots, up hill and awesome down hills, oh yea and several small creek crossings. Tea Creek Mountain trail from the top to Tea Creek campground is a must ride, once you climb to the top from the lookout on the Scenic Hwy it's about a 4 mile screaming down hill. Only negative is this time of year the nettles are bad so stay on the trail.

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  • irishpitbull

    Most places are neglected and impassable. What a shame.

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  • stillfat

    "Gauley Headwaters" is actually a catch all for the trail network containing several trails reviewed individually on this site. Here's a fun, all day loop:

    Park at Tea Creek Campground. Ride up Route 150 to Gauley Mtn. Trail. Don't be put off by this trail, it's not much fun but leads into much better stuff. Take a left on Red Run for more roots than you'll ever see anywhere. Then go left again on Right Fork which will spit you out at the base of Tea Creek Mtn. Trail. Don't stop here because the best is yet to come. Ride this trail, over the boulder garden and down the hill back to start. Epic.

    These trails, rated more objectively aren't really "5 star" in my opinion- I think I'm just overly sentimental. They actually suffer from lack of riding and tend to be overgrown and neglected - they were a lot cleaner in the 90s. You've got to truly love roots, technical boulder gardens, rain and mud to appreciate these trails. Fast and flowy it is not. Once you ride here you'll either say "never again" or you'll be enchanted and make excuses to somehow get back.

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  • Palmeris

    End of August 08/ For our Epic ride, we rode all the way up Mine Rd., took the Gauley Mountain trail down to Scenic Overlook on highway 150. Continued to ride along the Tea Creek Mountain Trail, completing the boulder field and epic downhill. Rode up Bannock Shoals trail to the top. (At this point you can do like I did and ride out on the Fire Rd. 135). The ride continues along the Boundary Trail and ends up back at the Gauley Mountain Trail where you lead back to Mine Rd. and speed down the gravel road to the end. Total distance 57kms or 37 Miles. Extremely Epic Ride!* Review edited 9/18/2008* Review edited 9/18/2008* Review edited 9/18/2008

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  • Outdoornut

    Just rode most the trail in the Epic area in mid June 2008. The trails are not as wet as usual so it would be a good time to get a sample. Red Run is starting to get a bit overgrown but was still ridable. Had a few small trees down and is a rough and tough as usual. Right Fork was overgrown with briers and grass is a few places. Were able to make if through though. Bear Pen, Boundary, Gauley, Bannock Shoals, etc. all clear.

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  • Outdoornut

    The area around Gauley Mtn is awesome. Sooo many trails. Best bet is to stop at Elk River Touring Center off 219 in Slatyfork, 1/4 mi. south of Beckwith Lumber, and purchase the rugged trail map they have there for about $9.00. Has all the trails listed and even some great suggested rides.

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