The Hatfield McCoy Trails
Your vacation dollars are important (and usually in short supply) so you need to spend them wisely and plan accordingly. If you're an off-road rider, discovering a vacation destination that includes dirt bikes and ATVs is almost as good as finding out your favorite recently-deceased aunt left you some Berkshire Hathaway stock. Enter the Hatfield McCoy Trails in West Virginia. You probably won't bump into Warren Buffet out on the trails, but you're going to have so much fun that you're not going to care.
The Hatfield McCoy (HM) Trail System in southern West Virginia is an off-road utopia for ATV and dirt bike riders. There are over 600 miles of trails spread out across seven trail systems, with more trails planned for the future. The trails range from scenic mountain views to tight and twisting trails, and they offer something for every rider, beginner to advanced. Many trails connect to towns where you can ride your ATV or dirt bike right into town to get something to eat, re-fuel your machine, and chat with the locals.
The HM trails officially opened in October 2000 with some 300 miles of trails and it has grown to include over 600 miles of trails, making it the second largest off-highway vehicle trail in the country, second only to the Paiute ATV trails in central Utah (roughly 2,000 miles of trails). Although the Paiute trails have more mileage, most of the trails are only open certain months of the year while the HM trail system is open all year.
Trail officials have done a great job of carving out a wide variety of trails for each trail system, and although all the trails offer each type of trail (easy to extremely difficult), some have a higher ratio of a particular type of trail. For example, the Bearwallow trail system, which is one of the larger trail systems, is known for its difficult single track and having the most miles of difficult level trails, so if you're an experienced rider it might be high on your list of trails to ride. Little Coal trails, which is most commonly known for its high percentage of green (easiest) level trails might be a good place for beginners. All the trails are well sign-posted and patrolled by Trail Rangers.
The trails are color-coded by degree of difficulty and experience level needed, very similar to ski trails. The trails are rated easy (green), more difficult (blue), most difficult (black), and extremely difficult (black/red). The orange dirt bike trails (single track) are divided into more difficult and most difficult and are for experienced riders only. Be sure to check the HM website for updated info and to get more details about each trail system, trail rules, where to buy permits, as well as more info about the surrounding area attractions and accommodations. You can click on any of the small logos on the page to get an idea of the basics of each trail. Some are more dirt bike oriented than others.
Whether it's a family vacation, or a group of off-road friends, spending time at the Hatfield McCoy trails should bring a smile to all (even if you didn't get the Berkshire-Hathaway shares).
Here's a link to the West Virginia .gov site. (this should point you in the right direction for more tourism info).
The zip code for the Hatfield McCoy Trails office is 25632
Here's a link to the Hatfield McCoy Trails website