Fall in the Heart of Appalachia is the perfect time for outdoor exploration and adventure. The picturesque change of seasons colors are spectacular and the weather is at its best for hiking, biking, off-roading, bouldering and whitewater rafting. Far southwestern Virginia is an outdoor adventureland year-round, but autumn invigorates the senses like no other time of year.
All five of Spearhead Trails ATV/OHV trail systems are now mountain biking and hiking accessible, opening up a whole new world of opportunities for unmotorized adrenaline boosting excitement.
Heart of Appalachia’s own, Cody Howell, and his friends, Cody and Crystal, recently took a few hours off to explore Spearhead’s Original Pocahontas (OP) trails on their mountain bikes. We thought we’d share a bit of their ride.
Starting above Pocahontas, VA on Peeled Chestnut Mountain, Cody and friends rode the OP Trails, starting at trail “37” and ending at “1” in Pocahontas. Their ride totaled 6.5 miles taking 2 hours and 10 minutes. From their starting point, the ride was “70 percent downhill, met with short uphills to break up the monotony.” With a huge grin, Cody went on to say, “[The trail] …offers smooth riding with up to 25 mph, mixed with challenging sections to keep you truly engaged. Leaves everywhere – colors, colors, colors!”
They discovered two fabulous overlooks on their journey and even made a new friend along the way. Cody explained that at one of the overlooks, they were “accompanied by a white horse named Cooper” that enjoyed a couple of apples they treated him with. Evidently, Cooper enjoys the views and the visitors! Cody recalled meeting him earlier in the month while he was ATVing the same trail. Cooper’s not shy!
To put Cody’s ride into perspective, The OP has 67 miles of trails that range from “green” to “blue” and “black” (rated originally for motorized ATV’s; green being easy, blue being intermediate, and black for experts), with an expansion of 30 more in the near future. So, you can ride for days without backtracking!
At the end of the day you can kick back and relax in a cabin or campground if your exploration calls you to stay more than a day! Consider checking into the Real McCoy Cabins in Pocahontas at the trailhead, where you can also get a hot homestyle meal and supplies at their Country Kitchen and store. In Boissevain at the OP’s second trailhead, enjoy a stay at the Trailhead ATV Resort. And, we’d be remiss if we didn’t encourage you to visit the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine while there. Pocahontas has a rich coal mining history considering these mines were at the epicenter of the 19th century coal boom that fueled two world wars and ignited the industrial revolution!
We hope you enjoyed this brief look into mountain biking Spearhead’s Original Pocahontas Trail. We didn’t want to give away too much… you need to experience it for yourself. We will be sharing more of Cody’s adventures from time to time so give @VisitHeartOfAppalachia a like on Facebook to stay up to date.
We invite you to experience all that the Heart of Appalachia outdoors has to offer. For more hiking and mountain biking opportunities region-wide, visit our website, give us a call at (276) 762-0011, or stop in at our Visitors Center in St. Paul, VA. We’ll get you headed in the right direction for a day, weekend, a week or more full of outdoor exploration and heart-pumping adventure! Save HeartOfAppalachia.com in your favorites and visit often for new events, activities, and recreational opportunities. For details and maps of Spearhead Trails trail systems, visit SpearheadTrails.com.
Don’t wait, it’s Fall Y’all!
Cody is a local resident of Tazewell County, US Navy Veteran, member of the Heart of Appalachia Board of Directors representing Tazewell County, Chairman of the Tazewell County Tourism Committee, and member of the trail maintenance team of the Spearhead Trails organization. He has a love for and great respect for our natural resources, is an avid steward of these treasures and… an adrenaline seeking outdoor adventurer.
“You’re never too old to play outside!” ~ Cody Howell