Adventures With Cody – Mountain Biking The “OP”

Cody Howell gives a glimpse at Mountain Biking Spearhead Trails Original Pocahontas Trail System...

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.

Mountain Biking Spearhead Trails OP trail system

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!”

Cody and Cooper the Horse on Spearhead Trails OP trailThey 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 in your favorites and visit often for new events, activities, and recreational opportunities. For details and maps of Spearhead Trails trail systems, visit

Don’t wait, it’s Fall Y’all!    

Cody enjoying the sunset on Spearhead Trails OP trail.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






A Call to Fish To Your Heart’s Content

According to our calendar, Saturday, September 23 is National Hunting and Fishing Day...

You know what that means around our corner of the world? A reason (in case you need one) to go fishing! And there’s plenty of fishing holes to satisfy your angler itch in the Heart of Appalachia! Among the pristine waters of the Appalachian Mountains, you’ll find an impressive variety of fish against stunning scenic […]

Read More

Take The Survey and Win!

Take the Spearhead Trails Survey and be entered to win a 2-Night Cabin Stay and an Annual Trail Permit

Have you visited one or more Spearhead Trails in the last couple of years? If so, we need your feedback. Those who complete a survey within the next 7 days will be entered into a drawing for a FREE ANNUAL PERMIT AND A 2-NIGHT CABIN STAY!  Don’t wait, enter today. Please go to this link […]

Read More

Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama

2017 Marks the 54th Consecutive Season Running!

The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, the official outdoor drama of the Commonwealth of Virginia and member of The Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail, opened for the 54th consecutive season on Thursday, June 29, 2017. Interwoven with beautiful and yet haunting folk music, the drama is performed live before a magnificent 72-foot panoramic painting of […]

Read More

Tastes of the Clinch

Nearly sixty locally owned restaurants range from iconic hamburger stands to Appalachian regional dining

The Clinch River Valley, home to one of the most biodiverse river systems in North America, is also the setting for a wide range of authentic local dining experiences!  In southwestern Virginia, the Clinch River and its tributaries flow from Tazewell, VA to the TN state line, and there are nearly 60 locally owned eateries along or […]

Read More

Music Trail Mix – Tyler Hughes & Sam Gleaves

Blue Ridge Outdoors - Dave Stallard Chats With A Young Old Friend

Contributed by Dave Stallard, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine It’s always fun to say you knew a musician way back when. Well, I knew old time multi-instrumentalist Tyler Hughes way back when. Like, really way back when. Like, middle school way back when. Hughes hails from the town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, which is also home […]

Read More

Music Trail Mix – Gathering in the Gap

An up close and personal interview with Dave Eggar

Contributed by Dave Stallard/Blue Ridge Outdoors Dave Eggar embodies the most powerful combination of brilliance and eclecticism that I have ever witnessed in a musician.  Over the last several years, I have seen Eggar perform live many times, from weddings to clubs to festivals, and he is just as comfortable playing Bach on his cello […]

Read More

Marina Matters

New Owners Do New Things At Flannagan!

Reprinted with Permission from The Dickenson Star Article and Photos by Jenay Tate, Editor and Publisher June 21, 2017 CLINTWOOD — In operation since 1964, the marina on Flannagan Lake turns another page in history as it welcomes the summer season under new ownership. On Friday, almost all of the 99 boat slips at Flannagan […]

Read More

Music Trail Mix – Ralph Stanley Museum

Blue Ridge Outdoors - Dave Stallard Visits the Ralph Stanley Museum

Contributed by Dave Stallard – April 17, 2017 After leaving Charlottesville in 2004 and moving to the mountains of Southwest Virginia, I taught in a school located just miles from hallowed ground in the bluegrass world. Ralph Stanley, bluegrass icon and patriarch, was born and raised in Dickenson County. With his brother Carter, in The Stanley […]

Read More

Music Trail Mix – Carter Family Fold

Blue Ridge Outdoors - Dave Stallard Interviews Granddaughter of AP Carter

Contributed by Dave Stallard, March 22, 2017 I have lived in the mountains of Southwest Virginia for thirteen years now. For much of that time, I have dabbled in both festival promotion and music writing, and a significant part of my focus in both has been on Appalachian folk music and bluegrass. So, you can imagine my shame […]

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest