There’s just something magical about the fall riding season. As the leaves on the trees change color every corner you turn presents a new and exciting backdrop of breathtaking scenery.
A few weeks back DirtTrax was invited to perhaps our favorite riding area in the US, the Hatfield McCoy Trail system to ride Kawasakis all-new 2014 Teryx and stretch across 3 trails over two days of riding.
Our first night’s stay was at the beautiful Twin Falls resort where we got an overview of the vehicle and reviewed our travel plans for the following day. After a solid sleep and plenty of coffee we loaded up our luggage in the shuttle and headed off to the Pinnacle Creek parking lot, which is also the trailhead that would start our adventure and would lead us onto Indian Ridge.
It didnt take long before we were off and rolling at a good clip. We had some photo set-ups on our agenda and the scenery didn’t disappoint. So by around lunchtime, we were finished up “work” and it was time to pack on some miles.
We were happy to see how many large groups we passed on our journey that day. There were pure sport ATVs riding with a mix of side-x-sides and sport utility ATVs, lots of families with children buckled into the backseats of 4-seater RZRs and even a surprising amount of dirt bikes. Clearly HMT has trails that are friendly for all riding types to enjoy.
The last stretch of the day took us from Indian Ridge onto the new Pocahontas Trail. Again, the scenery changed as we rode through thick, black muck and navigated switchbacks and hillsides. The trail lets out in the town of Bramwell. We re-fueled at the busy local gas station, then parked in the middle of town and walked down to The Corner Shop for some homemade ice-cream, which even though we were freezing, was delicious.
Bramwell is about as ATV friendly as a town can get. A sign in one storefront window read, “ATV Riders are most welcome! What’s a little dirt among friends?!” and there were parked ATVs lining the streets. It’s exciting to see the economic impact ATVers can have on a small community. The Corner Shop had been kept busy all day serving hot meals to hungry patrons and business was booming. More towns could learn from this lesson and open trails that lead into their towns.
We stayed at The Hampton Inn in Princeton, WV that night, which is less than a half hour drive from Bramwell and then loaded up in the shuttle bright and early and drove back to Bramwell to begin day two, which would take us from Pocahontas, to Indian Ridge and finally ending where we started on PInnacle Creek.
To our surprise, it was cold enough to snow the night before and we were met with a good two inches of white covering just about everything that morning. The solution was to ride fast and let the adrenaline keep us warm.
There was one point on the Pocahontas trail where the snow had weighed down the colorful leafy branches along the trail and the sun finally crept out from behind the clouds and shone through the trees. It was so majestic we actually had to stop for a minute and just look. Then we snapped back to reality and floored it again. Simply put, it was an awesome day.
We rode 65 miles on day two for a total of 120 miles over two days. We encountered a variety of scenery from green pines to colorful fall leaves, rode in all conditions including rain, snow, mud and frigid temps. We drove up slippery hillsides and down black diamond slopes and it was a memorable adventure that well keep for a lifetime.