The Mileage and Ride Time (RT) figures were
taken from my bike computer. Ride Time is just the|
time spent actually moving. Your total trip time will be higher. There are two photos with the each "Mile and RT" listing.
Usually the first photo is the view up the trail and the second is the view looking back. Two views for the price of one.
Mile: 0 RT 0:0The ride begins just off of Forest Road
19 at the gate across Forest Road 70.
Click here for parking directions.
On the other side of FR 19 you can see|
this sign which marks the boundary of
Dolly Sods Wilderness. Bikes are not
permitted in the wilderness and this
ride does not cross that boundary.
Warning - UXB|
This area was used for artillery
practice during WWII. Unexploded
ordnance is still found on occasion. It
shouldn't be a problem with this ride
but like the sign reads "DO NOT TOUCH".
On the other side of the gate are these
Forest Service signs and map. Be sure to
check them out before starting.
Let's get going. Start coasting downhill
on Forest Road 70.
Mile: 1 RT :07Forest Road 70
Mile: 1.6South Prong Trail
Mile: 2 RT :17Forest Road 70
Mile: 3 RT :27Forest Road 70
Mile: 3Boars Nest Trail
It was on this trail that autistic hiker
Jacob Allen became separated from his
family on 10/15/2007. He was lost for
four days before being found unharmed
and in remarkably good shape.
Funny coincidence. The day he went
missing I was hiking the next
Picture is of the National Guard
helicopter heading to Dolly Sods to join
in on the search that day. It's flying
past New Creek Mountain.
Mile: 3.4Second Forest Road gate
This second gate marks the end of FR 70.
Just the other side of the gate is the
pipeline right of way.
During hunting season the first gate is
opened and this gate is closed. This
second photo was taken at the end of
April with snow still evident.
Mile: 3.4Gas Pipeline Right Of Way
This is the bottom of the South Fork
Red Creek Valley. The right of way
crosses the valley running roughly
northwest to southeast. Roaring Plains
is over 200 feet higher on the left
and Flatrock Plains on the right.
First photo is the view left
Second photo is the view right
The ride continues to the left. This next section is the hardest part of the
entire ride. It is a single track that goes up the right of way. There are a series of
terraces that direct water across the right of way so it doesn't drain
straight down the hill. Expect it to be wet and muddy on the uphill side of each
of these terraces. Because of this I recommend not attempting this ride right
after it has rained, unless you like it really muddy.
Halfway up the hill.
On the way up the hill you'll see
several of these posts. The buried
cables are used to monitor the
underground gas line you are biking
Mile: 4 RT :45Pipeline Right Of Way
Right at the crest of the hill.
Looking back you can see Flatrock
Plains on the other side of the valley.
You can just see the antenna in the
distance. We'll be getting a closer
look at it later in the ride.
Mile: 4.1This is Roaring Plains.
"The Roaring Plains and Flatrock Plains
area comprises the highest plateaus of
their size in the Eastern United States."
Mile: 4.3Continental Divide
You are now on the Eastern Continental
Divide. All the water that falls in
front of you will drain to the Chesapeake
Bay while behind you everything flows
to the Gulf Of Mexico. Along here the
Continental Divide also marks the border
between Randolph and Pendleton Counties.
Pendleton County lies ahead.
Mile: 4.4Eastern Edge Of Roaring Plains
You are looking over the Allegheny
Front towards North Fork Mountain as
the right of way continues down
I would have include a trip out to the
next ridgeline in this ride but the
ground in the middle is so wet and
marshy that no bike riding is possible.
Now that I've suggested you not to go farther
out the pipeline I'll show you what
you'll see in case you do. Since this
is a side trip, the distance out and back
isn't included in the 13.4 mile total
trip length for this ride.
The first photo is looking back at the
Roaring Plains from the low point
between there and the ridgeline.
You can see how wet and marshy it is.
The second photo is your view after you
hit the marshy part and fall over.
You might not get the same view but
I sure did.
Here is the view from the far ridgeline
Across the valley is North Fork Mountain.
From the tracks on the right of way it
looks like 4x4s must frequently come up
to this point from below.
The second photo is the view back to
Roaring Plains. It's a little under a
This ridgeline marks the edge of
Monongahela National Forest.
|The view from the ridgeline.|
|This is the end of the side trip.|
Back on the "official" ride.
We are at the eastern edge of Roaring
Plains. Look to your left and you'll
see a path leading from the right of way
to the east. The path might not be
obvious in the photos but it's easy to
see when you're there.
Mile: 4.6Trail Split
Look for the trail to split at these
trees. Go right.
In the second photo you can see the
same spot in April. This is a well worn
|360 degree view of Roaring Plains|
Mile: 4.8East end Of the "T"
Continue out the trail and it will lead to the eastern edge of Roaring Plains
where there is a bit of a overlook. There is something else here so you'll know
when you have reached this point.
This is the end of the first leg of the Two Plains "T".
You are looking over the North Fork South Branch Potomac River Valley with
the North Fork Mountain on the other side.
These two photos were taken while
standing at the same spot as the
above photo. The difference is that
these photos were taken in April so
the leaves aren't in the way.
If you look due south from this
point you can see Seneca Rocks in the
The second photo is a zoomed version of
the first. You can see the Rocks in the
center of the photo.
As seen from the
Seneca Rocks Discovery Center.
If you want you can CAREFULLY
climb to the top of Seneca Rocks
|Here's the view from on top of Seneca Rocks.|
From Seneca Rocks you can see where
this Roaring Plains overlook is by
facing north like in the first photo.
Follow the pipeline right of way as it
snakes up Smith Mountain.
In the second zoomed photo follow
the pipeline as it runs up the
Allegheny Front to the ridgeline then
it goes left as it crosses over Roaring
Plains. The overlook is just to the
right. Of course it's eight miles away
so it might be hard to see.
Back at the overlook. Turn around and
head back the way we came.
Mile: 5 RT 1:00Roaring Plains
Retracing our path.
Mile: 5.4Back onto the right of way.
Cross back over the Continental Divide
at mile 5.6.
Mile: 5.8 RT 1:10Back at the western edge of Roaring
Plains. Looking across the South Fork
Red Creek valley.
Mile: 6 RT 1:13Pipeline Right Of Way
Mile: 6.4 RT 1:18South Fork Red Creek Valley
Back at the bottom of the valley.
Before heading up the other side let's
take a quick look around.
This seems to be a favorite spot
for butterflies. Usually see a
rabble of butterflies here.
You'll see piles of limestone next to
the South Fork Red Creek. The limestone
is used to counteract the effects of
acid rain. Without treatment the pH of
the water would drop enough to negatively
affect the fish and insects that live
in the creek.
|Time to head up the other side of
the valley. This side will be easier
since there is an access road used to
reach the microwave antenna we
previously saw from Roaring Plains.
Mile: 7 RT 1:29Flatrock Plains
Reached the top of the hill and now on
Flatrock Plains. Second photos is a look
back across the valley towards Roaring
Mile: 7.6Electric Line
Sign of civilization. Power line to the
microwave tower. The road goes left
but we go straight ahead keeping on the
right of way.
You can see the antenna out the road to
the left. We'll check it out on the way
Mile: 8 RT 1:37Western Edge of Flatrock Plains
Looking down into the Red Creek Valley.
Laneville is directly below this point.
Looking across the valley you can see|
the pipeline right of way continuing
up Cabin Mountain. Canaan Valley is on
the other side of Cabin Mountain.
This is the western end of the "T".|
We'll go no farther out the right of
way. From here turn around and head
back the way we just came. There is one
more place to visit.
Mile: 8.3Road to Antenna
Head back up the right of way and turn
right onto antenna access road.
If you're ever up here on a cloudy day
it looks like this.
|Looks like the antenna company was
expecting some walk-up business.
There's a sign advertising tower space
When you're walking around the control
building, be careful where you step.
Snake in the grass.
From here we are going retrace our route
back to the beginning of the ride. It's
mostly downhill so the trip back will go
Mile: 9 RT 1:48Tower Access Road
Mile: 9.4Eastern Edge of Flatrock Plains
Mile: 10 RT 1:57Back at the bottom of the valley
We are now facing Forest Road 70.
Mile: 11 RT 2:03Forest Road 70
Mile: 12 RT 2:08Forest Road 70
Mile: 13 RT 2:14Forest Road 70
Mile: 13.4 RT 2:17Back at the Forest Gate
The end of the ride.