Kanawha State Forest has long been a gem in West Virginia for mountain biking. The forest, which is 7-miles south of the capital Charleston, has enough variety in the trail terrain for any rider. Although, it is mostly known for having some of the best technical downhill in the state and is host to two WVMBA races: the Black Bear Enduro and XC. I began riding mountain bikes here and yet to have hit all the trails. Props to the dedicated crew of trail builders that have not only worked to keep these trails open and running smoothly, but for building new ones. We set out for a mini-photo session and ride on one of the first hot days of 2015. On any given weekend you can find a lot of riders, usually meeting up at the swimming pool parking lot a couple of miles on the left after the entrance.
From the lot we headed deeper into the forest and started the climb up Porter Camp to the ridge and down the newly formed Miracle Mile. Riding the 'Forest' means there is a lot of climbing. After descending Miracle we heading back up Beech Glen, which was more a hike than a climb. We stopped here for a few photo runs. This trail is typically hiking only, but you are allowed to ride up it. From there we rode along the ridge to Pine Ridge, which has a couple tough rock greens and drops.We shot some photos here as well. After that we dropped my camera bag off, filled up on water and headed up one last climb on the main road to the top of the ridge. It is a shame that once you get up here you are greeted with a mountain top removal coal site. I guess you can’t have all these beautiful trails without knowing where our species stands in regard to the natural world. We rode along the ride seemingly forever again until we reached one last fast, technical downhill. This descent brought us out near the parking lot we began at. We finished the day with 17-miles, and around 2,500 feet of climbing.