Riding Canaan Valley Resorts Promised Land Trail

For decades mountain bikers have been making their way to Davis, West Virginia and Canaan Valley. The uninterrupted forests gave motivated bikers an opportunity to ride hiking trails, logging roads and the former Blackwater 100 motorcycle race course. Davis and Canaan Valley would soon become well known nationally as the hard core place to ride a mountain bike by the late 1980’s.

Fast forward 30 years and the bikes have evolved as have the trail systems. Thankfully! West Virginia had a reputation for eating bikes alive on the trail and that gets expensive. Along with bike development came the purpose built mountain bike trail, known also as flow trails.

The initial concept of purpose built trails was to make mountain bike trails more accessible for beginner and novice riders. At the same time these trails are engineered to shed water and be as sustainable as possible for the long haul.

A New Beginning

Only a few years ago the Canaan Valley region saw its first purpose built trail at the Thomas City Park. A 1.7 mile hoot of a flow trail that was still missing the mark for teaching mountain biking to true beginners. Then came along a motivated West Virginia Department of Natural Resources interested in construction of trail systems professionally built at Canaan Valley Resort State Park.

The local mountain bike community along with West Virginia DNR personnel came up with a 5.5 mile loop trail, circumnavigating the main lodge and cabins through pristine Appalachian woodlands. An additional spur was also built for easy cabin access and cut-off to make for a short 1.5 mile loop. The project wrapped up in late 2019 and Promised Land Trail has been open for biking, hiking, and cross country skiing ever since.

Ample parking is available at the outdoor pool, where Promised Land Trail is literally between the pool house and parking lot, you cannot miss it. Plus, where better to end your ride than at a public swimming pool. Another location for parking is at the Balsam Fir Overlook where trailhead kiosk, picnic tables, and tool/wash station are there for your convenience.

Marked with purple diamond tree markers, it is very easy to navigate Promised Land Trail. After a year’s curing process the trails tread line is worn in nicely. At times you will cross existing trail intersections but Promised Land Trail is well marked with signage. Since you are in the mountains after all, there is an elevation gain of around 200 feet over the 5.5 miles. At least what goes up must come down, and we all love the down!

As fall approaches we always look forward to the dry trail conditions September and October bring with it. Usher in the entire family or gaggle of friends to check out the new Promised Land Trail at Canaan Valley Resort. With easy access to 50 miles of Canaan Mountain Backcountry you really can’t go wrong making Canaan Valley Resort your next mountain bike destination.