Virtual Ride with Mile by Mile Photos

Virtual Ride, First 21 Miles.

The majority of these photos were taken in September of 2006. The Mileage and Ride Time (RT) figures were taken from my bike computer. Ride Time is time actually moving not total trip time. With rest breaks my total trip time is much longer. There are two photos with the each Mile and RT listing. Unless marked otherwise the first photo is the view up the trail and the second is the view looking back. Two views for the price of one.

Click on photos to enlarge

This is a continuation of the Virtual Ride
that began with the first 21 miles of the
West Fork Trail. We pick up the ride
where we left off at Mile 21.8. This is
the location of the Glady Trailhead.
The trail is combined with Glady Road from
this point forward.
How it used to look when the
tracks were still in place.

Mile: 22.3   RT 2:18
Overshot mile 22 a little.
Mile: 22.5   
Start of Tunnel Detour
Across from the Forest Warden's house
you can see where the old railroad splits
off from the road and heads for Tunnel #2.
Since the tunnel is closed this is where
the detour begins. Stay on the road.
Tunnel Detour diagram
Mile: 22.7
Downtown Glady
Glady Post Office and Store
To see the inside of the post office
go to Shopping In Glady.
Mile: 22.7
Glady Crossroad
Go left onto Elliot Rd/Co. Rd 22.
Second photo is of the steep hill you will be
climbing. This will take you over the top of
Shavers Mountain. Looking at the Ride Profile
will give you an idea of how steep it is.
Mile: 23   RT 2:26
Coincidentally the mile 23 mark is exactly at the
top of Shavers Mountain. So the forward view
is looking at the Shavers Fork River valley
and the backward view is of the West Fork
Glady Fork River valley.
Mile: 23.4   
Go downhill on the mountain .4 mile and you
will see this road on your left. There are no
signs. It is the same spot described in
Parking on the Shavers Fork River
side of Shavers Mountain

This is where the detour will end and you
re-enter the trail.
To the right of the road described above is
a break in the trees where people have
obviously been accessing the trail. Problem is,
besides all the "No Trespassing" signs,
there is barbed wire lying about.
I suggest using the road on the left.
The small road is quite short.
This pictures shows most of it's length.
Go out the road and look on the right.
You will see a Forest Service gate down the hill.
There are ATV tracks going around the gate.
The trail is on the other side of the gate.
Left on the trail goes toward the closed tunnel.
Head right to continue on the trail
Back on the West Fork Trail.
From this point on the trail is not maintained
but the ATV traffic has kept down the weeds
so it is passable.
Half washed out culvert.
Bike carefully.
Mile 23.8
Shavers Fork
River Valley
Mile: 23.9
A rail cut with interesting rock formation.
Mile: 24   RT 2:35

Mile: 24.6   
Trail washout.
Looking down the washout is our first view
of the Shavers Fork River.
Easy dogleg around the washout.
Aerial photo of the slide.
Mile: 25   RT 2:43

You'll need to duck under some leaning
Here is a diagram that shows how the
upcoming landmarks relate to each other.
Cheat Junction
Mile: 25.2 
This is Cheat Junction. It is part of the
Three Junction Wye . Two rail lines used
to come together here. This is now where
the Greenbrier Junction Spur begins. It
heads off to the left. We will come back
to this point. Our path lies straight ahead.
Mile: 25.7   RT 2:50
The end of the West Fork Trail just ahead.
This is our first view of the West Virginia
Central Railroad (WVCRR). As you approach the
track remember that this is an active rail
line. To prove it .......
......... just look to the right.
You might see the last car of the
New Tygart Flyer pulling away.
This is the end of the West Fork Trail's
main trail. There is still the Greenbrier
Junction Spur to do. But first
I'm going to keep looking around here.
If you're just interested in biking the
Spur click HERE to jump ahead.
The view of the railroad track
left (upriver) and right (down river).
Looking ahead. Here is where the two rail
lines crossed each other and the Coal & Iron
Railroad (C&IRR) crossed the Shavers Fork River.
The square looking thing is a railroad "diamond".
It's how tracks cross each other. It must
been left behind when they pulled up the rails.
Shavers Fork Bridge

The bridge ties are badly rotted and there is
not much point in crossing the bridge since the
old rail bed on the other side is so overgrown
as to be nearly impassable.
The best way to cross the river is to go
about 100 feet down the rails on the right.
Around the bend you will see the bridge used
by the WVCRR.
Elk River Junction
Across the river is the location of
Elk River Junction. This was where the
two rail lines joined and is part of the
Three Junction Wye. You can still see
the overgrown path of the C&IRR running
along the other side of the river heading
for the old Shavers Fork Bridge.

That's enough exploring down here. Let's head
back to the Cheat Junction at mile 25.2. From
there we can bike the 1.3 miles of the Greenbrier.
Junction Spur. That will complete the
West Fork Trail.

Cheat Junction
West Fork Trail Mile 25.2
Greenbrier Junction Spur Mile 0.0
Greenbrier Junction Spur is not as well
traveled as the West Fork Trail so expect more
overgrowth and one bad washout.
The picture is looking back at Cheat Junction
from the Spur.
The same view of the Cheat Junction from 1955.

Western Maryland Railway - Cheat Junction, West Virginia - 1955
Forest Service boundary markings next to
the trail. The rocks are painted red.
My first ever sighting of a Bearing Tree.
Trail overgrowth
Spur Mile: 0.8

Trail washout.
You'll have to dismount and walk
around the washout.
There is a small pond built up at
the washout so it's a little muddy.
Need to push the bike up this small hill
to get back on the trail.
Spur Mile: 1

Spur Mile: 1.1

First sighting of the WVCRR track on
the right.
Greenbrier Junction
Spur Mile: 1.3   RT 0:15

End of the Greenbrier Junction Spur and
of the West Fork Trail. 27 Miles Total.
This is the Greenbrier Junction. It's where
two rail lines met. It is part of the
Three Junction Wye.
How Greenbrier Junction looked in 1963.

Western Maryland Railway - Greenbrier Junction, West Virginia - 1963
Though this is the end of the West Fork Trail
there is still something else to see. Farther
up the Shavers Fork are the High Falls of the
Cheat. It's another 1.6 miles and there is no
biking path. Just the railroad. In some places
there is room next to the track to bike but
in most places there isn't. There will be a fair
amount of just walking and pushing your bike
down the track.
Old railroad mileage signs.
The 50 refers to 50 miles from Tygart Junction
where this rail line joins with another rail
section called the Cowen Subdivision.
It is hard to see in the picture but the upright
piece of rail has "C2" on it. It marks 2 miles
from Cheat Juction.
Just down river from the High Falls.
Depending on the time of day when you
arrive at the falls you might get to see the
the New Tygart Flyer. This is it's southern
most stop. The train backs up this section
of track to reach the falls.
At the High Falls is a rail side shelter,
picnic tables and rustic bathrooms. The
High Falls is also the stopping point for
a specially made railway coach called
the Cheat Mountain Salamander.
It was there at the same time as the Flyer
to take on some of it's passengers.
The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad offers
a Three Train Excursion where you ride first
on the Tygart Flyer then the Cheat Mountain
Salamander and finish on the Durbin Rocket.
Time to head down to the Falls and
the end of this journey.
Above the High Falls Of The Cheat
with viewing platform to the right.
High Falls Of The Cheat

It's now 2.9 miles back to the Cheat Junction on the West Fork Trail and
from there 25.2 miles back to Durbin. More than 28 miles. Let's get going.

West Fork Trail

Fun Places To Bike In West Virginia
All information is presented without any assurance of accuracy. Use at your own risk.
Distance measurements are approximate.
All photos © 2008 J. Watson. All rights reserved.