New Parkersburg-area trail designed for intermediate level bikers

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Cyclists cross a bridge at Mountwood Park. Photo courtesy Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Already among the most popular destinations for mountain biking in West Virginia, Mountwood Park has taken its mission a step further, unveiling a 1.4 mile “flow trail” designed for intermediate-level bikers.

Wandering down a hill, rather than mounting and descending hills, the new “Pumphouse Trail” demands less energy from bikers, according to park director Jeremy Cross, who says the trail name refers to a former pump house, one of many remnants of the late 1800s oil-boom the remain in the wooded park.

The trail builds on more than 50 miles of hiking and biking trail that wander the hilly woodlands east of Parkersburg and features both natural and machine-made obstacles such as bridges, rock sections, drop-offs, rollers and banked-switchback turns and can be traveled in either direction.

“It’s definitely a resource we can use to draw more people to the park,” Cross said while organizing an October 11 grand-opening for the trail.

The Pumphouse Trail is another important component for bike-based tourism in the region, which is a popular destination for cyclists from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, according to Mark Lewis, president of the .

“With Mountwood, North Bend State Park, and the North Bend Rail Trail we have a lot to offer,” Lewis said of increasing tourism in the Greater Parkersburg region.

“The folks with River Valley Mountain Bike Association have done a great job of constructing and maintaining trails at Mountwood. It really is one of the top mountain-bike destinations in West Virginia.”

Mountwood received a grant from McKee Foods that allowed it to design and construct the Pumphouse Trail as part of an Outdoor Happiness Grant.

“Flow trails are the hottest new innovations in mountain bike trail construction,” Lewis said.

The trail project was made possible by McKee Foods with generous volunteer assistance from The Chemours Company, and the River Valley Mountain Bike Association. The trail was designed by Appalachian Dirt.

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