We’re always looking for new places to legally wheel and explore. I found a reference to a new off road park in the mountains of West Virginia and suggested a day trip to Twin Mountain in Williamsport, WV. http://www.twinmtn4x4.com/. The park looked smaller than Rausch Creek or Anthracite, but was an hour closer, i.e., 2.5 hours from DC, rather than 3.5 hours for the PA parks. It was also clearly in very beautiful country, so it seemed like it deserved an exploratory run. We went on the Columbus Day holiday, so not everyone had off.
These trails made me feel like I was getting some very good practice driving under different situations and becoming a better off road driver because of it.
Three of us were able to make the trip.
- Mike O’Grady (member) – Khaki 2001 Nissan Xterra
- Marlon Miranda and Mariela Rizo (guests) – Bronze Land Rover LR4
- Sam L. and Dave Kimmel (guests) – Black Jeep JK
We all live on the north side of town in Maryland, so we were able to easily meet up just of the Connecticut Ave. exit of the Beltway. The trip took a little longer than the 2.5 hours my GPS due to construction on 66. The ride is quite straightforward and very beautiful, especially on a sunny fall day. It’s just straight out 66 to 81. South on 81 to WV55 and then another 40 miles into the mountains. You do want to gas up before you get too far into the mountains. The park is located at 39o11’35”N, 79o0’37”W.
The park is still being developed. The owner John Bradshaw meet us and agreed to be our trail guide for the afternoon. John was great. Like I mentioned earlier, this is not the biggest park I’ve ever been to. John probably has no more than 10 miles of trail in total. The trails are very good and different from what we usually drive. They cut back and forth across the mountain. There was no dirt road driving, except the driveway into the park. There are trails at all levels of difficulty from green to red.
There is a lot of bush driving. You really feel like you’re in the deep woods, not on a groomed trail, although the trails are probably the best marked that I’ve ever driven. They even indicate how the trail might differ under different weather conditions, e.g., green when dry, blue when wet. There is not a lot of rock crawling at this park. The mountain trails put you in some tough off camber situations. Nothing too scary or likely to hurt your rig other than some pin stripes, but situations where you really have to concentrate on your driving skills. These trails made me feel like I was getting some very good practice driving under different situations and becoming a better off road driver because of it.
There is also an area that has been set aside with obstacles and water hazards. It’s not like the big mound at Rausch Creek where people pull up at wild angles for a photo op. This is more a training area. A fun training area, but definitely designed to help you improve you driving skills. There is a very nice camping area with toilets and water. Very nice meadow to camp in with fire pits and picnic tables.
Overall, all of us were impressed and had a great time. John Bradshaw was great and willing to help anyway he could to make it a day to remember. We would all go back again and would strongly suggest that CORE consider Twin Mountain for a large group in the future.
Marlon took the combined footage and produced a great video of the trip. You notice that in some shots it looks like all the trees have been blown over about 25 degrees. It’s an optical illusion. We’re actually that far off camber (including our cameras). The trees are actually pointing straight up.
Click here for a trail map to give you feel for the place.
Trail report courtesy of Mike O’Grady. Pictures courtesy of Mike O’Grady and Marlon Miranda. Video courtesy of Marlon Miranda.