2020 is more than halfway over so far, and it’s been an….odd year, to say the least. Everyone’s plans have been changed because of COVID-19, which sadly isn’t done yet. We recently had a chance to check out a park that’s been on the list for a while: Snowshoe Bike Park, in wild & wonderful West Virginia. Most DH MTB riders are likely familiar with Snowshoe, as it gained some serious notoriety in 2019 when the park hosted a World Cup DH race.
Well surprise, surprise: there are tons of creative & unique trails to ride, besides the amazing DH track. While traveling right now is a bit different, Snowshoe is definitely worth the drive or flight down from VT. Even if all of us can’t travel right now, here is some info to plan out a trip when we can all travel more safely. We got to ride the park for almost a full day in between rain showers, and we were really impressed. We picked Shawn Cassell’s brain (Snowshoe’s Communications Manager), and got some fresh info on the park:
Any new trails in the works for 2020?
We’re in the process of completing a new flow trail that has been dubbed Dirt Beaver. Our goal with this trail is to build another step in progression, and help riders build their skills and go from novice to intermediate. It’s what we would call a “light blue” in terms of difficulty rating. Dirt Beaver is going to be popular with our expert riders too, with plenty of optional features, hips, drops, tabletops, etc. that are going to make it super fun. The top 1/3 of it is actually already open (access between Ballhooter and the Mtn Lodge).
Any new programming/events coming up at Snowshoe this year?
We did have to cancel our annual Blues, Brews, & BBQ Festival due to the pandemic but the good news is we’ve been able to keep our bike races on the schedule. Downhill racing is relatively conducive to social distancing, and we’re taking extra precautions to limit contact points wherever possible.
Here’s the race schedule:
- Aug. 1-2 | Downhill Southeast Series
- Aug. 21-23 | Pedals & Pints Festival (the Pints portion is tentative/doubtful depending on state regulations regarding gatherings)
- Sept. 12-13 | WV Enduro Series Finals
- Sept. 18 | Snowshoe National (USA Cycling DH National Series, formerly known as Pro GRT)
Any recommendations on where to stay/eat/what else to do for folks visiting the park?
There are lodging options for every taste up here, but my advice is to get a place in the village. That way you’re close to all the action and the shops, restaurants, bars, etc. Bonus points if it has a westward facing balcony where you can enjoy our legendary sunsets. If you book through snowshoemtn.com you get complimentary Fun Passes for the lake and village activities. And don’t forget, Snowshoe Bike Park season pass holders get some sweet discounts on food, lodging, retail, spa, etc.
And if you brought your trail bikes, allow an extra day to go check out Slatyfork or some of the other trail systems here in our newly-designated Snowshoe Highlands IMBA Ride Center. You won’t be disappointed.
Anything else you’d like the MTBVT family to know?
Come see what all the hype is about! The bike park is open every Thursday-Sunday through Oct. 18.