Scenic Highway Loop
Only 44 miles (71 km), but harder than might be expected. Mostly uphill or downhill, with good to excellent pavement. Park at the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center in Pocahontas County, WV. This facility (when open) has restrooms and water. Descend rapidly on WV 39 east about 3 miles down Stamping Creek (gravel/mud in the turns!) to one of the few flat runs to Mill Point. Left on US 219 north, then over several small hills to Marlinton, WV. (Some steep winding descents on this section, with gravel in the turns.) Continue on 219 north, up a steep hill to Edray. (CAUTION: Truck traffic coming from behind on narrow, blind curves--stay to right as much as possible on this hill!). Starting at the church in Edray, begin perhaps the longest continuous paved climb in the state (1780 feet in 6.8 miles). At the top of Elk Mountain (3.4 miles), turn left on the Highland Scenic Highway (WV 150) and continue climbing for another 3.4 miles. The road surface on 150 is absolutely perfect, although there can be strong winds. Continue on 150, enjoying the nearly straight 4-mile descent to the Williams River bridge (45-50 miles per hour). Once across the bridge, though, begin the struggle up Black Mountain (1520 feet in 4.4 miles). The rest of the way along 150 will seem easy after that. Finally, a 2-mile descent back to WV 39 and the Nature Center. 3 hours would be a decent time.