The Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge has recently completed an exciting project on their Blackwater View and Middle Valley Trail systems in the heart of Canaan Valley. What makes this project so significant is the private public partnership established between the CVWR, a pivotal private landowner, and Heart of the Highlands trail organization. The end result is a connector trail joining CVWR Blackwater View trail system to the CVWR Middle Ridge trail system and A-Frame road parking lot. Most significantly, a walking bridge spanning the Blackwater River was erected last summer, and final touches on the connector trail were finished in the fall of 2016.
The critical link between Beall Lane and A-Frame Road is a stout walking bridge spanning the Blackwater River headwaters.
The Blackwater View Trail is designated as a multi-use trail. Today I will be riding my bike with some friends, which is my preferred mode of travel. Plan your route at the Beall Lane trailhead kiosk, located off Cortland Rd. in Canaan Valley. Several trails are restricted to foot travel only in the Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge.
Riding the trail for the first time in early spring was a good call, letting us see through what typically is dense forest once the leaves have grown back in. If heights is not your thing, one may desire the foliage along the only single track of trail constructed atop the banks of the Blackwater River.
Bikes may be our preferred method of travel this day, however, I would have to say the entire trail system is more suited for foot travel. The majority of tread is based off of old logging roads that are in excellent shape and drain properly. The grass sucks away energy that goes to the wheel and the pitches can be a tad steep. Perfect for an in shape beginner/intermediate mountain biker, the key word is, In Shape! What is significant for adventure/destination riders is the connection to A-Frame road. You can now ride or hike 30 to 60 mile loops covering Canaan Valley, the Blackwater Canyon, Canaan Mountain Backcountry, and the towns of Davis and Thomas.
Other than airplane contrails and the occasional hiker, solitude is found at every corner of the revolving landscape. Bird lovers, bring those binoculars. Photographers, no need for imagination with an infinate scenery. First timers, you will leave invigorated.
Now head out there and #GetTuckered!
Welcome to my first photo blog. There is no need for words when the winter beauty of Douglas Falls in Thomas, WV speak for itself. My inspiration was founded while over the last few weekends I was met by the success of the ski industry, big lines and crowded parking lots. Here are one of the best answers for solitude, quiet, and the great outdoors.
The adventure starts on Rail Falls Rd., off of Douglas Rd in Thomas, WV.
The road to somewhere.
Great history along the way, coak ovens and railroad buttress in the background. Without the coal industry, there would be no Thomas, WV.
Now this is solitude!
Wild and Wonderful
There is nothing to see folks, nothing at all!
Now get out and get Tucker'd!
The age of the box store is not dead. Just ask Ian Beckner, an entrepreneur and life time skier who has returned home with his family to open Driftland Ski & Sport in the town of Davis. At one time Driftland Ski and Sport housed the regions only pharmacy, located next to the Davis, WV fire department. It could be said Ian will have the same healthy impact on the local sports enthusiast and their equipment’s’ well-being, as did the pharmacy. At least the only overdose Ian is worried about would be from his customers having too much fun, which is not hard to do in Tucker County, WV.
I can tell you first hand the ski/snowboard tech shop in the back is as professional and state of art as it gets. Fine tuning begins with Beckner’s auto fed base and edging machine; it is the Ferrari of tuning machines and manufactured in Italy. The work bench is given incredible detail in order to prevent cross contamination of cleaners, metal shavings, and various types of hot wax. When I stopped by for pictures the other day the ski tech was wearing safety glasses and gloves while tuning, this is the first sign of a top notch product. The second omen is the fact there we 30 pairs of high end skis and snowboards that had been tuned or were slated for tuning. The word has spread fast on his ski tech’s skills, wait until winter enthusiasts find out Driftland has the newest and least expensive ski and snowboard rental fleet in Canaan Valley.
There has been a resurgence in the winter recreation scene in and around Davis, WV over the last three years beginning with the lodge and slope upgrades done at Canaan Valley Resort. Blackwater Falls State Park has added snowmaking, the longest surface lift on the East Coast, and new grooming equipment for the sledding hill and cross country ski trails. Ian has kept up the momentum by opening Driftland Ski and Sport, here are the facts on what Driftland has to offer. The entire line of ski and snowboards are made by Rossignol. Ski rentals range in size from children’s 80mm to 174mm; ski boots fit children to size 15, and are 3 buckle, front entry boot. Rarely will find such a high quality/performance boot that comes with your ski rental. The snowboard rental fleet varies in size from 100-163, and are designed with modern rocker, specific to beginners and intermediate riders. Boot size availability range from small children to size 15 and you will find helmets of all sizes are available for rent as well. Performance ski demo rentals, from reverse camber powder sticks to slalom, ‘I love my race suit’, kind of skis are very important to the kind of product Ian wants to offer. On the retail side everything you need for a day on the snow can be found, some of those brands are Electric, Fly Low, and Spy.
Before talking about the future of Driftland Ski and Sport let’s talk about the past, more specifically what’s behind the name Driftland. In 1950 the Washington Ski Club began skiing an apple orchard just to the right of where the current snowmaking ponds are located at Canaan Valley Ski Resort. The club referred to this location as ‘driftland’, due to the abundant snowfall that was first spotted by pilots flying over Canaan Valley. By 1954 a rope tow was installed and ‘driftland’ had set the path forward for Weiss Knob Ski Resort (modern day Whitegrass) in 1955, and the ski industry as we know it today. As for Ian, he wants to provide the next generation with a quality shop, bring fun and excitement to the community and ski industry, to “raise the stoke level in the skier lifestyle” as Beckner puts it. This summer he plans to close the shop, resuming his carpenter job, and working on a business model for summer 2017. Mr. and Mrs. Beckner, your stoke level has us stoked! Kudos to ya’ll.