Cycling Scenic West Virginia - Amma Loop

  • Along County Route 26
  •  County Route 26
  • State 36
  • Along County 60
  • Tariff Road, County 60
  • Flat Fork Road County 36/12
  • Tariff Road, County 60
  • Vineyard Ridge Road, County 21
  • Flat Fork Road County 36/12
  • Flat Fork Road County 36/12
  • Little Left Hand County 58
  • Little Left Hand Road, Counyt 58
Along County Route 261  County Route 262 State 363 Along County 604 Tariff Road, County 605 Flat Fork Road County 36/126 Tariff Road, County 607 Vineyard Ridge Road, County 218 Flat Fork Road County 36/129 Flat Fork Road County 36/1210 Little Left Hand County 5811 Little Left Hand Road, County 5812

Amma Loop

Overview

Figure Eight

Length: 36.4 Miles
Climbing: 1643 Feet
Rating: 2.7
Climbing Per Mile: 45 Feet
Minimum Elevation: 682 Maximum: 1172

Clockwise Loop

Length: 34.3 Miles
Climbing: 1,963 Feet
Rating: 2.7
Climbing Per Mile: 56 Feet
Minimum Elevation: 682 Maximum: 1172

This has always been one of my favorite Spring rides as it is fairly flat, but has three climbs to test your legs. The local roads provide several route options. The figure 8 route provides the best use of the terrain. Two lane state highway 36 bisects and is used on part of the route, and the remainder are 2 or 1 1/2 lane county highways. Pavement varies from good to poor. Traffic is fairly light.

January 2017: Until significant patching/paving is done, I recommend doing the Loop in the clockwise direction. Pavement on Cty. 58 is bad in places and is safer to navigate while climbing than descending.

Location

This ride is in southern Roane County, 26 miles from Charleston. The start is at the I-79 Amma exit 25 Park-N-Ride, which is located under the interstate bridge just past the Exxon station. .

PDF Map and Turn List

Slides show of Route

In the left column, under "Related Links", you will find links to the WV State Road Commission detailed county map that covers this ride.

General Description

Figure Eight Route

Taking a right out of the parking lot, you go 0.2 miles and then take a left before crossing the bridge and continue on this road with a rolling profile till you intersect State Route 36. Making a right on State 36, you roll past the Geary School and take the next left on Cty. 60 (Tariff Rd.). On Cty. 60 you are going upstream beside Ashleycamp Run for 1.5 miles till you reach its headwaters and the first climb of the day. This climb is only 0.024 miles long but averages 13.5% with a ramp of 17%. The next section of road till the Rt. 26 junction has fair to poor pavement, but low traffic. After this short, but tough climb, you are rewarded with 7 miles of downgrade along Sycamore Run to Linden before making the left turn onto Cty. 25 and starting a gradual ascent along Hayes Run for 3.6 miles to the intersection again with State Route 36. Here you have the option of taking a left on State 36 for a fast 3.1 miles downgrade to Looneyville, or taking a right, as indicated on the map, for the slower, but more scenic route via Flat Fork. Taking a right, you ascent for 0.2 miles before taking a left onto Cty. 36/12 (Flat Fork Rd.). Flat Fork road is a narrow, single lane paved road. I like this option as it is scenic and has VERY LITTLE traffic. It is 4.4 miles to Looneyville this way, 1.3 miles longer than Rt. 36.

At Looneyville, you take a right onto Rt. 36 and ascend along Vineyard Run for 1.1 miles before the 2nd. climb of the ride. This climb to Vineyard Gap is 0.4 miles in length and averages 9.1%. Arriving at the summit, you have a nice downhill run with a turn at the bottom. You continue on Route 36 and complete the upper section of the figure eight, as you pass the Geary School again. You continue pass where you previously turned left onto Tariff Road and in 1/2 mile you come to the 3rd and final climb of the route. The main part of the climb is only 0.3 miles long and averages 9%. After topping out the climb you have a straight downhill and flat rollout. The turn onto Cty. 29 is a hard Right in a left turn on State 36. Cty. 29 follows Big Sandy Creek downstream back to the finish.

PDF Map and Turn List

Clockwise Direction

Start - Amma Park-N-Ride under the I-79 Bridge
Taking a right out of the Park-N-Ride, you bare left before crossing the bridge and then take the next left (Cty. 58) and begin climbing along Little Left Hand Creek. At the end of 58, you have a steep climb up to Vineyard Ridge and the intersection with Cty. 21. Taking a right on Cty. 21, you have rolling terrain along Vineyard Ridge out to Vineyard Gap. Taking a left State 36 you have a steep descent and after 1.5 miles you go left at the end of the bridge onto Stringtown-Poca River Road. It starts out along the headwaters of the Pocatalico River before turning up Flat Fork Creek. At the end of this 4.4 mile road, you have a climb up to State Route 36 again. You have traveled 12.3 miles to this point, and averaged over 90 feet of climbing per mile. From this point on, you only have two climbs to tackle to the finish.

After taking a right on route 36, you begin to descend and take an immediate (0.2 miles) left onto the Linden-Tariff road county 25, and continue down Hayes Run for another 5.3 miles to Linden. You make a hard right across the bridge and begin the gental ascent along Sycamore Creek. Unfortunatley, the pavement is very rough and patching for the next six miles (2017). After passing Tarriff you have a short steep climb and shorter steeper descent along Ashleycamp Run, and the intersection with route 36 again at 24.9 miles. Taking a left on route 36, you begin to ascent and are quickly on the final climb of the ride. Topping the climb, you have a fairly straight descent and nice rollout for the next couple of miles. You enter a long left turn and at the end you have a very sharp right turn onto Cty. 29 at 28.6 miles.You are on Cty. 29 for 5.5 miles as you follow Big Sandy Creek back to the start. At 34.1 miles you cross the bridge and complete the loop and continue straight for another 0.2 miles back to the finish at the Park-N-Ride.

Counterclockwise Direction

Start - Amma Park-N-Ride under the I-79 bridge.
Taking a right out of the Park-N-Ride, you cross under the Interstate and you continue straight at the first intersection across the bridge onto Cty. 29. Rt. 29 is a two lane road with good pavement that follows Big Sandy Creek upstream, for 5.5 miles to the intersection with State 36. Taking the sharp left onto Rt. 36, you continue a fairly flat, but slight upgrade section, for 2.4 miles before arriving at the start of the first climb of the day. The climb is 0.5 miles, averaging 7.6% with ramps up to 10% near the top. The descent has a couple gradual curves, but nothing severe. From the top of the climb, you descend for 0.9 miles, before making a very sharp right onto Cty. 60.
On Cty. 60 (Tariff Road) you are going upstream again beside Ashleycamp Run for 1.5 miles till you reach its headwaters and the second climb of the day. This climb is only 0.024 miles long but averages 13.5% with a ramp of 15%. The next section of road till the Rt. 26 junction has fair to poor pavement, but low traffic. After this short, but tough climb, you are rewarded with 7 miles of downgrade along Sycamore Run to Linden before making the left turn onto Cty. 25 and starting a gradual ascent along Hayes Run, for 3.6 miles to the intersection again with State Route 36.
Here you have the option of taking a left for a fast 3.1 miles downgrade to Looneyville, or taking a right as indicated on the map for the slower, but more scenic and less traveled route. Taking a right, you ascent for 0.2 miles before taking a left onto Cty. 36/12 (Flat Fork Rd.) . Flat Fork Road is a single lane road, so be prepared to stop for oncoming traffic. I like this option as it is scenic and has VERY LITTLE traffic. It is 4.4 miles to Looneyville this way, 1.3 longer than Rt. 36.

At Looneyville, you take a right onto Rt. 36 and ascend along Vineyard Run for 1.1 miles before the 3rd and final climb of the ride. This climb to Vineyard Gap us 0.4 miles in length and averages 9.1%. Arriving at the summit, you take a right, onto County 21 and have a rolling 1.4 mile ride out the ridge with great vistas, before taking a left on Cty. 58 (Little Left Had Road - no road sign here). At 1,171 feet, this is the high elevation of the ride. After 0.3 miles on Cty 58 you begin a steep curving descent so control your speed. Cty. 58 has sections of VERY BAD pavement. There is one section that is around a blind turn that can really catch you out, but it has little traffic and is the scenic option. After 4.7 miles on Cty. 58 you arrive at Cty 58/2 where you take a right and after 0.1 miles you take another right to return to the start.

Route Options:

Items of Interest Along the Route

No items of significant historical interest along the route. On Tariff road, you will see some evidence of what was once an very active oil producing area.

Geology

Though the route is relatively short, water from the area of the route flows into three different rivers: Little Kanawha via Henry Fork from Linden; Pocatalico River via Flat Fork; and Elk River via Big Sandy Creek. See page four of PDF Map and Turn List.



Water and Food

The Exxon Station at the Start/Finish is the only reliable source of water/food on the route.

Lodging

Nearest Bike Shops:

Disclaimer

The listing of routes on this site is not a guarantee of the safety of the route. Cycling has inherent risks and riders skills vary. Traffic conditions vary by time of day, season and local events. Road conditions can vary and change and may change dramatically over one winter season. Riders need to ride within their capabilities and be alert for road hazards and traffic at all times.

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