Cycling Scenic West Virginia

  • Church on Back Mt. Road
  • Back Mountain Road
  • Back Mountain Road
  • View of Bald Knob from Back Mt. Road3rd highest point in the state.
  • CassBack Mt. Road intersection with State 66,
  • Cass Train & Depot
  • View toward Greenbank.
  • View toward Greenbank.
  • State 28 NorthHeading toward Durbin.
  • State 28 North
  • State 28 North
  • Back River Road
  • Durbin Rocket
Church on Back Mt. Road1 Back Mountain Road2 Back Mountain Road3 View of Bald Knob from Back Mt. Road4 Cass5 Cass Train & Depot6 View toward Greenbank.7 View toward Greenbank.8 State 28 North9 State 28 North10 State 28 North11 Back River Road12 Durbin Rocket13

Cass Loop


Length: 36.5 Miles
Climbing: 2,627 Feet
Rating: 3.0
Climbing Per Miles: 72

Location: This ride is in northern Pocahontas County. The maps shows starting the ride from Cass, but Greenbank, and Durbin are other good places to start. I like to start in Durbin and get the majority of the climbing out of the way first. This is definitely a ride you want to do counterclockwise.

Cass Loop PDF Map and Turn List

Ride with GPS file of route created by George Cook

Slides Show of route starting from Durbin.

General Route Description

From Cass To Bartow, the ride follows two lane striped highways with some high speed traffic. Traffic is usually moderate. Just past Greenbank, is the Greenbank National Radio Observatory. If you have the time, add a mile to the ride by taking a bike ride though the observatory. I often go in behind the grade school, going around the gate at the tennis course. This takes you straight over to the large telescope. From there you can take a right to go over to he main entrance. The Observatory had a good little deli in it. There is also a restaurant in Boyer This section is fairly flat until you pass Boyer, where you have a mile climb of mostly of 6-7 percent gradient.

Bartow to Durbin: Dropping down into Bartow, you take a left onto Back River Road just before you cross the bridge. This will keep you off of Rt. 250 which has more traffic than Rt. 28. Back River Road is rolling as it follows the hillside above the river. As it nears Durbin it turns right and crosses the river, coming out on Rt. 250 - 92 at the train station.

Durbin to Cass: Taking a left thru downtown Durbin, you have two options to access Back Mt. Road. You can take 250/13 across the old bridge and follow it to 250/11, take a left on 250/11 for more climbing to Back Mountain Road. This is a slightly easier climb to Back Mountain Road. The other option is to cross the river on 250/92 and take a left at the end of the bride onto 250/11. Back Mt. Road cuts off of 250/11 about halfway up the climb on 250-/11. The climb out of Durbin up to Back Mt. Road is the hardest climb on the route. You hit the high point of the ride shortly after turning onto Co. 1. The rest of the route into Cass following the lower slopes of Back Allegheny Mountain. The road is undulating with some short steep climbs, but overall downhill into Cass. Two and a half miles out of Cass you begin a long steep downhill. At the bottom of the descent you will cross the RR tracks of Cass Scenic Railroad. Be careful of the tracks. A couple turns in Cass, takes you back to the parking lot.

I generally do this ride from Durbin, thereby getting the harder climbing out of the way in the first half of the ride.

Food-Water Sources:
There are several sources of food and water on the route. There are places for food and drink on each side of the bridge in Cass. In Greenbank, there is a convenience and grocery store. If you are looking for a place for a light meal during the ride, the snack bar at the radio observatory is pretty good. Boyer has a restaurant. There is a restaurant and a grocery store (Kinder Market) in Durbin. There are no water or food sources between Durbin and Cass. Be sure to have enough water when you leave Durbin.

Items of Interest Along the Route:

Two of the best known attractions in the state are on this ride. Cass Scenic Railroad the the National Radio Observatory at Greenbank. Cass features Shay and Heistler geared steam locomotives. You can catch a ride on the third type of geared steam locomotives - the climax by taking the "Durbin Rocket." in Durbin.

On the mountain above Bartow is the site of Camp Allegheny, one of the best preserved civil war sites in West Virginia.

Local Sources

Nearest Bike Shops:
The Dirtbean bike shop and cafe in Marlinton
Joey's Bike Shop, 19 B Third St. Elkins, 304-636-0219
Hill and Holler Bicycle Works,121 East Washington Street, Lewisburg, WV


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.

Copyright Notice:

This site, maps, photos and all materials created for this site are copyright of the author unless otherwise noted. They may NOT be posted on other sites or reproduced for sale or profit, without specific permission of the author. However, the maps and turn lists may be down loaded for personal, non profit use.

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