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Charles Fork Lake
By Robin Brown Broughton

One of West Virginia's best-kept secrets is Roane County's Charles Fork Lake, near Spencer. The area hosts about 20 miles of mountain biking trails for all skill levels. "It's just a real nice mixture of trails--there are technical sections for the more experienced rider and milder trails for the not-so-seasoned rider," says Jeff Fetty, race director of the annual Tour de Lake mountain bike race in July. "Probably the best thing is that this area is relatively undiscovered. Once you get here you'll be excited about the hidden treasures you'll find."

Spencer, which is about an hour northeast of Charleston, is an excellent one-day trip for mountain bikers in Central West Virginia. The trails are well maintained, easy to find, and overlook the beautiful Charles Fork Lake. The race is a favorite for beginners because it offers a "first timers" category.

"These trails were designed from the ground up," Fetty says. "They were built by mountain bikers for mountain bikers for mountain bikers, so there's a lot of great riding."

You won't want to miss Lakeview Trail, Trevor's Trail or Charlie's Challenge. For trail maps or more information, call the Spencer Chamber of Commerce at 304-927-1780.

 Snowshoe || Slatyfork || Cheat Mountain || Canaan Valley || New River Gorge Kanawha State Forest || Charles Fork Lake (Top) || Morgantown

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