Find your way to the top, eat, then coast back down for a perfect day trip.
With its dramatic scenery and long, gentle grade, Deckers Creek Trail offers cyclists 19.5 miles of pure biking bliss. It’s just one of the many reasons our local Mon River Rail-Trail System has just received the national recognition it deserves—it’s now part of the national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.
Here are a few options for making the most of the Deckers Creek Trail this weekend.
Option 1 Bike up and back. Hit the trail at its point of origin—Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheater and Riverfront Park in Morgantown—and begin your ascent, up about 1,000 feet in elevation. You’ll pass dramatic scenery along the way as the trail follows the creek including waterfalls, rapids, and scads of giant boulders popular with the climbing cult. The 2 percent grade is enough to feel as you pedal, at least for the first 13 miles, but not exhausting. The final stretch, as you approach the trail terminus near Reedsville when the grade flattens and the trail careens through woods, wetlands, and farmland, is a bit easier on the quads.
Pack a picnic or grab some grub at Old School Pizza or Modern Homestead in Reedsville. Your journey back to Morgantown is all downhill from here.
Option 2 Catch the Buckwheat Express. Mon River Trails Conservancy Executive Director Ella Belling suggests catching the bus that travels from Monongalia to Preston County daily. You can check the schedule at buckwheatexpress.com. She says busses can carry bikes on exterior racks and also have been known to load them inside, depending on how many riders are on board. The drivers are amenable with their cycling passengers and might even be willing to take you all the way to the trailhead in Masontown or Reedsville.
Enjoy the all-downhill ride along the trail back to Mon County. Once you hit the end of the route, pop into one of the popular rail-trail–adjacent eateries: Reward yourself with a pint and a pizza at Mountain State Brewing Company or carb-up with a plate of pasta from Oliverios.
Option 3 It’s shuttle time. If cycling almost 40 miles in one day isn’t quite your jam, and if depending on bus schedules seems too inflexible, consider arranging a shuttle. Have a friend or family member drop you off at the trailhead and then pick you up when you’re done. You can also drop a car off at the terminus before setting out for your ride. Having a car when you’re done will give you the most flexibility, giving you time to explore the charming small town of Reedsville.
Know this: The Mon River Trail Conservancy is resurfacing the portion of the trail from Masontown to Reedsville—work it hopes to complete as soon as mid-September and as late as the end of October—and Belling suggests checking the status of the final few miles on montrails.org before heading out. They try to keep that section of the trail open on weekends, she says. You can always just bike up as far as Masontown, too.