Moto: White Sulfur OHV Trail - Cave Run Lake, KY

Update 9/26/18: Videos, some GPS info, and some other minor updates to come. There’s some raw GoPro on the YouTube channel.


I wanted to launch this guide with an area that I'm very familiar with: the White Sulfur ATV Trail located just outside of Morehead, KY. I spent 5.5 great years of my life as an undergrad at Morehead State University and have ridden this area quite a bit over the last several years. 

White Sulfur is not very high on folks' list of places to ride, and rightfully so. There just ain't a lot of OHV trails here. However, Cave Run Lake and the surrounding area is a beautiful place to spend a summer weekend.

Unfortunately, unless you're also pulling a boat with you or looking to check out some of the hiking and mountain bike trails, I wouldn't recommend heading to White Sulfur to spend a full weekend in the saddle of your dirt bike or ATV. If you happen to be interested in the pedal powered style of two-wheeling, enjoy hiking, and especially if you are into boating, Cave Run is a great place. 

Anyway, onto the goods.

The White Sulfur Trail is a US Forestry trail system that is open to OHV use from May 15 to November 30 only - hiking the rest of the year. You can get all of the official info here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/dbnf/recarea/?recid=39412

Update, 8/6/2018: the Clear Creek Market, once located right before the forest road, is now closed. Goodbye to the store that provided us with much needed sustenance during the extraordinary [read: hilariously mediocre] Zilpo Bikepacking adventure of 2017. May it one day be revived to its former glory.  You can still buy passes at the BP station mentioned below.

I purchased my most recent pass at the BP just off US 60 in Salt Lick, very close to the Route 211 intersection. This is your best bet if you're needing to purchase gas before heading on to the trail. A one-day pass is $7 and a 3-day is $15 no matter where you buy them. I'm sure passes are also available at the campgrounds and other convenience stores around the area, so you can keep that in mind as well.

The trailhead is located quite a ways down a gravel Forest Service Road. You'll come across the White Sulfur Horse Camp, on the right, before you find the OHV Trailhead. Note: the horse camp might be an option if you want to unload and ride to the trailhead but check with a park ranger prior to trying this. I'm sure that's a big no-no if it's actually being used by horse folks, though. Also, the horse camp is primitive with no hookups or cell service if on AT&T. There is no camping at the OHV trailhead, just a toilet and a loading ramp. 

I've never seen this place crowded and this trip was no different. It's not uncommon to be the only person on the trail. I have seen up to 10-15 individual 4wheelers and dirt bikes on this trail but it seems that was a fluke. Most of the time there are no more than 5 or 6 people here on the weekend.

Warning: I have encountered a few Side by Sides on the trail. Although a Razr Trail is 50" wide and meets the requirements for being on this trail, I have seen many full size 1000s here. I'm not terribly thrilled with a SxS being on these same, narrow trails to begin with but I'm not against it either. Just beware.

As far as the trails themselves, for the most part, they have a nice flow. There is no single-track at White Sulfur. A lot of the trails have the ubiquitous ATV two-track ruts which makes some of the switchbacks annoying to flow with on a motorcycle. The main trails have a gravel base but for the most part you're looking at hard pack with roots and the occasional rock section. 

I would not put this place on an experienced rider's radar for tough trails. However, there are a few sections with switchbacks at the base of a moderately steep hillclimb which could get tricky for inexperienced riders. With the exception of a couple mudholes, seemingly strategically placed off the side of the main trail, this place is very well drained. So, 4wheeler guys shouldn't expect to slop around in the mud very much.

I'll get back out to White Sulfur soon and actually be able to give a route on the map. It was an interesting day on trail, to say the least. 

General Area Notes:

  • If you're coming to the area from the west (Lexington) and will require a lot of supplies, I recommend stopping in Mount Sterling. Otherwise, you'll be limited to local convenience stores with rather limited options or driving further out of your way to Morehead.

  • If traveling from the east (Ashland) or north (Cincinnati via the AA), plan on stopping in Morehead for supplies.

  • Cave Run is located in dry counties but the surrounding cities are wet. Use that info as you see fit...

If you have any comments or suggestions shoot'em over to my email: jcollins@ridemoonshine.com.