MTB: Jenny Wiley Trails - Water Gap Road Trailhead, Prestonsburg KY

Update 7/21/2017: Earlier this week, Sugarcamp Mountain Trails had a formal ribbon cutting for this multi-use train system. I have ridden Sugarcamp twice this summer and they have some incredible singletrack now developed. They also have a trailhead on top of the beautiful mountain for which they named the trail system after. I have shuttled with a buddy and ridden from the top of Sugarcamp Mountain down to the Arrowhead Trailhead by the lake. I highly recommend these trails and I will make an updated guide in the coming weeks. Enjoy!

A busy Summer and fuel injection problems have held my motor-assisted riding to a minimum - and by minimum I mean zero. Or if I wanted to bluff my way through this I could say I needed a change of pace and decided to do a little pedal powered 2-wheeling.

Anyway, this past weekend I had a chance to finally give some mountain biking a go. By finally I mean some trails with actual elevation unlike what we have here in Bourbon Country, which I ride regularly throughout the week. For the most part mountain biking has been a form of training but I would be a liar if I said I didn't thoroughly enjoy it. Mountain biking is awesome and I do intend to sprinkle, or as of late, pour a little pedal power into my trail exploration.

From what I can tell there isn't much info out there for the MTB trails at Jenny Wiley State Park in Prestonsburg, KY. Hell, if it wasn't for a buddy that works for the Forestry Department I still wouldn't know about 'em... Your best bet for finding info is through trail tracking apps such as Strava or Map My Run and on MTB Project.  If there are other maps out there I haven't found them yet. If you know of any feel free to shoot me an email because I'd love to know more about these trails. 

The trails are marked, for the most part, but not very well. I have no clue what way they are supposed to flow. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't as easy as taking a trail downhill. I wound up taking one of the best downhill trails to date only to take the wrong turn at an intersection and go up what would have been the second best downhill to date. 

To paint in broad strokes, it seems to me that the singletrack trails all branch off from the gravel access road and are littered here and there all over the hillside. So, keep your eyes peeled.Here's a link from MTB Project to point you in the right direction:

http://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7005126/arrowhead-point-trail

The Arrowhead Point Trail will take you around the gravel access road to the top of the ridge were most of the singletrack begins.

The gravel access road (Arrowhead Trail) turns into a dirt access road. This is the basically the top of the ridge where it levels off. Several branches of singletrack trail can be found from here. Just down and to the right is a singletrack loop. The trail I took, Missing Link, is behind where this picture was taken and on the right.

The gravel access road (Arrowhead Trail) turns into a dirt access road. This is the basically the top of the ridge where it levels off. Several branches of singletrack trail can be found from here. Just down and to the right is a singletrack loop. The trail I took, Missing Link, is behind where this picture was taken and on the right.

The trails marked on MTB Project are far from complete. If you have the Strava App you'll see a more complete map with all of the short connectors. 

Jenny Wiley is a State Park so don't expect a grand bikepacking trip. Most of the trails are all grouped on the same hill. There is another trailhead that is located at a campground so you can plan to camp near the trails, no hauling necessary.

Now that I've got the negatives out of the way, onto the good.

There is a lot of great singletrack. The trail builders have put in the digging time and created some really good flow trails. Great bowl turns, plenty of flowy switchbacks, wood features, this place has a lot of things to keep you interested. 

I absolutely intend on going back to explore the other side of the mountain where I've heard they've been digging up some drops and jumps... But either way, I'd go back to Jenny Wiley in a heartbeat.

Fun Fact: This is not on the trail system, or even a trail at all. I actually got a little turned around and didn't want to backtrack up the switchbacks I just rode down. So, I thought I could just hike straight up the mountain and hit the access road/ridge. I found a ridge... But it wasn't part of the trails, I was on the same mountain but further back. Good times.

Fun Fact: This is not on the trail system, or even a trail at all. I actually got a little turned around and didn't want to backtrack up the switchbacks I just rode down. So, I thought I could just hike straight up the mountain and hit the access road/ridge. I found a ridge... But it wasn't part of the trails, I was on the same mountain but further back. Good times.