West of Franklin in the Monongahela National Forest, the 24 mile, one-way North Fork Mountain Trail (#501) is a challenging ridge-top singletrack known as the best mountain bike ride in the state. The route runs deep through eastern hardwood forests with vistas of Seneca Rocks, the North Fork of the Potomac River and the magnificent Germany Valley. Ride it south to north. Watch out for a jog in the trail to the east when crossing a logging road at the 10 mile point (continues off the logging roads third switchback). No water along route.
To reach the southern trailhead from Franklin, head west on SR33 for 9 miles to the top of North Mountain. Park about 200 feet west of the radio tower on the right. The trail starts behind the radio tower on the north side of the road.
To reach the northern trailhead from Franklin, head west on SR33 to Seneca Rocks and then north on SR28. About a mile past Smoke Hole, turn right on Smoke Hole Road (aka CR 28/11 or FS74) for 0.3 miles to trailhead parking.
Overall, North Fork Mountain is the 12th most popular mountain bike trail of all 32 mountain biking rides in West Virginia.