I’m looking to bike the Panhandle Trail to Weirton WV. and back, on or about March 20th, to have fun and validate my half-ass Winter Training (and beer drinking) Program. I plan on starting at the northern terminus of the Montour Trail, intersecting with the Panhandle, and doing an out-and-back. I’m looking for any trail wisdom, tidbits about Weirton, beer-drinking stops along the way, etc… Thanks for your input.
If you go all the way out to the far western end of the Panhandle, there’s nothing there and it’s a fairly non-commercial and a long route into Weirton proper. (no food or beer for several more miles).
I haven’t been there myself yet, but my friends tell me that this place:
Dee Jay’s 380 Three Springs Drive Weirton, WV 26062
(304) 748-1150 deejaysribs.com?
which you’d get to by turning north about a mile before the Panhandle Trail ends, is quite the place to eat. I guess the Islanders hockey team travels there for ribs whenever they play in Pittsburgh.
Might be worth checking on the Google maps with the bike layer on.
Three other things I’d mention about the Panhandle.
1. After you come off the Montour and transition to the Panhandle, you’ll come upon the town of Midway and you’ll know you’re there when you see the fire klaxon up on a metal tower. If you wanted, you could backtrack twenty yards, depart the trail on the south side (you’ll see a path) and there’s a gas station that sells cold drinks there
2. After Midway you’ll get out into the country, you’ll see a big plateau off to your right. Between you and that plateau is a big gasline manifold-control thing. That plateau up there is the Cateney Airport and the airport owner keeps a real pretty J3 Cub and sometimes you’ll see it taking off and landing. But the real attraction is Saturdays, a remote-control airplane club uses the strip for what they do, and it’s a lot of fun to stop for a few minutes and watch the mini-airshow, they do stunts and dog-fights and in a way, they’re all drone operators now.
3. The Weaver’s Restaurant that SR-PIT mentions is excellent. Nice people, good chow, fair prices. Immediately next to the trail.
I kept to the lower part of Weirton, and didn’t head up the hill to where Dee Jay’s and most of the name restaurants and hotels are. In the lower part of town, Mario’s on Main Street is an OK Italian place with some old photos on the wall of the big flood there. There are also a large number of bars in that area offering gambling, of the sort where you stand in front of a camera and they buzz you in the locked door. All called cafes, for some reason. (But heading up the hill and avoiding lower Weirton is probably smart.)
Note that crushed limestone trails can be pretty bumpy when the ground is frozen.
It is not relatively far from the parking lot at Weirton into town, 2-3 miles at best. Never did any drinking along the trail because I still had to get back home! Usually would save that for a reward when the ride was done.
Man I haven’t been to Weirton in ages but you used to be able to see some really inexpensive “exotic dancers” there. Like, Wal-Mart grade strippers. You have to be kind of OK with stuff like c-sections and what-not, though.
Thanks for all the righteous input, I genuinely appreciate it. Those are ALL good bits of info, and I can see I have my fun cut out for me! I think a ride there followed by lunch with a couple of beers and some strippers, sounds damn near perfect. And then the ride home…