HOW TO PLAN FOR STAR
No matter if this is your first STAR or your Twenty-first STAR, there are still steps to be taken and information to find before you begin the trip. If this is your 1st STAR, you probably have a lot of questions and some apprehension about the whole thing. If you’ve been to STAR many times before, there are still going to be questions you have about the area. In either case, there is planning to do for the trip to and from and about what will be happening while you are there. In this article I will try to answer some of those questions and to give you resources you can use to answer other ones.
To begin with, consider your trip to and from. Decide if you are going to ride there, or trailer there. You want to make sure that any of the equipment you will be using (bike(s), car, trailer) is in good working order. Before you head out on the road make sure you’ve checked the tires, brakes, fluids, lights, etc. Do your maintenance that is due before you leave. It is very rural where STAR is being held and there are no large towns, repair shops, or auto/motorcycle parts suppliers nearby. The sponsoring dealer is Tri-County Motorsports and they are located in Petersburg, WV, which is about 50 miles away from the resort. The closest town to the resort is Davis, and it is about 12 miles away from the resort. It has a Dollar General and a Grocery Store, a few restaurants, and a brewery, not much more. We will NOT have a tire dealer on-site at STAR this year. Our good friends from NoMar have decided to attend as regular members this year, so don’t plan on tire service on-site. Tri-County can take care of your tire needs, but if you know you are going to need tires when you get to STAR you should check with them ahead of time to make sure they have what you need in stock. Their phone number is 304-257-4420 and their website is www.tricountyhonda.com
You should come prepared to experience all kinds of weather. While we are certainly not expecting any snow in June, keep in mind that the resort sits at 4,300 feet, and there are mountains all around it. It can get a little cool in the evenings. It could also be 90 degrees or raining. Bring some rain gear and a sweater/light jacket. You’ll want to make sure you also remember to bring some comfortable shoes for walking around the resort and maybe even your swim gear as there is both and indoor and outdoor pool. There are small cities in the general area, but they might be 2-3 hours away, so there isn’t any large shopping areas very close. Elkins is probably the closest town with a Pharmacy, and it is a little over 30 miles away.
There are lots of resources that you can use to plan your trip. Many of them are either on-line or can be ordered on-line. Here’s a few:
For those of you that prefer to have printed maps with the best roads in the area already highlighted, and don’t mind paying a small amount, you can order maps like those from:
I’ve already sent away and received maps from these companies and will be using them to plan my riding while at STAR. Of course, in addition to these items we will have self-guided routes available on-site that can be loaded into your GPS units.
One other resource you might consider using is past issues of Road Runner Magazine. Over the years they have done quite a few articles highlighting some of the really good roads in West Virginia, along with places to visit in the State. Check out their April 2013, April 2015, and April 2020 issues specifically. If you have a subscription to Road Runner you should have access through their website to past issues. If you’re like me, you’ve already got them stored away! One more thing, if you haven’t already done so, send away to the WV Tourism site and order yourself a highway map from the state. There’s lot of good information on them. My advice is to spend a little time researching and planning before the trip, and you’ll have a better time during the trip.
As of the beginning of March there are still rooms available at the resort lodge, however there is the possibility that it may soon sell out. As of March 18th we have 223 people registered. There are 3 king rooms and 5 double queen rooms still available. There are 12 cabins of various sizes still available. One those are all gone there are no more available and we will have filled the resort! Also camping is somewhat limited as they only have 34 sites within the park. However, there are other options outside the park and within only a dozen miles or so from the entrance. Here is a listing…
Blackwater Falls State Park….lodge and camping
Golden Anchor Cabins
Bright Morning Inn (Davis, WV)
The Billy Motel and Bar (Davis, WV)
Alpine Lodge Sawmill Restaurant (Davis, WV)
By no means are these the only facilities to be found in the area, but they are ones that I found using a quick search. Nor can I speak to what their rates may be, what the accommodations may be like, or even if they will be available in June. Please call them directly for details and rates. There are also many private cabins and houses that are only listed through such sites as Airbnb. Several years back a group of friends and I stayed in one such house about 10 miles south of the resort. It had no TV and no AC (didn’t miss either), but it was only $16.50 per night per person during the off-season months and had room for 8 people. It’s still there today, just north of Harman on 32, but I have no idea if it’s still being rented. The website www.canaanvelley.org lists about a dozen different campgrounds in the area and also has listings for hotels and cabins. Do your own research and I’m sure you will find several options in the area.