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  1. #1
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    bike camping route?

    Hi Guys,

    I'm looking to plan a 3ish day bikecamping trip to the western side of virginia or even the south western side of WV. I live in Asheville NC and would like to keep my drive down to around 4 hours. I've done the shenandoah 100 a couple times and have taken the family on the creeper trail, so I know that the riding is good between Abington and Harrisonburg (I'm open to other areas too), but I have no idea what would make a good 3 day trip. I figure I'd be up for 50-70 miles of riding a day and would prefer mostly singletrack and wilderness camping. Anyone have suggestions?

    thanks,
    Paul
    Last edited by tallpaul; 07-09-2013 at 06:31 PM.

  2. #2
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    bike camping route?

    It's not single track but if you just have to get your bike camping buzz on, the c&o towpath is right there also. Great way to get some nice scenery in.

    Bill

  3. #3
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    That's a lot of miles. There are some great rides in the area, and some other trails that you CAN ride on, but are in poor shape - but putting together 100 to 150 miles of trails would be difficult - maybe impossible.

    You could try riding from the north end of Monongahela N.F. to the south, hitting as many trails as possible along the way. Unfortunately you'd have to do a sizeable amount of road riding due to private land sections (no trails) and wilderness areas.

    You could do some riding & camping up around Horseshoe Run, make your way south to the Davis/Blackwater area, hit CVI, then over to Canaan Mtn. and Fernow Exp. Forest near Parsons. It's possible to head south and skirt Otter Creek Wilderness Area, and end up near Bear Heaven. But Allegheny Trail is supposed to be very rough for bikes last I heard - overgrown & lots of trees down.

    You could make your way east from there to Seneca Creek, and map a route to get back up to the top of Spruce Knob, via Huckleberry Trail. There are a bunch of trails in that area, so you could stretch it out a bit. Then head south, maybe via the Greenbriar Rail Trail, to try to make further connections.

    So it would be tying together sections of rideable trails with forest service roads and paved roads. I tried to map a route like this a couple of years ago, and finally gave it up. The conditions of the hiking trails open to mtb isn't always easy to find, and I didn't like the idea of some of the longer paved sections necessary to connect up the singletrack sections.

    But it COULD be done. You'd need the MNF hiking trail map and guide probably - because some of the links you're going to be looking at aren't usually ridden by mtb.

    And if you do make a successful route, please share it. It would be GREAT to have a long WV singletrack route to connect up with the VA mtb trail.

    Good luck.

    Steve Z

    EDIT: If you were asking about western Virginia, instead of West Virginia, disregard this post.
    Last edited by swampboy62; 07-08-2013 at 01:47 PM.
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  4. #4
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    that's pretty funny, i did mean the western side of virginia, but obviously it would be taken as west virginia. you'd think i'd be keen to that since I'm from one of the directional states too. I'll edit my post to make it clearer.
    Now that I've sorted that out, anyone have suggestions? I was wondering if there was a way to put together a long loop or fun out and back and the iron mountain area near damascus?

  5. #5
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    You might try doing part of the 480-mile Virginia Mountain Bike Trail.

  6. #6
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    These guys might be able to help. They are the ones working to establish the trail referenced above.

    Mountain Bike Virginia - Shenandoah Mountain Touring - Cycle Virginia - Virginia Singletrack - Trails - IMBA - Shenandoah Mountain 100 - Wilderness 101
    Am I all zipped up?

    Escaping the Dreary Confines

  7. #7
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    Certain sections of the VA mountain bike trail is really rough right now. You can do it, but be ready to walk your bike a lot. its probably better to pick sectiona you know will be good to ride. the folks at Shenandoah Mountain Touring will know what is good to go.

    There are some really nice routes in George Washington forest. Basically just grab a map and start linking stuff together.

    The Stokesville - douthat - stokesville is a pretty great route. I have only done sections but its was all fun.
    Stokesville Douthat Stokesville: Stokesville Douthat Stokesville Maps

    I have also done some cool routes around the Sherando Lake area. Lots of trail and dirt roads to get lost on there. Again, a map and a sense of adventure is about all you need.

    If you have a fat bike and want to go to the beach you could go down to False Cape near Virginia Beach.

  8. #8
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelisreal4130 View Post
    Certain sections of the VA mountain bike trail is really rough right now. You can do it, but be ready to walk your bike a lot. its probably better to pick sectiona you know will be good to ride. the folks at Shenandoah Mountain Touring will know what is good to go.

    There are some really nice routes in George Washington forest. Basically just grab a map and start linking stuff together.

    The Stokesville - douthat - stokesville is a pretty great route. I have only done sections but its was all fun.
    Stokesville Douthat Stokesville: Stokesville Douthat Stokesville Maps
    What he said. You could add on from Douthat to Covington too (Fore Mountain). I have not ridden the Stokesville end yet but the Douthat end is all good.

    The Roanoke section of VMBT is still a work in progress. Dragons Back part is complete but I really would not consider that a great bike camping experience.

  9. #9
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    thanks for all the feedback guys!

    I haven't compared yet, but I assume part of the Stokesville-douhat route is used in the shenandoah 100?
    Do you guys think there's good options for off-trail camping on the route or would i need to stick with dedicated camp grounds? How much traffic on the trail do you think? I'm hoping for something a little remote. Is the route mostly singletrack or fireroads?
    I'll give the mountain touring guys a call today, but does anyone know how they hook up to iron mountain?

    thanks again.

  10. #10
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    I just spoke with Chris at Shenandoah mountain touring and he said that he would email me some route suggestions along the Virginia mountain bike trail route.
    I also took a look at the maps for the SM100 and the stokesville-douthat route and confirmed that they do share the same trails near stokesville, so I've ridden part of that route and know that it's pretty fun, so that's my fall back plan unless Chris or you guys suggest more interesting options.

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