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  1. #1
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    Elizabeth Furnace, Harrisonburg, GWNF, etc Trail Routes?

    My buddy and I are taking off of work on 9/4 for an all day ride. We want to ride outside of our normal radius from Northern VA.

    I've heard good things about Elizabeth Furnace and in GWNF, and around Harrisonburg. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good all-day ride route in any of these areas? I have the National Geographic trail maps for both areas so I can see what trails you're talking about

    Having to hike the bike is fine, as long as that doesn't make up the majority of the ride. We've ridden Gambrill, and a portion of the Catoctin trail south of the Frederick Watershed and really enjoyed that rocky terrain.

    Thanks in advance!
    I have a black belt in MS Paint.

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  2. #2
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    I see that you mentioned you have maps... but just confirm that you have (what I think to be the best) this one:

    Elizabeth Furnace - Log Off Ride OnTrails and Routes Wiki


    Also, refer to this thread on mtbr, as it does have some discussion regarding routes:

    Maiden voyage to Elizabeth Furnace...need directions and maps
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SManZ View Post
    Does anyone have any suggestions for a good all-day ride route in any of these areas? I have the National Geographic trail maps for both areas so I can see what trails you're talking about
    Depends what you mean by "all day", but the figure-eight-of-hate loop is a good longish one there. Its about 25 miles, and features a lot of climbing and some truly excellent rock riding.

    From the Signal Knob lot, go out the SW corner and climb to the second cutoff to the left. Its immediately after a rocky stream bed. The cutoff dumps you on the mudhole doubletrack. Climb, climb, climb the doubletrack up to (and through) mudhole gap.

    At the other side of mudhole, take a left on boyer rd. Its a gravel road. Rolls for a bit, then hits mine mountain road. Hang a right, and climb climb climb some more. Up a mile or so, hang a right at the T (woodstock road) and climb up to the tower. I'd recommend actually climbing the tower and taking a break and enjoying the view.

    From the tower, start down the road on the opposite side for a hundred feet or so, and hang a right on the massanutten mountain trail. This is an absolutely lovely rocky ridge crawl that goes for a few miles. After a few miles, at the second cutout head right to drop back down to Boyer Rd. Go left and head back to the top of mudhole, then continue on the road around the barrier. Climb climb climb some more. Go around the reservoir. Past the reservoir, hang a right on Bear Wallow. Push your bike up to the ridge (or ride if you are superman). On the other side, descend one of the best descents in the DC area all the way back to the lot.

    Whole loop is about 25 miles. Its generally taken me 5-6 hours at a leisurely pace.

    Quote Originally Posted by J-Ha View Post
    I see that you mentioned you have maps... but just confirm that you have (what I think to be the best) this one:

    Elizabeth Furnace - Log Off Ride OnTrails and Routes Wiki
    I agree, but I'm probably not impartial. (seriously, thanks for the shout out).

  4. #4
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    Depending on preferences, one can also ride single track out the right side of the lot up to Signal. This how we have always done it. There are a couple of sections you will have to hoof it through unless you are a true hero, but the climb never get too steep. Just goes through a couple scree fields. Left onto Maneka Peak then left down Bear Wallow. This usually takes us 2-4 hours depending on how long we play on the climb. We then usually cross the road, ride up Sherman Gap left on the ridge and then left onto Shawl Gap which will take you back to where you started. 2.5ish hours at a moderate pace. If you still want more when you get to the Shawl decent, continue on the ridge and ride Buzzard Rocks. This will add 3 + hours and is very technical. Contains some great overlooks/ exposure. At the bottom you will need to take a left out of the lot onto the road then another left at the stop sign. Expect 45 road ride back to the car.

  5. #5
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    Thanks very much for the helpful links and recommendations! We'll be mapping these out this weekend and going for the ride on Wednesday. I'll definitely report back afterwards!

    -T
    I have a black belt in MS Paint.

    2013 Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon
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