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  1. #1
    IoC
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    Fountainhead - anything to know?

    I'm visiting the in-laws for the holiday and I've got a free afternoon, so I'm going to go try out the Fountainhead trails. Anything to know ahead of time / loops to put together / things to avoid?

    I live in Western NC (Asheville), mainly ride Pisgah National Forest and such, and brought a FS 29r.

  2. #2
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    Pretty straight forward. Only 2 things that might be tricky the first time through. Just make sure to go under the raised bridge (about 2 miles in) the first time you come to it and go over the little bridge at the picnic table. It's not very well signed at those spots and you can easily cut the trail short by accident.

  3. #3
    beautiful jackass
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zakman View Post
    go over the little bridge at the picnic table. It's not very well signed at those spots and you can easily cut the trail short by accident.
    This is a confusing spot so I'll clarify. You'll come down a tight little downhill section and into almost a little hollow in the woods. There will be a signboard, a long balance log, a small creek, and a bridge crossing it.

    To the right is the exit to the parking lot. Some people go this way instead of crossing bridge, opting to do just the two fast and flowy loops.

    If you cross the bridge, you'll get into the more advanced terrain - it's very rooty, rocky, with some challenging hills. Your 29er FS will be perfect back there.

    Near the end the trail splits with an option of the "New Shock-o-Billy" and the "Old Shock-a-Billy". Both are just descents. I prefer the latter, as it's more challenging and steep.

  4. #4
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    Is there a map of the trails at Fountainhead? I'm thinking of making a trip out there this spring.

  5. #5
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    File:LORO fountainhead map wip 03.jpg - Log Off Ride OnTrails and Routes Wiki

    i suggest you give them a call before driving out. there is an automated recording that tells you if the trail is open. they close it down a lot when it rains or if it has rained which is a good thing.

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    Thank you, valuable information!

  7. #7
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    I live just down the road from this park, but have not ventured so far. In fact, I'm just getting back into the idea of mtn biking after spending several years on the motorcycle. So my question is this, would this place be a bit much for someone just returning to the sport?
    A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.

  8. #8
    Helmetless Crasher
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by silent713 View Post
    ...would this place be a bit much for someone just returning to the sport?
    The good thing about cycling is that if you come to a section past your experience level you just walk it or grab some brakes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyB. View Post
    The good thing about cycling is that if you come to a section past your experience level you just walk it or grab some brakes.
    Or die trying.
    A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by silent713 View Post
    I live just down the road from this park, but have not ventured so far. In fact, I'm just getting back into the idea of mtn biking after spending several years on the motorcycle. So my question is this, would this place be a bit much for someone just returning to the sport?
    Well the newer track along the front is fine nowadays for a entry level rider, nothing technical at all (IMO). Even the second part of the trail is still easy, and has been dumbed down, so if you've ridden before this would be fine. The last section, may or may not be a good fit for you, you'd have to decide this on your own. I really liked FH with the old trail, and still like the last section, but the other two sections are fairly mild now.

    If you want some more aggressive single track, visit Quantico, its actually a very good trail that is much harder on the cardio side, and will challenge you a little more than FH, IMO.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by silent713 View Post
    So my question is this, would this place be a bit much for someone just returning to the sport?
    not a difficult trail but alot of up and down. no long climbs however. take breaks and you shouldnt have much of a problem.

  13. #13
    IoC
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    Quote Originally Posted by silent713 View Post
    would this place be a bit much for someone just returning to the sport?
    Nah. You might get taxed physically if you do the whole long loop, but if you keep your eyes open, there's nothing out there that'll kill you.

    The only place I'd watch out is the short tech downhill at the very end of the long loop. If you're new, I'd just bin the ego and walk it to see what it's like.

  14. #14
    Bicycle Radical
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    From what I understand, the phone line may not always be up to date. Check the Fountainhead Regional Park Facebook page for daily updates as to trail conditions as well:

    Fountainhead Regional Park - Fairfax Station, VA - Sports & Recreation | Facebook
    Free people must travel the road to productive social relations at the speed of a bicycle.- Ivan Illich

  15. #15
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    I had the chance to ride Fountainhead on New Years Eve (was in the area and staying with in-laws). I only had my cross bike with me, but I was able to ride all three loops with only two or three dismounts on steep uphills.

    Fountainhead is a really nice trail system--the three loops progress nicely, and I really enjoyed the views of the water. Kudos to the trailbuilders and volunteers who make this park happen!

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