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  1. #1
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    Harrisonburg/Shenandoah Trail Conditions

    Hey everyone,
    A friend and I are still staring at snow here in upstate NY, and are going to head south to get in some riding. I'm wondering what the trail conditions are around Harrisonburg? We were looking at the Southern Traverse trail in particular. Any chance that's rideable?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Yup. I don't think it's been brushed back yet so there may be a lot of stuff down on that trail. It might be safer to ride out of Stokesville/Todd Lake and do Wolf/Lynn/Timber/Reddish/Narrowback/Lookout/Brailey/Dowell's etc, as that gets more traffic. Also, saves you that long road ride back from the end of the Southern Traverse.

    mk
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  3. #3
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    As of Dec 31st (I assume no work has been done on the traverse since then) it was passible, but there were two huge (no exaggeration, I'm talking very, very large) trees down that you have to get off the bike to get around/over/under. It's still a blast to ride though. Of course, so many of the trail mentioned above are a blast too.

  4. #4
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    I haven't been on the traverse, but I was in Stokesville all last week doing some building and conditions were generally good in that area. I'd expect some overgrowth and a few down trees but generally good tread conditions.

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    I was on the ST in November and it was in good shape, but a lot can happen over a few winter months. As far as snow, I was up on Crawford Mtn (the ridge across 629 from the ST) two weekends ago and it was clear of snow and in good shape.
    Am I all zipped up?

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  6. #6
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    Shanendoah Mountain Touring is putting on the Stokesville 60/40K this Saturday. Route has you ride pretty much everything on Narrowback Mtn (Tillman west, festival, etc) for the 40K. The 60K takes you back over to add in Lookout Mtn too.

    Those trails seem like staple rides for those living in the area so I suspect that they get a lot more care and feeding than the Southern Traverse. Even if not the case, Chris Scott and company will likely ensure that the routes are ride-able for this weekend.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the recs guys! Awesome trail system you have down there.
    We ended up riding from wild oak parking lot over to Dell's Draft and back on Day 1. Day 2 we rode all the narrowback trails followed by a descent down hearthstone ridge accessed via the forest road between hearthstone and wolf ridge. Wanted to hit wolf, but it was getting dark and rainy.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Evill View Post
    Day 2 we rode all the narrowback trails followed by a descent down hearthstone ridge accessed via the forest road between hearthstone and wolf ridge. Wanted to hit wolf, but it was getting dark and rainy.
    Was just reading about this ride.

    Question on camping, standard national forest biz where I can find a dirt pull off and sleep on the ground? Or cheap first-come $5 sites? I'm doing a little SE trip and plan to hit Narrowback with potentially adding Wolf or Hearthstone at the end of the month.
    Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades.

  9. #9
    I am the owl
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceboxsteve View Post
    Was just reading about this ride.

    Question on camping, standard national forest biz where I can find a dirt pull off and sleep on the ground? Or cheap first-come $5 sites? I'm doing a little SE trip and plan to hit Narrowback with potentially adding Wolf or Hearthstone at the end of the month.
    Yes, standard Nat. Forest pull off and sleep applies. Early season established campgrounds won't be open yet, but North River should be open year round ($5, pit toilets, no showers). Nice location for climbing Hankey Mt or find a pull out in the general area (that's what I usually do).
    George Washington & Jefferson National Forests - North River Campground

    You'll need to come in off of FR95 and Leading Ridge Rd (Google maps implies other access).
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  10. #10
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    You can camp at Stokesville, just contact SMT. Todd Lake is right there and there are tons of pull-off sites down there.

    The SDS rides start very soon so the Southern Traverse of the SMT should be open soon-ish if not now. I didn't ask Chris about it Saturday...

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbildr View Post
    You can camp at Stokesville, just contact SMT.
    Agree. Probably your best choice if proximity to singletrack from your sleeping bag is a factor. They have a trail out the back side of the campground that goes UP to either join Lookout Mountain (with the leaves gone you can see the campground and lodge from Lookout Mtn trail) or over to Dowell's Draft...another choice single track, but where Lookout is awesome tech, Dowell's is awesome SPEED (with just one tech section).

    Other choices in the area is dispersed (free camping) at one of several well established sites along FR95 on your way from stokesville to Todd Lake. At least two of them are choice sites right on the river and totally free, but almost always have someone in them. If you take the right turn up to tod lake CG and day use are but then take a left up a dirt road before entering the fee area, you'll end up on a cleared peak that is has opportunity for setting up camp with a decent view. Finally, the dirt road portion between AS4 and AS5 on the SM100 route (the "death climb") has a few established dispersed sites along the river during the flat portion. Those are nice as they seem more remote (less vehicular traffic) than FR95 sites, but you'll either pedal significantly more or drive more to get to singletrack. North river is open and on the other side of lookout mtn from the stokesville/SMT lodge/campground. Probably your 2nd best choice after stokesville/SMT for ability to string together good rides right out of your sleeping bag...but then you'll have to climb hankey which is all fire road.

  12. #12
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    That spot at Todd Lake we call the 'helipad'. Not sure if that's the real dealio or not but we've camped up there. Beware the occasional thru-driver up there.

    Dowell's... my god I love that descent. So. Fast. Having that and Lookout right out the back door of Stokesville is amazing.

    Remember, all 'burg downhills have some climbing in them. It's where the phrase 'Harrisonburg Downhill' comes from...

    Make sure you ride Chestnut.

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  13. #13
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    How have the Harrisonburg / SV trails been so far?

    Heading down there the 2nd week in May, interested to hear the post-winter conditions.
    Quote Originally Posted by WA-CO View Post
    If you bash it, what do you do? Walk? Don't be a puss. Get back up there and try again.

  14. #14
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    Was just there last weekend April 17-20. Trails were in great shape. Did Narrowback Mtn, Lookout Mtn, Massanutten, and Hillandale. All streams were flowing pretty good. Some mud in spots but nothing that was not rideable. Views were spectacular. You will have a great time.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  15. #15
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    Conditions are great down there pretty much all the time. Even after heavy rains, it drys out amazingly fast. It's the mountains after all!

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