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  1. #1
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    Sherando or Carvins Cove? Hard tail and camping.

    Hey, planning to go camping next week with the SO and she's allowing me to take the bike out for a bit of riding at least one of the days. I have a hard tail 29er and want to get in a good ride with a fair amount of climbing and some flowy/fun singletrack. I am pretty decent on the technical stuff, but I'm pretty out of shape and out of practice.

    Anyway, would you guys who are familiar recommend I ride Carvins Cove or Sherando? I am also looking to camp somewhere nearby, so any trails with easily accessible camping would be a major plus. Should be out there on the 3rd/4th so if anybody has suggestions and is interested in riding, I'd love to have somebody show me the ropes. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Carvins for sure if you want flow. Sherando is more technical and IMO does not have much flow, but I prefer the challenge and rock riding. Carvin has some of the fastest and fun trail around. If I were camping though, Douthat would beat either of those 2 spots.

  3. #3
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    Sherando or Carvins Cove? Hard tail and camping.

    Not sure why I didn't consider Douthat. I'd read a little about it, but for some reason thought it was a lot further away from me. Any recommendations on where to camp there?

  4. #4
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    Sherando or Carvins Cove? Hard tail and camping.

    Looks like I'll just find a spot off a fire road in George Washington National Forest or try Buckhorne. $26/night to camp at the state park campgrounds seems a bit ridiculous. If anybody knows any good campsites near a random fire road in the Douthat area, I'm all ears, otherwise I am sure we can drive around and find one randomly.

  5. #5
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copperhed51 View Post
    Looks like I'll just find a spot off a fire road in George Washington National Forest or try Buckhorne. $26/night to camp at the state park campgrounds seems a bit ridiculous. If anybody knows any good campsites near a random fire road in the Douthat area, I'm all ears, otherwise I am sure we can drive around and find one randomly.
    There are several sites just north of the park on both sides of Douthat road that people use pretty regular. A little further north Smith Creek road is off to the left (behind caboose camp, no road sign). A mile of so up that road on the right are some real nice creek side camp sites.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the suggestions! We used one of the spots just north of the state park on Douthat Rd. It was really nice even though it rained the entire first night. I hopped on my bike the 2nd day we were there and as I was rolling out of our campsite, I tore the sidewall open on my rear tire. I was less than thrilled. I drove to Lexington (about an hour round trip) and bought a crappy tire to get me through the couple days. I was a little surprised that was the closest bike shop.

    As for the riding, it was amazing. I'm not a great climber and the climbs are a bit steep for me at Douthat. I rode up Mountain Top trail and down Brushy Hollow. My lack of fitness combined with a bad hangover made the climb miserable. The descent was one of the most fun I've ever ridden.

    The next day we hiked a 10 mile loop on the west side of the park and it seemed like there were some climbs over there that were a little more reasonable gradient. I just don't do well when things pitch up over 12-13%. It's weird because my heart rate would be below my threshold, but I was completely dying. I can't decide if it was a leg strength/muscle type issue or if the hangover was causing that many problems. I'm sure the pancake flat riding in Virginia Beach is not helping my cause. Anyway, thanks again for the suggestions. I'm already planning a return trip sometime this year or next.

  7. #7
    CrgCrkRyder
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    You may want to go up Mountain Side next time, it is considerably easier. Mountain Top is a brutal climb. Brushy is considered one of the best downhills in the state by many, myself included.

    On the other side, Locust Gap to Stony Run, the climbing Stony is a good way to get to the top. If it is clear, Tuscarora Overlook is a must see spot. Descend on Salt Stump, or better yet ride Middle Mountain north all way out to the Forest Service road, 2 rights and you are back at where you camped.

  8. #8
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    Sherando or Carvins Cove? Hard tail and camping.

    I considered mountain side, but didn't want to be a pansy. Turns out I looked like a pansy anyway. I hiked to the Tuscarora Overlook the day after my ride and it was awesome. I did notice that descending Stony Run, Beards Gap, and a couple others seemed less steep than the way we took up (Blue Suck Falls and another one I can't remember right now). I'm trying to convince my old riding partner to make a trip from Chicago to Douthat so we can ride for a few days. Will definitely try to hit up the other side if the park if/when he does. Thanks for the tips. Can't wait to go back!

  9. #9
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Yeah, Mountain Top Trail can be pretty demoralizing. One false summit after another, each one steeper than the last.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  10. #10
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    Even though Douthat is my favorite place to ride in the State, Sherando lake has it's share of epic riding.

    You can avoid the endless rock gardens by going up Mill creek from big levels all the way to the parkway and coming down Slack's trail back to Sherando lake......DON'T do this with a hangover. lol

    It's an excellent 20 mile loop

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