Sherando Lake Campground in George Washington Nat'l Forest
I may be taking a road trip from NY to Nashville in a few months. I'm thinking of breaking the trip in 1/2 by stopping to MTB. Based on my total mileage the mid-point is near Staunton, VA.
I've researched about Sherando Lake Campground (Lyndhurst, VA). I uncovered the map and read some route recommendations, etc. I think I have got a good route planned in terms of direction and trying not to fight the climbs too badly.
Can you please check out the route I have planned (follow the arrows) and let me know your opinions or any suggested 'tweaks' you might make?
Thanks in advance!
Good thing you posted, cause your route is leading you on some serious hike-a-bike and less than desirable routes.
Mill Creek connector is not a very popular trail, so I'm guessing it is overgrown and in rough shape. I rode it once and will not repeat. Heading down Torrey Ridge on the blue loop double black diamond trail is a death wish. Either leg of the blue loop looses about 400' in 1/4 mile of trail. They are both basically rock scrambles meant for hiking, not biking.
As lame as it sounds, from where you are parking go out to the paved road hang a right and ride that up to and inside the park. The road is a nice spin to warm up. Get on White Rock Gap as you indicate, but hang a left at the first intersection and head towards the Blue Ridge Parkway. Staying right will lead to a lengthly hike-a-bike. That section of trail just was not meant to be ridden uphill. Once on the parkway spin (approx. 4 miles) up to Bald Mtn. Overlook. Enjoy the views and the cooler air. At Bald Mtn. Overlook turn right onto the forest road. Stay on the forest road (climb) about 2 miles. At the 'T' intersection a left will lead you to the upper trailhead of Mill Creek Trail (look for what looks like a campground off on the righthand side of the trail, once at the small campground the trail rather abruptly heads downhill at the back left corner). There is a old bus along the forest road right there too. I believe the Mill Creek Trailhead is just before the bus - not 100% sure. If you hand a right at the 'T' head about 1/8 mile up the slight incline to the Torrey Ridge trailhead on the left. The trailhead sign is about 50 feet down the trail so don't freak if you don't see it along the road. If you ride the road to a flat clearing you've gone about 200 feet too far. My suggestion would be to take Torry Ridge down to Upper Slacks, to Lower Slacks back to White Rock back to the campground, then grind out the road back to the car. That route is 100% downhill. Very fun! Mill Creek is okay, but you loose a majority of the elevation (that you worked so hard for) in the first 1/2 mile by going down the switchbacks. The next 5 or so miles are old wider style singletrack (old road of some nature). Trial is littered with babyhead rocks, and has at (3) creek crossings (which can be flowing fairly well in the spring & fall). After the last (3rd) crossing, the trail gets a bit quicker and whoopy. The last 1 mile or so is forest road back to Coal Rd.
I've ridden Sherando a lot. For a one time easy to navigate, hit the best sections route, that is what I suggest.
A few pics from previous rides....
White Rock lower trailhead (from inside park)
View from 20 Minute Cliff Overlook on the Parkway (first overlook you'd encounter uphill from White Rock Trailhead)
Torry Ridge Upper Trailhead
Rock Garden on Torrey (Some ride it, I hike it. It's only about 100 feet)
View from one of the clearings on Torrey
Section of White Rock
This is why I love this site. People helping people with a common passion!!!
+rep for you (for whatever that's worth)
No problem. Now I'm craving a ride there, or some of the trails over west of Staunton/Harrisonburg. Just hate to see people ride the area and get frustrated because they are riding hiking trails or riding a less than desirerable route. Enjoy the ride and post up a ride report afterwards!
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