4 day weekend - Where to ride in VA???- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    4 day weekend - Where to ride in VA???

    Hey guys/gals. I've got a 4 day weekend coming up Nov 8-11. Wanted to know where is a good place to come ride in VA. I don't mind driving but I'd like to hit a pretty large trail system that will keep me interested for a few days. I'm and XC racer at heart and love climbing, technical riding, fast smooth stuff, you name it. I wanna see some unfamiliar stuff and just play. I've done a little research and saw a place named Carvin's Cove by Roanoke? How's this place. I ride all over North Jersey/ NY State so I'd like to see how it compares. Oh and I'd like there to be camping or inexpensive accomodations somewhere close. Night life fairly close would make the trip fun as well. Help me out with your expertise!

  2. #2
    I am the owl
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    George Washington National Forest. Hit the Elizabeth Furnace/Buzzard Rock area or head further south to the Harrisonburg/Stokesville area. The whole forest is approx. 1 million acres and almost all trails are open to bike. Plenty of free or cheap camping and lots of A+ riding.

    Dig around here, plenty has been posted to get you started on leads for ride.

    SingleSpeedOutlaw .com
    Riding Bikes and Drinking Beer.

  3. #3

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    yeah the GW is great, if your looking for smother stuff head further south like Harrisonburg or even Roanoke ive never ridden the Carvin's Cove but ive only heard good things.

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    Agreed with the GW suggestions %100 as always, just can't go wrong. Carvin's cove is fun, but If you would be driving further just to get there past H'burg/Stokesville I certainly wouldn't worry about it. Carvin's cove while a fun place to ride no doubt, can easily be ridden in a day where as the opportunities in GW are much more vast. It truly doesn't offer anything more to make the extra drive worth while. Great trail system to hit if you are going to be in that area regardless sometime though.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mud'n'sweat
    Agreed with the GW suggestions %100 as always, just can't go wrong. Carvin's cove is fun, but If you would be driving further just to get there past H'burg/Stokesville I certainly wouldn't worry about it. Carvin's cove while a fun place to ride no doubt, can easily be ridden in a day where as the opportunities in GW are much more vast. It truly doesn't offer anything more to make the extra drive worth while. Great trail system to hit if you are going to be in that area regardless sometime though.
    Yea I'm looking to do some epic rides and I plan on riding about 4-6 hours a day. I'd need some expansive trail. I was near the Harrisonburg area last year but never got to try any of the trails. Are there any good trail maps or guides of the area so I won't have to have a search party sent out for me?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    Yea I'm looking to do some epic rides and I plan on riding about 4-6 hours a day. I'd need some expansive trail. I was near the Harrisonburg area last year but never got to try any of the trails. Are there any good trail maps or guides of the area so I won't have to have a search party sent out for me?
    Carvin's Cove can be ridden by a strong rider in a day. There are two main loops there and I finally did them as one long loop last Sunday. I am guessing it was about 23-25 miles altogether. One thing everyone should be aware of is that over the past year there has been some AMAZING trailwork done there. It is top notch, the likes of which I am not used to seeing on the east coast and, combined with what was already there, makes for what I think is among the most diverse trials I've seen in one system. Plus the trails are finally well marked. I think it is worth a couple hours drive to check out.

    Douthat State park is also a hoot, but again it can be done in one long day. Very long climbs, very long, swooping downhill runs, one of which is 4 miles you could do without a chain.

    I lived in northern NJ and northwesten CT and rode in those areas for 3 years. The terrain here is often rocky and rooty, but not like up there.

    I did 2 rides up near harrisonburg a few years ago, and was impressed at how expansive it was. Both days were epic in length and we never saw a soul. Wish I knew where I was.
    Last edited by kapusta; 10-13-2007 at 09:33 AM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    Yea I'm looking to do some epic rides and I plan on riding about 4-6 hours a day. I'd need some expansive trail. I was near the Harrisonburg area last year but never got to try any of the trails. Are there any good trail maps or guides of the area so I won't have to have a search party sent out for me?
    Yep, GW it is then. The National Geo. map for Staunton/Shenadoah Mtn. is your best bet.

    Some favorite rides to start off with (all can be linked up together for massive days except for a super short drive needed to the Southern Traverse)....

    Reddish Knob (Wolf Ridge, Timber Ridge, Hearthstone, etc)
    Little Bald Knob
    Southern Traverse section of the SMT (listed as an epic on IMBA's site.)
    Dowell's Draft
    Braley Pond
    Lookout Mtn.
    Cliffside Trail
    Heartbreak Trail

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mud'n'sweat
    Yep, GW it is then. The National Geo. map for Staunton/Shenadoah Mtn. is your best bet.

    Some favorite rides to start off with (all can be linked up together for massive days except for a super short drive needed to the Southern Traverse)....

    Reddish Knob (Wolf Ridge, Timber Ridge, Hearthstone, etc)
    Little Bald Knob
    Southern Traverse section of the SMT (listed as an epic on IMBA's site.)
    Dowell's Draft
    Braley Pond
    Lookout Mtn.
    Cliffside Trail
    Heartbreak Trail
    Sweet well this looks like the place to start researching and buying maps for.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    Sweet well this looks like the place to start researching and buying maps for.
    The best map for the GWNF is the one put out my for forest service.

    I rode on monday and brought my Forest Service Map and another guy brought the Trails Illustrated map by National Geographic, and the forest service one was more detailed with some more trails, gates (which are great landmarks when you're not quite sure), and other features.

    Mine's getting some wear around the seams, so I'd recommend scanning in the sections you want then printing them out.

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