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  1. #1
    Death Mud
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    Anyone ridden the Rockstar Trail route?

    I'm thinking of riding a portion of this in a few weeks, and maybe using the gravel version to make a loop out of it. I haven't found any mentions of it beyond the Trailforks and MTBProject sites, except for one interesting writeup from a guy who did the race route. I'd like to make a 3-5 day bike packing route from it. If anyone's got any experience or insight on the route, please share. I'm coming from Ohio and won't get a chance to scout beforehand, so I'm trying to squeeze as much prep in over the next few weeks as I can.

    Trail:
    https://www.trailforks.com/route/rockstar-trail-route/

    Gravel:
    https://www.trailforks.com/route/rockstar-gravel-route/

  2. #2
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    I have a couple of friends who tried to complete the trail version a few months ago. They ran out of time and pulled the plug at less than half way. They said it was brutal and awesome.

  3. #3
    Death Mud
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    Quote Originally Posted by notso View Post
    I have a couple of friends who tried to complete the trail version a few months ago. They ran out of time and pulled the plug at less than half way. They said it was brutal and awesome.
    Sounds about like what I expected, based on the little bit Iíve been able to find out about it. Iím thinking of doing a loop that would a bit less than 1/2 the trail route southbound, tied with the gravel route northbound. I figure my 27.5+ hardtail would be the best overall.


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  4. #4
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    I will also add that some of the course stuff seems silly and I would do it differently if I was just looking for a cool trip. For instance, the course sends you UP the Lookout mountain descent. My buddy's said that was a horrible hike-a-bike. In the correct direction, that might be the most fun down hill in the whole GWNF. I would stay on the road past where they tell you to turn up the mountain on up lookout, then work my way around and climb the fire road and come down lookout, or skip it if you don't like rocks and just climb the fire road to the top of hanky mtn.

  5. #5
    Death Mud
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    Anyone ridden the Rockstar Trail route?

    Quote Originally Posted by notso View Post
    I will also add that some of the course stuff seems silly and I would do it differently if I was just looking for a cool trip. For instance, the course sends you UP the Lookout mountain descent. My buddy's said that was a horrible hike-a-bike. In the correct direction, that might be the most fun down hill in the whole GWNF. I would stay on the road past where they tell you to turn up the mountain on up lookout, then work my way around and climb the fire road and come down lookout, or skip it if you don't like rocks and just climb the fire road to the top of hanky mtn.
    Wow, great tip, thanks! I can see that now, comparing the Lookout Mtn loop on MTBProject with the Rockstar route. Iíll adjust the route as you suggest...I might even stay at the Stokesville campground, and do the ride to Lookout and the Loop as a day ride. Hmm...interesting options. Looks like there are lots of choices close by.


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  6. #6
    I am the owl
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    The pay off for going up Lookout is to go down Hankey, which is a fantastic descent. Getting to the top of that ridge is work no matter how you slice it. If you want an easier route up, skip Lookout and take North River Trail to FR 425 which starts near the reservoir. You'll still get the Hankey descent which I would not miss. North River trail has a bunch of stream crossings, so if it is running high you can bypass on North River Rd and Leading Ridge Rd which are nice gravel but add some mileage.
    SingleSpeedOutlaw .com
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  7. #7
    Death Mud
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    I think I've got the route figured out...Start in Stokesville (Where I can camp and then keep my car), then ride to Covington using mostly the Rockstar route. Then, rent a car back to Harrisonburg and ride back to Stokesville. Given my time available and ambition, that seems realistic. Plus, I've got an option for an early bailout around mile 87 if I'm not feeling it by then.
    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28748498

  8. #8
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    That looks like a great route as long as you bring your climbing legs. Getting to the top of Hanky mtn straight from the campground will be a job with a fully loaded bike.
    Once in Douthat, you might consider continuing on the Middle Mountain ridge instead of dropping off on Salt stump trail (mile 82.9 on your route). The northern end of that ridge is really cool. It'll drop you just outside the park on gravel and you can be back on your route in 10-15 min.

  9. #9
    Death Mud
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    Thanks for the tip! Yeah, the climbing will be...interesting. I tried to plan for around 25 miles a day on average. That should keep me motivated without having to kill myself. Looks like Iíll need to bring enough food for a couple of days to start, since I donít see much for services. I figure I can filter water as needed.
    Iím thinking my Pony Rustler would be ideal for this, Iíll just have to pack light. Iíve got a 27.5 hardtail also, which would give me more packing space, but the terrain seems rough enough that the Floating Cloud (as I think of my PR) and its squish would be nice.

  10. #10
    Death Mud
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    Well, Iím in Hot Springs after two days and seventy miles. Spent a cold night on the mountain the first night, and decided to stay at the Vine Cottage Inn last night. A tough couple of days! Will be headed to Covington today over pavement. Iím taking a break today!

  11. #11
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Thanks for the pics. Keep us posted on your adventure!

  12. #12
    Death Mud
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    Anyone ridden the Rockstar Trail route?

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigCreekRider View Post
    Thanks for the pics. Keep us posted on your adventure!
    Since you asked ...
    After getting to Hot Springs I was pretty wiped out, so much that I couldnít really sleep well. I checked in at the Vine Cottage Inn (highly recommended. The place has great character, and the new owners Tammy and Dave are really great) and in the morning decided to ride to Covington and rent a car from Enterprise. Iíd drive to Harrisonburg and stay the night, drop the car, and ride to Stokesville. Figured I didnít need to call ahead, but found out once in Covington that they had no cars at all for a couple of days. Oops. Iíd left my gear at the Inn, figuring Iíd swing by and get it on the way to Híburg. I ended up cabbing it back to Hot Springs for the night. Well, at least I had a nice ride to Covington!
    Today I took a paved route from Hot Springs to Stokesville, about 54 miles. Great scenery, some creepy Halloween decorations, and my beer was still cold in the cooler!
    To Covington:


    Bike path to Covington


    Just a touch creepy, close to Stokesville. If this is outside my tent in the morning Iím going straight home.

  13. #13
    Death Mud
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    Just a few more thoughts while I sit around the fire:
    In all honesty, the two days on the trail may have been the hardest I ever had. I realized late on the first day that I didnít have enough water to last before I got low enough in elevation to find a filter able source. I rationed pretty tightly but ran out a little before I found a stream, mid-day the next day. Also didnít eat enough on day two, since I didnít want to use water in the morning for breakfast, and then just got too focused on making time later in the day. I ended up rolling into Hot Springs around 8:00 on a pretty cold night...12 hours of pedaling or pushing the bike with not much break.
    It was great, though. Had my closest bear encounter, about 50 yards away, and thankfully headed away from me. Saw a lot of beautiful views, and met some really great people. Considering I didnít train much, I feel like 70 miles in two days on mostly trails isnít too bad. Iíd actually planned on getting to Hot Springs on day three, so I made better time than expected, but I also pushed harder than expected
    All that being said, itís been great, and Iím looking forward to some milder riding the next couple of days.

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