Looking for info on trails near Front Royal and Strasburg, VA- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Looking for info on trails near Front Royal and Strasburg, VA

    Recently moved from points south...

    Can anyone insights (or recommended mountain biking rides) for the trails right outside Front Royal VA (Elizabeth Furnace area) and info on trails west of Strasburg VA in the northernmost part of George Washington National Forest?

    I've explored some of GWNF, never ridden Elizabeth Furnace and looking for more remote trails. I have checked out Shenandoah State Park trails.

    Thank you in advance,
    Geoff

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    There is some great riding in the Elizabeth Furnace area but it can be demanding. There is an easy way up to Signal Knob from the parking area at EF rec area. The easy route is mostly fire road, but last mile or so up to signal knob is probably 20% grade. From there take signal knob trail which is full of rocks, not little rocks, big jagged rocks that are hard to ride, until you get to Maneka Peak trail. Hang a right there and be prepared for about a mile of hike a bike as the rocks and boulders are on steroids. This trails ends/intersect at Bear Wallow trail. Hang a left and ride Bear Wallow back to lot, maybe around 5 niles of DH. The higher up switch backs can be pretty hard due to rocks, but all is rideable. There are other ways to do this ride that are a lot harder on the way up. There are supposedly a lot of other trails in Ft. Valley area but I have not ridden the others.


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  3. #3
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    Thanks, sounds like a mini epic. A little nervous riding that solo based on your description.

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    I consider this to be the standard EF Loop. Up Blue to SideWinder, Mudhole Gap to Strasburg Reservoir, Hike-a-Bike, and Bear Wallow Downhill.

    https://ridewithgps.com/trips/9666058

  5. #5
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    Get National Geographic map #792, it covers Fort Valley (Elizabeth Furnace, Buzzard Rock and trails south on both ridges) and the Great North Mountain area (trails to the west of i-81. Great riding in both areas.

    Here's a favorite ridgetop run, you probably won't run into anyone on the singletrack (first portion), the second it open to ORV, so you might come across a few.
    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/15463850

    This is an overnighter on Great North Mountain, but you can trim it down to a single day trip https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14889774
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  6. #6
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    cjsb has mapped out what I consider a classic EF loop, except I climb the bottom of bear wallow to Sidewinder and then up Mudhole Gap. Otherwise do it the same. Don't skip the Maneka Peak section unless you are short on time, then do Viva Borracho's version.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the continued input. I do have the NatGeo map. Hard to know what's hike-a-bike and what's good from a map, so I appreciate the ideas, links and GPS tracks.

    Cheers,
    Geoff

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    Quote Originally Posted by -G- View Post
    Thanks for the continued input. I do have the NatGeo map. Hard to know what's hike-a-bike and what's good from a map, so I appreciate the ideas, links and GPS tracks.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
    Previously posted some route descriptions and a map in this thread.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/virginia-wv-m...ah-997829.html
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by -G- View Post
    Thanks for the continued input. I do have the NatGeo map. Hard to know what's hike-a-bike and what's good from a map, so I appreciate the ideas, links and GPS tracks.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
    The hike-a-bike at EF is almost all due to rocks and those will not show up on the maps. There is a really steep grade as you get to top of signal knob from the fire road, like I said above seems at least 20%. That is a serious grade but can be climbed on the bike if one is in shape. To ride the insane rocks one needs some serious bike handling/strength/balance, really trials like skills.


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    mtbproject is becoming more and more populated with Elizabeth Furnace content:

    Signal Knob - Meneka Peak - Bear Wallow Loop, George Washington National Forest | MTB Project

    An example of the rock gardens:

    https://www.mtbproject.com//photo/7010357

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    For a little practice you can go to Sherando park in Stephens city. About 4+ miles of single track broken up into 6 or 7 sections. I do a few laps there about once a week. Well maintained actually and close and good practice when you don't have time for the EF or SN epic Figure Eight of hate....

    For remote have you gone out to Cacapon State Park near Berkeley Springs?

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    Also south of EF is a few rides like Veach's gap and Shermans gap as well or biking toward the Woodstock water tower. All are on the some mountain system as EF on massanutin mountain and all have climbs and rocks

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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Ha View Post
    mtbproject is becoming more and more populated with Elizabeth Furnace content:

    Signal Knob - Meneka Peak - Bear Wallow Loop, George Washington National Forest | MTB Project

    An example of the rock gardens:

    https://www.mtbproject.com//photo/7010357
    Thanks for all the Links--great app. If I read the Figure 8 ride correctly, it looks like the Figure 8 intersection is Mudhole Gap? I would like to ride to the Woodstock observation tower next time I go out there.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    it looks like the Figure 8 intersection is Mudhole Gap? I would like to ride to the Woodstock observation tower next time I go out there.
    Correct about Mudhole. Here's the Figure 8 route which includes going up to Woodstock tower (tower is just south of mile 11.5).
    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/17578767
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  15. #15
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    As well as all the great riding in the Elizabeth Furnace area, Andy Guest Shenandoah state Park is just south of front royal and has 15-20 miles of trails. Not technical like Elizabeth Furnace, but good climbs and fast trails.

    Vance's cove is not far, either, and there is good riding there.

    Stop up in Element Sports in Winchester, I can provide you with maps and info about all the local mountain biking.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx View Post
    Correct about Mudhole. Here's the Figure 8 route which includes going up to Woodstock tower (tower is just south of mile 11.5).
    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/17578767
    Thanks so much for these details. I can picture the dirt road sections now as I took the family out to Woodstock Tower this weekend to check it out. We drove up from the Woodstock-81 side and my son loved the hair pin turns up that dirt road. We went down the fort valley side on mine my. Road, eventually to 678.

    I may do the ride this weekend but while we were at the tower around 3 pm there was constant gun fire, presumably hunters in the gwnf? Maybe thee is a gun range in Woodstock? I'd be a little concerned about the single track ridge ride on the orange trail back from the tower towards mudhole as it was quite bit of shooting.


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  17. #17
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    Deer season out there, but Sunday should be no hunting. I believe that is Shenandoah County, so you can verify on the Virginia state hunting regulation site. We were riding the GW on the other side of I-81 this weekend (Big Schloss, Long Mountain, Mill Mountain). Had a bear bell on my bike and orange helmet to be safe. We were on the boarder, VA had hunting this weekend, WV did not.
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  18. #18
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    I have not been able to independently verify this information, but passing it along because I have no reason to believe it is inaccurate at this point. Will update if I get further info. This was cross posted to a local trail group.

    Reposting from the newsgroup. #massanuttenrocks
    "...Over the weekend our law enforcement officer discovered 2 steel foothold traps on the Massanutten Trail approx. mile North from Woodstock tower. The 2 traps were discovered by mountain bikers traveling from the Mudhole Gap Trail. The traps were found a couple hundred yards from each other. Both were set and covered first with a mesh and then leaves making them difficult to see on the trail. While trapping is allowed on national forest lands, hunters must follow state laws. (https://www.dgif.virginia/
    gov/hunting/regulations/furbearertrapping/) These traps were illegally set.
    *Be safe! Wear blaze orange. Avoid the forest during rifle season starting this weekend (11/19) in VA and next week (11/21) in WV. Check appropriate websites for more information...."
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx View Post
    I have not been able to independently verify this information, but passing it along because I have no reason to believe it is inaccurate at this point. Will update if I get further info. This was cross posted to a local trail group.
    Thanks for posting. Any idea whether the traps were intended for Bears or people? I had no idea that traps were allowed for hunting?


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  20. #20
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    All info I have is posted above. I reached out to a friend who lives in the valley but have not heard back yet
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