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  1. #1
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    Stokesville Campground (Harrisonburg, VA) info?

    Someone suggested I check out the Stokesville Campground area trails...says there's like 500 miles of trails which is insane. Just wondering if anyone can give some info on the area...looking for some more mellow areas to ride...have a friend that's just getting his first real bike this week and honestly I'm a bit out of riding shape myself...got a really late start to riding this year. I'd love to head down for a day or two of riding but don't want to kill myself or discourage my newbie friend from riding by getting him into stuff way over his head right out of the gate.
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  2. #2
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    The Shenandoah Mountain 100 runs out Stokesville. It's an amazing place. The riding is awesome, but finding easier/shorter loops might be tough. The shortest one I can think of is about 10 miles, and most are 25+ miles with long climbs. The downhills are great, but you have to work for them. I am sure others can give you more info.

  3. #3
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    Distance isn't so much the issue. It will be the technical stuff for my new rider buddy and then the climbing for both of us. Me cause I'm just out of shape and him because he's new on the bike and not used to riding. Maybe this week I'll reach out and check in with local shops and see what they can tell me. Regardless...I want to get down there soon to ride. I did the Alpine Loop year before last and the area was amazing.
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  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    I'm a flatlander so I feel your pain. Hburg always puts the hurt on me....I am talking 12-15 mile days max.

    First off, the campground has some really fun, machine built flow trails. I want to say its 6 miles or so of fun, that is not techy, but flowy. The climb up is through the campground and you ride down. There are a few loops. Overall you guys could probably have a fun day just in the campground.

    Next up is turning a short loop on Narrowback, so that you can do Tillman West (one of the most popular DH's in the area). You can go up and back down to your car in about an hour, 6 miles. Super fun loop. Repeat if you have it in you.

    And remember that Bryce isn't far away. Go check it out, buy a lift ticket and charge the green and blue trails for an afternoon. Super fun chill DH stuff to be had there. Pad up though.

    The stokesville campground is just bada$$. I say just go man! Chat with the crew up there and start small. They will help you out.
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  6. #6
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    I have never advised against Stokesville, I absolutely love that place, but in this case I don't think it's your best option. The campground trails will be fun and suitable for both of you, but you'll ride them all in about an hour - maybe less.

    Once you head out into the GW Forest, climbing is required. Narrowback mountain is the 'easy' option out there and you're still talking about 1,000 foot of climbing or more no matter what you do... So that 6 mile out and back described above, that's 1,000 feet in six miles (climbing it in 3). If you do more of the Narrowback/Festival loop you'll end up with a fair amount more, probably close to 2,000. Any other rides in the area will only be more climbing than that. It's not hard at all to do ~2,500 feet of climbing on an otherwise short ride out there.

    The trails themselves aren't terribly technical, but they've all got rocks. Narrowback is the easiest in this regard as well, but again it's not easy by general mtb standards. I'd put it right in the middle of intermediate I think; nothing that a seasoned mtber is gonna think twice about, but plenty that might look crazy to someone new to the sport. Other trails in GW range from extremely technical (Lookout, which is the closest to camp so probably the most common recommendation) to buff flow stuff (lower Wolf) but most have a mix of both.

    Stokesville is one of my favorite places I've ever ridden, but that's because nearly every ride gets you way up and way out into some pretty wild feeling areas. That's not a selling point for a new rider in my mind. In order to link up what I consider really good rides down there, I'm usually riding 25-40 miles with 4,000-6,000 feet of climbing. It's a BIG place in every sense of the word.

  7. #7
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    There is also Massanutten resort which has a great trail system. There is some climbing but you can set your own pace. Definitely worth it.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  8. #8
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    We stayed at Massenutten back a few months ago. No riding but the resort was super nice. Almost bought a time share...wish we would have now.
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  9. #9
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    TheDwayyo is probably right, the more I think of it. The place is epic, but its a butt kicking if you arent ready, or if you are new to the game. There may be better places for you to enjoy for now.

    Where are you at/coming from. Not going to steer you away from Stokesville, but maybe it will help us offer some suggestions. You mentioned coming "down to."
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  10. #10
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    I'm in WV in the panhandle. So I'm not a stranger to climbing. I don't like it though. And I got a late start this riding season and spent too much time in the weight room and eating like a pig so I'm far far away from my riding weight and fitness...lol...I guess to start I'll find someplace local even if it's a gravel road and see how my buddy does with 1000+ feet of climbing. Then maybe head up to Raystown or someplace else that's pretty mellow and see how he/we fare on 20+ miles of trails in a day of riding. It does sound like the Harrisonburg area does need some preparation to enjoy it the most. I'm definitely dead set on getting down there this summer to ride. When I did the Alpine Loop a couple years ago...it was seriously the most enjoyable ride and one of the nicest areas I've ridden ever. But I didn't do any mountain biking...it was all road.
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  11. #11
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    It's worth it to wait until you're feeling strong to go, there's a lot of great trails but they're all tough and pretty spread out. I don't think any one trail would be worth the drive honestly. Wait until you can hook up a mega-ride that ticks a few boxes in one shot.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    It's worth it to wait until you're feeling strong to go, there's a lot of great trails but they're all tough and pretty spread out. I don't think any one trail would be worth the drive honestly. Wait until you can hook up a mega-ride that ticks a few boxes in one shot.
    Thanks. Sounds like the best plan. I figure a few outings on the easy trails that are more local and maybe a trip to Raystown in PA for a big day of riding and then judge from there to see how we are both feeling. I'll be getting in a bunch of gravel miles between now and time to come down that way so my fitness should be a bit better by then.

    I appreciate the responses and looking forward to hitting a bunch of trails in the area soon(ish).
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