Which trails in the DC area dry first?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Which trails in the DC area dry first?

    2018 has been a damper for sure. I've had to do a lot more pavement riding then in years past due to constant wet trails. I stopped riding muddy trails since I don't volunteer with trail building (figured it's the least I can do). Which MTB trails tend to dry first around the DC area?

  2. #2
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    I'd like to know, too as I just picked up a new bike today and am getting back into riding after a few years off. Hopefully, Florence will stay further south or we won't be riding for a long time!
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  3. #3
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    Laurel hill in Lorton usually dries out first. Usually a day or 2 after the rain its good on most of the trails except slaughter house loop

  4. #4
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    Go south a couple hours to the mountains where there's more rock, and you'll find a lot of trails that are good to go faster than the stuff around DC. The descents are better too.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Go south a couple hours to the mountains where there's more rock, and you'll find a lot of trails that are good to go faster than the stuff around DC. The descents are better too.
    Welcome you ID'ing them pls. Would love to find better trails w/in 2 hours.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by xseal View Post
    Welcome you ID'ing them pls. Would love to find better trails w/in 2 hours.
    Depends what side of DC you're on. On the VA side, head for the general area out by Woodstock on down towards Harrisonburg. There are just nearly literally trails ALL OVER those mountains. I'd highly recommend MTB project or Trail Forks to sort out which ones you'd like to try. Many of the trail descriptions will tell you how they handle wet weather. The SVBC is a great resource for which trails are ridable out that way when it's wetish and what recovers fastest. Just remember, the keys are elevation and rock, so there won't be any "easy" rides.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by xseal View Post
    Welcome you ID'ing them pls. Would love to find better trails w/in 2 hours.
    Just a start:

    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/702...-loop-figure-8

    https://www.mtbproject.com/directory...8/harrisonburg

  8. #8
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    They're referring to trails in George Washington National Forest primarily. There really are too many to list, but for the shortest drive from DC and the most water-proof it's definitely the Elizabeth Furnace area. Signal Knob, Bear Wallow, Buzzard Rocks... All fantastic and stupid rocky, so mud is really never a concern.

    Gambrill State Park linked above is another good option a bit closer. Not completely bomb-proof like Elizabeth Furnace, but pretty close. If anything in the area is dry, it's likely that is.

  9. #9
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    Definitely Laurel Hills as stated.

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    Lake Fairfax drains pretty well these days. Usually within a day or two of raining, the whole park is good to ride.

    But, the CCT/Difficult Run trail that most people use to make a big loop is under water right now (by the toll road underpass) and not likely to dry out anytime soon.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RacerLex View Post
    2018 has been a damper for sure. I've had to do a lot more pavement riding then in years past due to constant wet trails. I stopped riding muddy trails since I don't volunteer with trail building (figured it's the least I can do). Which MTB trails tend to dry first around the DC area?
    Gambrill dries super fast, if you like heading toward Frederick. My go to when weíve had rain, because itís usually good in no time.

  12. #12
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    Lake Fairfax drains pretty well these days. Usually within a day or two of raining, the whole park is good to ride.
    Eh, Lake Fairfax doesn't dry any faster than the other trails, it just depends on how much rain we've gotten. Some of the newer IMBA built stuff stays peanut-buttery for longer than the original trails as well. As mentioned above, the only NOVA side trail that dries relatively faster is Laurel Hills and that's because much of it is out in the open.

    A good gauge is just to check the Fountainhead FB page for trail updates. If FH is closed due to rain, then there is a high probability that the other nearby trails aren't any better.

  13. #13
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    I havenít noticed Foutainhead making daily posts on the FB page, unless I missed it itís best to call them.
    I can tell you they were closed one day so I went to Meadowood since itís 20 min away, bad idea. Nice place to ride but it holds lots of water and stays wet awhile.
    Best of luck.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnoTrack View Post
    Definitely Laurel Hills as stated.
    Correct. Yesterday I rode at laurel hills before lunch and it was OK. There was very little standing water. After lunch I went to Meadowwood and it was a joke. Meadowwood May not dry out in 2018. The trail is getting so wide from wet-riding. I do like the fountainhead approach of closing wet trails.


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  15. #15
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    I went to Snowshoe Friday. Not sure it was 2 hours further drive better than Bryson from DC. All the trails were really rocky and Rooty, presumably b/c the rain eroded much of the dirt. Was still pretty wet in lots of places.

    Am I an outlier, did I miss something, or am I right?

  16. #16
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    I tried out Lake Fairfax and it does drain well in most spots but there are a few wet areas. I think the main trail that heads down hill from the Skate Quest parking lot has some erosion, particularly by the creek system.

    Laurel Hill is definitely the driest though. Guess I'll be riding that trail more often, not much break in the rain.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by xseal View Post
    I went to Snowshoe Friday. Not sure it was 2 hours further drive better than Bryson from DC. All the trails were really rocky and Rooty, presumably b/c the rain eroded much of the dirt. Was still pretty wet in lots of places.

    Am I an outlier, did I miss something, or am I right?
    Having a hard time understanding what it is you're looking to confirm...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Having a hard time understanding what it is you're looking to confirm...
    Snowshoe is ok, not great.

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