George Washington National Forest, Elizabeth Furnace Trailhead
Trail Conditions Forum Here
: Mike and Susan
Notes from other riders:
There are ton of trails in the Fort Valley area, all well mapped in National Geographic’s Trails Illustrated #792.
From the parking lot it is a challenging climb with numerous technical sections. Although never too steep, it is challenging and I know of no one to clean it. Also fun to come down, though lots of hikers use this trail as it is the easiest to access.
Fun either up or down. For a couple hour ride, you can ride Passage Creek Rd, through Mudhole Gap, north on Strasburg Reservoir Rd, then climb up the backside of Bear Wallow (single and a half track, loose and rocky) to the top of Bear Wallow and then head down Bear Wallow. Bear Wallow is sometimes called 31 Flavors as it changes personality numerous times on the way down, from ultra technical at the top, to fast switchbacks and wide up straight aways
Tuscarora Doll Ridge:
As technical as it gets. Advanced terrain that does not see much traffic.
Up Mudhole Gap South to Woodstock Tower:
Trail rides great both ways. Not as technical as the trail to the north on Doll or South of Woodstock. A good add-on for the Bear Wallow ride.
Woodstock Tower South:
Park on the west side of Massanutten at the Chapman boat ramp. Road ride to Woodstock Tower and begin heading south on the ridge. Ridge is technical, but 100% rideable. Head down from Waonaze Peak to Edinburg Gap and then loop around on the road. Great ridge riding with a fun, technical downhill. Takes around 4 hours.
Woodstock Tower North (Start at Edinburg Gap/Taskers Gap Parking Lot):
Used to think this would be a miserable way to ride the ridge, but now prefer it to Woodstock Tower South. Waonaze Peak is the highest point on the main western ridge of the northern Massanutten and you get to climb it first--there's some hiking, but not too much and once you get to the top you are pretty much coasting to Woodstock Tower. Ridge is very cleanable and rolls fast. To make a loop you can either drop down into Shenandoah Valley towards Chapman Boat Ramp or ride the ATV trail in Fort Valley or ride Fort Valley Rd (careful of cars as there is no shoulder), or go big and cross over to the other side of the valley and ride Camp Roosevelt or Stephen's Trail to Veach.
Fast downhill, more loose than technical. Better to climb, but not really fun to climb
Indian Grave Ridge:
Not fun to climb, better to go down. Nice technical section at the top.
From the west is a wet climb , but is one of the only ways to get up on the ridge from Fort Vally without hike a biking or going all the way to Steven’s Trail. From the east is also a good way to get up, with only the top part being loose and sandy.
No longer open from the west. From the east is a mess, fall-line, loose, overgrown.
From the west, better climb than downhill, but still a nasty hike a bike at the top. Downhill is just fast, loose and straight and nowhere near as much fun as Shawl.
From the west, technical with some amazing stone stairs. This is one of the most challenging and fun downhills in the valley. Make sure to go down the singletrack not the old fireroad. They connect mid way down, but if you take the fireroad you'll miss all the rocks.
Best to ride south to north. Amazing views near the end. Technical ridge riding. Puts you out on the road for a few miles back into Fort Valley.
Whole Eastern Ridge of Massanutten:
Fantastic ridge with great views. Mostly better to ride south to north, but middle section rides well either way.
Ride up the pavement to the overlook, head north on Massanutten trail for a few miles. Transitions from fireroad to technical singletrack. Worth the walk up the spur trail to the firetower—360 degree views and a great camping site. Continue down the ridge, making first left onto Stevens Trail, which will take you back to Camp Roosevelt. 2-3 hour ride—a challenging ride, but more accessible than many other areas. Stevens as of fall 09 is pretty torn up from horses.
From the Beltway in Virginia, take Interstate 66W toward Front Royal
Get off at exit 6: Front Royal-Winchester
Turn left at the end of the ramp onto 340S/522S (A common meeting spot for GWNF rides, McDonald's, is on the right)
Proceed 1.2 miles crossing bridge over the river
Right at light onto 55W
Proceed 5.1 miles and turn left onto Rt. 678 (The Waterlick general store is on the left just before the turn)
For Elizabeth Furnace trailheads:
Proceed 4 miles (approx), Left into the Elizabeth Furnace Day Use Picnic
Lot. Drive all the way to the back of the lot
Parking is also available in dirt lot on the right side of the main road, just before the entrance to the picnic area. Club rides to the reservoir and Signal Knob area usually leave from this lot.
Number of Trails:
Trail Map: National Geographic’s Trails Illustrated #792.
Tuscarora Doll Ridge
Ridge has some great views and is very rideable.
Intersection of Indian Grave and Massanutten Trail
Top of Veach from the east
Pictures and videos from: Patrick Miller