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Lookout Mountain

Average Rating:    (4.8 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 5

Ride around the gate and descend to the first of the nine river crossings on the North River Gorge trail. After the first three river crossings, you'll come to a T- intersection. Turn right and follow the orange-blazed trail. At 4.2 miles, you'll reach the North River Campground. Go through the camp to the road and turn left. Stay on the trail for only about 50 yards and make a left turn at the gated road on your left. Climb up this fire road for 2 miles until you reach the crest. Turn left at the top onto the Lookout Mountain portion of the Wild Oak trail. There are a few turnoffs at the top of the fire road--look for the grey blazes and for signs to the Wild Oak trail. The trail narrows fairly quickly and crosses a few tank traps. It climbs and descends on some very rocky, technical singletrack along the ridge of Lookout Mountain for almost 4 miles. Once you get to the bottom, you'll see a wooden bridge in front of you. Don't cross the bridge--make a left turn onto the unmarked flat trail. Stay on this for about 1/4 mile until you come to a river crossing. Turn right and cross the river. This trail will then take you back to FR 95 and the parking area.
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Latitude
38.36696379052957
Longitude
-79.16396141052246
Trail Directions
Exit off I 81 onto 250 West (Staunton), which is the first exit on 81. Follow 250 west for 11 miles to Route 42. Make a right onto 42 and go 7.5 miles to Route 731. Follow 731 for about 3 miles to 730 and make a left. At Stokesville, turn right onto Route 718. 718 will then change into the paved Fire Road 95. Stay on FR 95 for about 2 miles past the "Entering George Washington National Forest" sign. The gated entrance to the North River Gorge trail is on your left shortly after you pass the entrance to Camp May Flather, but is not marked. Park at the small parking pull-off on the left side of the road about 50 feet past the gate leading to the trail head.
Trail Length
13 miles
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Staunton
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

Review Date
March 29, 2007

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: BIKERDAD36 ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
This trail is just awsome !! It has a little of everything climbing,rock gardens, down hill rige riding. My first time riding this was at night on my rigid SS and I can't wait to do it in the day time it was a blast.

Recommended Route:
We parked at the wild oak parking lot and rode the road to the fire road and then we ascended to the ridge then the fun began. We rode down to the bridge and crossed there.



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Review Date
March 25, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: Matt , from harrisonburg

Summary:
This is typical harrisonburg riding. AWESOME TRAIL!! Would not do this as a "First" trail. It has a little bit of everything. Allow some time, if your not in shape. Watch the trail when the leaves have fallen in the fall, as they will cover the many rocks. THERE are ALOT of rocks on this trail. I had a blast on this trail. Great scenary!! For a different spin on the trail, try making a RIGHT when you top the mtn. This is the HANKEY mtn trail. But lookout is my favorite with Reddish knob a close second.

Recommended Route:
The first description is the best.You could go along the river and cross it 13 times if you want to avoid the road all together. But in the spring the river is sort of deap

Other recommended trails in the same area:
reddish knob and hankey mtn.



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Review Date
June 6, 2001

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Please Select

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Reviewed by: Squid Dick , from Atlanta

Summary:
A very nice trail I rode in May. Riding upstream along the North River provided excellent scenery, several river crossings, and a great warmup for the 20-30 minute uphill on the fire road to the top of the ridgeline. Finding the fire road, using the trail map I grabbed at the trailhead took a few minutes. Basically, when you get to the North River campground (the one with the gate just on the other side of the creek/river), go out to the entrance of the campground and go to the left for a few hundred yards. You can't miss the fire road -- it's gated and goes UP. The ride from the top was fun. As others have mentioned, very rocky and technical. I pinched a tire and went over my handlebars (into a mud puddle, luckily) in the rock garden downhill towards the end of the ride. My advice -- just put your ass over the back tire and squeeze your brake levers for all they're worth. Probably not good for trail erosion, but it doesn't seem like the place gets a lot of riders. I went on a weekday and didn't meet a single other rider, hiker, or horsies the whole way -- very nice.

Recommended Route:
See above



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Review Date
July 29, 1999

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: Mark , from Staunton, VA

Summary:
Once at the top of the mountian, CHECK the BRAKES, the descent can get hairy. Actually, its more of a rock garden at 40% slope in a lot of places. Last time I was there it was raining and you guessed it...the trail beat the hell out of me and my bike.
The ridge is mostly singletrack and follows the ridgeline for roughly 0.5 miles. Great views East and West, hence the name. RIDE IT. PROTECT IT. ENJOY IT.

Recommended Route:
Check out this site for the best route and other great rides in the Shenandoah Valley
http://www.blueridgecycleworks.com/trailguide/trailguide_48.htm

Other recommended trails in the same area:
For a short loop of single track try Trimble Mtn trail. The trail head is just before the turn off for Todd Lake. 4 miles of nothing but single track.



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Review Date
June 1, 1999

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: Colleen , from Charlottesville

Summary:
The Lookout mountain ride is a 13-mile
loop near the Todd Lake Recreation area that begins with an easy and very beautiful 4 miles along
the North River Gorge trail before climbing 900 feet to the very difficult and technical Lookout
Mountain trail. If you like to throw caution to the wind on narrow, rocky singletrack, you'll love this
ridge ride that ends in a very technical downhill. The North River Gorge
trail would be an excellent out-and-back ride for a beginner, but the full loop is for experienced
riders who like to climb. The North River Gorge trail does have 9 river crossings, but these are easy
to walk over when the water is low (which it generally is in late summer). I don't recommend doing
this ride when there's been a lot of rain or in early spring when the river is likely to be high. You
could get knocked down pretty easily by the strong current. You also probably don't want to do
this ride in cold weather unless you have a life-time supply of neoprene socks.

Recommended Route:
See above

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Little Bald Knob



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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)
 


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