North Mountain Wildlife Area
The loop described is partly gravel road, then double track leading to a steep technical rocky singletrack downhill.
I recently found this section of trail and have not quite explored all of the area, but there are lots of old logging road beds and fire lines from recent control burns. The loop I descibe takes the only true singltrack I have found into its way back. The descent is short but very rocky and technical. It is a challenge to get through without dabbing.
You will find the trailhead by leaving staunton on 254 heading west. Turn left onto Swoope road off of 254 then turn right onto Hewwitt, and then after going over a bridge turn left onto Cattleman road. Once on cattleman road look fro Trimbles MTn road and take a right onto it. Follow signs to the Boy Scout camp Camp Shenandoah.
I have been parking in the cul de sac at the gate to the scout camp. To the right of the camp gate is a gravel road that begins your climb.
The ride begins here. Climb up the gravel road and into the State forest land. Once you pass the info kiosk there will be a fork in the gravel road. Take the right and ride it till the end of the road. At the end of the gravel road there will be a steep granny gear grade up to your left behind a green gate. This is your trail. I have yet to explore the road tot he left, but it may also go up to the ridge top. Okay so your climbing up the steep granny gear grade and will come out into a clearing. Ride straight across the clearing and look for a trail leading into the woods. It may be a little hard to spot, but is definately there. This trail leads to the right and left. following the side of the clearing. If you turn left you will go down into the rocky technical singletrack I descibed and will be back down on the gravel road quickly. By taking that left you ride will probably be less than an hour. You can from that clearing take a right and end up on what I believe is Kings Gap from my map, and then come back and do the singltrack descent back out.
However you do it, definately keep your eyes open for interesecting logging roads and fire lines. there are plenty. Also remember all you turns so if you dont find one of the trails you'll be able to get back by back tracking.
The short singletrack trail is alot of fun and definatly worth the climb. This area is also definatly worth your time to explore. It is only ten minutes from Staunton.
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