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Observatory Hill

Average Rating:    (4.09 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 23

Tecnical and rocky and rooty and at some times of the year, covered with leaves. Typical Virginia riding at it's finest. If you've never been into the big hills of the west, this is a great testing ground. For those of you with technical skills it will test you. For those of you without technical skills, it will teach you. But don't be intimidated. This is what it's all about. And just before the downhills get to you they end (which has the depressing side effect of LOTS of climbing) This is a great place to train for the Va championship series if you're a racer, and there's also a race here held every March.
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Latitude
38.033287113915556
Longitude
-78.52134704589844
Trail Directions
Oh, there's a bunch of ways to get to the trial head. One is to turn away from grounds at the light at the back of UVa campus and drive (ride) up the road to the fire gate on the left. Another is to drive out JPA until it turns into Fontaine. Go by the Amoco and up under the tunnel of trees that forms and then park on the right just after the trees.
Trail Length
2-5 miles (loops are possible)
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
Charlottesville
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (23 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
October 29, 2009

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: jmumford ,  Downhiller

Summary:
Good trail. Not being local it was a little confusing. Ran into a local rider who gave me little advice on where to ride. But always ended up on what looked like a large fire road or a pave road. That was probably just my since of direction. Good climbs and found a few long down hills through rock gardens and one with a switchback which were fun.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Buttermilk and northbank



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Review Date
September 21, 2008

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: surfnvb7 ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
New to the area, and rode there once. I definitely think I took the wrong routes, as I seemed to be riding uphill more than half the time through rock gardens.

I don't know the area that well, so someone give me a good loop to go through using this map:
http://www.cambc.org/images/OHill_Trail_Map.pdf

Other recommended trails in the same area:
if you are ever in southwest virginia, its worth checking out the pandopas pond & Brush Mtn area. best natural single track trails I've ever been on.

no room for bridges and other man made obstacles, its all natural here.

plus, there are lots of really cool trails that are not on the maps. I think they were actually older trails that have been "forgotten" about.



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Review Date
March 31, 2008

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: dave_n_va ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Observatory (OHill) is packed with about 7 miles of steep, rocky, rooty, technical single track. There is not much here for the beginners but if you are an intermediate to advanced rider, then this is a little slice of heaven right in the middle of C'ville and next to the UVA campus. Unlike all of the riding in the Virginia Piedmont that labels inclines as "cardiac hill" or "lung buster mountain", OHill has the climbs of sufficient duration to put you in "a spot of bother" to say the least. Some free ride obstacles have been setup but it is unclear if these are sanctioned by CAMBC (cambc.org). Part of the Rivanna Trail passes through OHill along the base of the hill parallel to RT 29. OHill is a piece of cake to navigate since you just go up hill to get to the observatory or look at the cars on RT 29 traveling north to point you, well north. There are a few maps for OHill, one on http://www.gpstrailsource.com/Maps.aspx?MapID=19 and another at http://cambc.org/rides.php.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Sherando
Walnut Creek



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Review Date
July 8, 2007

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: cbdad1972 ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Echo the previous comments...

Recommended Route:
I was on business here for a week and rode the trail 3 times. I parked by some stores close to Ivy & I29. There is a small fire house just before I29 where you can pick the trail up and ride about 2-3 miles through small hills and a few jumps and bridges. Just keep going right at any splits in the trail. This will bring you out to the southern part of O-Hill on Fountaine/JPA. From there you go double back or just keep follwoing the trails up.



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Review Date
July 23, 2006

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: schlakovic ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
O-Hill is killer for being on the UVA grounds. I have ridden it a few times, and I can say that it has a LOT of stuff. It has a freeride park, some ladder bridges, a few rock gardens, logs, fast downhills, and grueling climbs. the one downside is that it is way overcrowded (too many trails merging and cutting into each other).



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Reviews 1 - 5 (23 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

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