“The first 1/3 of the ride is fireroad and pavement (long climb) then two great singletrack downhills
— Shenandoah Bicycle
A great loop that includes forest service dirt roads, state paved roads and thin off-camber singletrack. Once you finish the paved road section on Route 250 (some high speed traffic on flat section but cars are going slow on the paved climb), you'll enjoy a great singletrack descent, followed by a steep 1.5 mile singletrack climb. You then finish with one of the best singletrack downhills in the George Washington National Forest.
Need to Know
There is a creek crossing after the first long singletrack descent. The creek can vary from dry to 16" deep so be prepared to get your feet wet. The creek crossing is followed by a steep but short hike a bike section.
Public toilets are available at the Mountain House which is at the base of the paved climb. You'll pass this spot again after the first long descent down the Road Hollow
You'll begin this ride by carrying your bike up a few wood steps to the top on the right side of Braley's Pond Dam. Enjoy the short singletrack around the pond then ride (or walk) over a short bridge on the far end of the pond. Once over the short bridge veer right onto a closed forest service road. After about a 1/2 mile you'll pass one trail on your right, continue straight on Forest Service Road. A 1/4 later you'll pass the Bald Ridge Trail
(you'll later come down this trail). Continue straight on the forest service road, you'll go around two forest service gates on this section and there will be several short downhills and climbs before you intersect Route 250.
Take a right on Route 250. On this section of paved road there will be high speed road traffic but once you begin the climb on the paved road the traffic speed slows down significantly.
At the top of the paved climb enjoy the beautiful view of the mountains to the west. There are public toilets at this parking area and by the toilets is the trailhead for Shenandoah Mountain Trail
Once on the Shenandoah Mountain Trail
enjoy the flat singletrack to the Road Hollow
trailhead on your right. This downhill is very tight and thin. There are two small rock step ups near the bottom. Once the down hill ends, you'll take a sharp right followed by a quick left over the Ramsey's Draft Creek.
Once over the creek there is a 100' hike-a-bike up some stone steps. Then you'll begin the hardest climb of the ride. You know you are at the top of the climb as it begins to flatten out. At this point veer right at the Bald Ridge trailhead sign. Enjoy this amazing down hill but don't forget to enjoy some of the views to the south and the high peaks of Elliot's Knob and Crawford Mountain
At the bottom of this downhill you'll intersect the forest service road. Take a left and cruise back to the wooden bridge, Braley's Pond, and the wooden steps from the beginning of your ride.
History & Background
Confederate Breastworks was a lookout spot during the Civil War.