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Elizabeth Furnace - Figure 8 of Hate

 20 votes

Length

24.4 Miles 39.2 Kilometers


40%

Singletrack

Elevation

2,975' 907 m

Ascent

-2,972' -906 m

Descent

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

39%

Max Grade (22°)

2,083' 635 m

High

772' 235 m

Low

Conditions


Minor Issues 62 days ago
Snowy, Some Mud, Fallen Trees - West side had snow. Fireroads had running water. East side was dry. History

Getting forecast...

A classic Fort Valley ride taking in the best of Massanutten's ridge riding and descending.

G. Smith

Overview

This ride is located in the Lee District of the George Washington National Forest and visits great overlooks at Woodstock Tower and Signal Knob. Known for steep, rocky, and narrow ridge tops with spectacular views, the Lee District is the nearest access point to the George Washington National Forest for the Washington DC metro area.

Expect plenty of rocks, exceptional views from the ridge trail and Signal Knob, and one of the best descents in the state.
Features: -none-

Description

Park at the Signal Knob parking lot (google.com/maps/place/Eliza…@38.9344721,-78.3204941,240m), and leave from the singletrack trailhead at the south end of the lot, orange blazes. You'll see a large information kiosk with maps and information on area rides. Continue uphill on blue blazed Tuscarora Bear Wallow trail until you cross the stream and come to a 3-way intersection with the white blazed Sidewinder Trail. Turn left and follow the white blazes to the fire road. Turn right and continue the climb following purple blazes.

The fire road will eventually come to an end at a steep singletrack drop to the Mudhole Gap Trail. Turn right at the T intersection to continue following purple blazes. Mudhole gap is a rocky doubletrack with several stream crossings leading west to Powell's Fort, a historic CCC camp. After crossing a wider creek, you'll pop out into a small parking area and a gravel road, F66. This is the center point of the figure 8. If you need drinking water, there is a piped spring a few hundred meters to the right on the road, right next to the gate.

Turn left on F66. After 2.2 miles on the gravel, you'll come to a gate (usually open) and a stop sign. Turn right onto Mine Mountain Rd. It is also gravel.

Climb on Mine Mountain Rd for 2.4 miles until it dead ends in a switchback turn with Woodstock Tower Rd, also gravel. Woodstock Tower Rd will climb up to the ridge in less than a mile. Once at the top you can optionally follow the singletrack spur trail a few hundred meters to the South to check out the views from a fire tower.

From the top of Woodstock Tower Rd, continue over the top and start descending the other side, but only for 100 meters or so. There is a small parking area and a wooden sign with orange blazes on your right marking the entrance to the Massanutten trail that follows the ridge line. It is easy to miss if you aren't looking for it.

Follow orange blazes on the Massanutten Trail - Edinburgh Gap Rd. to Mudhole Gap North along the ridge. The ridge is all singletrack and very rocky. Continue following the orange blazes until you descend back down to fire road F66.

Make a left on the gravel F66 fire road. You are back in the center of the "figure 8" and you'll pass by the Mudhole gap parking area from earlier. There is water available from a piped spring as you go around a gate. Continue on F66 for around 3 miles. Once you pass the reservoir look for blue blazes and an information sign on your right.

Make a right onto the blue blazed Tuscarora - Bear Wallow Trail #405.2. This climb is commonly known as "The hike a bike" It gets steep and loose.

Catch your breath at the top and drop your seat post. The Bear Wallow descent (AKA: Tuscarora, 31 flavors) starts with some burly rock moves, but generally gets smoother the lower you get. Stay on the main trail (always to the left) following blue blazes until you get near the bottom and it switches to orange. It is the best descent in the area, in my not so humble opinion.

BONUS ADD ON LOOP!
This add on is NOT shown on the map or profile. I prefer this alteration as it adds a few miles of trail, a sick view, and skips the hike a bike.

Starting from F66 going past the reservoir, instead of turning right onto blue blazed Tuscarora Trail (Bear Wallow), continue straight on the fire road (orange blazes) until you get to Signal Knob and the tower. Check out the view, then continue climbing behind the tower on orange blazed Signal Knob trail. This trail is quite bumpy. Shortly after you start descending on some rocky gnar, look for white blazes on your right.

Turn right on white blazed Meneka peak trail. This trail has a bit of a rock scramble at the top, but it isn't too bad. Descend Meneka peak trail until it T's into blue blazed Bear Wallow descent (AKA: Tuscarora, 31 flavors). Turn left and descend back to your car following blue blazes until you get near the bottom and it switches to orange (follow the main trail, always to the left).

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Mar 18, 2018
Jonathan Broughton
28mi — 7h 20m
Mar 11, 2018
Vu Tran
Feb 22, 2018
marin c.
slippery! 25.2mi
Aug 5, 2017
riley abbott
Loved it. Next time I'll have to be a little more practiced. Careful the menacing dog in the Mine Mountain community 24mi
Mar 25, 2017
Alex Bernard
kickass ride, good mileage, killer views and technical downhill 24.4mi
Sep 17, 2016
Derek Tribble
The hike a bike part is brutal. It comes after 16+ miles and it is straight up. Don't think you will ride all other sections of this trail.
Sep 15, 2016
Scott Primrose
Busted brake handle for Tory and cramps for me! 22.8mi
Feb 27, 2016
Tre Johnsen
Parked at the top by Woodstock tower and road north and descended to the fire road which we took back to the tower. 10.3mi

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Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 20 votes

#1

in Strasburg

#526

Overall
  4.1 from 20 votes
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Rankings

#1

in Strasburg

#15

in Virginia

#526

Overall
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7,315 Since Jun 19, 2015
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Did this today starting off on a cold morning (16 Degrees F). Definitely an epic type of ride. Whole body workout, most of it ridable. Did not go up to Signal Knob, cut back through Muddy Gap, about 3 hours of riding, 22 miles logged. (Intermediate Rider) Nov 22, 2014

 
Did part of this loop a couple weeks ago. The final descent is pretty epic. The rocks up by Signal Knob are very technical and you will have to push/hike a bike in areas. Super rocky super technical single-track all in all. Enjoy! Apr 29, 2015

 
60 degree F Spring date. Make sure you're prepare for 4.5-6.5 hours. Nutrition is key. 4k' of climbing will burn up fuel fast(added the extra mileage). The ride is great with a mix of fire road(more than I normally like) gradual technical climbing and highly technical climbing and decending. We had a mix in the group of Hard Tails to 160 travel Trail bikes and everyone had a good time. If you're running tubes bring plenty, if not bring one anyway. The description above it accurate and we opted to the non-hike-a-bike additional loop. I've always thought of myself as a intermediate rider with larger epics like whole enchelada and monarch crest imba epic being highlights - this trail and day was more difficult in a continuous rocky/tech kind of way. In the section of the Bonus Add On Loop above I'd say all of our clan(some pretty advanced guys) hiked-a-bike over a mile total if not more. All-in-all a killer day and fun ride. Again; take nutrition. Happy pedalling! Mar 28, 2016

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