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Black Horse Loop

Difficult
 4.6 (9) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Great fire road climb, stunning views, and technical descents.


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Map Key

8.5

Miles

13.6

KM

20%

Singletrack

2,441' 744 m

High

1,290' 393 m

Low

1,287' 392 m

Up

1,292' 394 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Overview

This is a great all-around trail featuring long climbs, epic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys, fast technical East Coast singletrack, and rolling fire road. Great as a post-work ride.

Need to Know

This is a multi-use loop, so please be courteous of other trail users. As this route is within the Jefferson National Forest and Blue Ridge Parkway, hunting and road closures will likely occur based on season and park service judgement. Please note that loop is typically rideable during all seasons. PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT!!!

Description

Park at the 3 way fire road intersection (Rt 606), behind Camp Bethel. Begin the ascent up Black Horse Gap fire road to Blue Ridge Parkway. (BRP) (BRPMP 97.7) Turn Left (North) on the Parkway. There are multiple overlooks along the way with stunning views.

Turn Left onto Spec Mines Trail, (trail is posted but about 15 yds off actual parkway) If you get to Taylor Mtn overlook you have passed the trailhead by a few hundred feet or so.

Begin a technical, tight, narrow, and fast descent of Spec Mines Trail. It's approximately 1.8 miles to the fire road.

At the fire road, turn left and continue on a general rolling fire road ride back to starting location.

History & Background

Black Horse Gap:
A former east-west route for travelers. Once had lodging and the Black Horse Tavern along the route. Tavern remains can be seen by crossing BRP and continuing along fire road. Buffalo supposedly also used the crossing.

Contacts

Shared By:

Caleb McAllister

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 9 votes

#3

in Montvale

#1464

Overall
  4.6 from 9 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
22%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#3

in Montvale

#36

in Virginia

#1,464

Overall
44 Views Last Month
3,247 Since Sep 15, 2014
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Photos

Start of Mines Spec trail
Aug 6, 2019 near Blue Ridge, VA
Peaks of Otter
Sep 15, 2014 near Blue Ridge, VA
Overlooking Valley Below BRP
Sep 15, 2014 near Blue Ridge, VA
Trailhead, Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 96.
Feb 29, 2016 near Blue Ridge, VA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Apr 27, 2019
Hugh Blocker
Sep 1, 2018
Jeff Clark
up blackhorse fire road trail 2.5 miles, left BRP to left spec mine trail. Super fun down hill, some steep areas. left on fire road back to start 8.5mi
May 24, 2018
Bret Scott
Feb 27, 2016
Rhett Mcneace
Leaves heavy in spots on Spec, otherwise perfect. — 1h 35m
Nov 13, 2015
Rob Lingstuyl
not much fun unless you dig fire road climbs. this ride did have a fun decent but it felt like 90% road. not my idea of a 4.7 rating we were duped! 8.4mi — 1h 45m
Jun 17, 2015
Steve Nagy