“Great fire road climb, stunning views, and technical descents.
— Caleb McAllister
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!!!
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.