Starting from the Lakeside Campground at Douthat State Park you'll take Heron Run
part way around the lake for a 1/4 mile to your next trail intersection. Here you'll take a right on the Middle Hollow Trail
and begin the first section of the climb. Continue up the Middle Hollow Trail
for about 1 mile, passing through to two trail intersections. You'll then come to a "T" intersection with the Pine Tree Trail
, take a left at this intersection.
On the Pine Tree Trail
you'll have a fun, short descent. After this downhill portion you'll climb for the next 1/2 mile to the intersection of the Blue Suck Falls Trail
, take a right. You'll then begin the bulk of your climb to the Middle Mountain
Trail (Fore Mountain Trail
on the NG Map). This climb is steep with a lot of switchbacks.
About a 1/4 of the way up the Blue Suck Falls Trail
you'll pass a side trail to the Blue Suck Falls Overlook, take a break and enjoy this view. Just before the top of the Blue Suck Falls Trail
you'll pass the Tuscarora Overlook Trail
, continue straight. There is one last pitch of climbing and then you'll intersect the Middle Mountain
Take a left on the Middle Mountain
Trail (Fore Mountain Trail
on the NG Map). This trail is fun Virginia ridge riding, smooth and usually in very good condition. You'll travel about 3/4 of a mile on this trail and then the trail will take a 90 degree left hand turn. Soon after this left hand turn (150 ft) look for the Fore Mountain Trail
on your right. There is an old wood trailhead sign on your right (hard to see). If you begin a sustained downhill you'll know you've passed the trail intersection. The sign for the Fore Mountain Trail
is not the newer style State Park signs you have seen up to this point on the ride, so be on the lookout for something different.
Follow the Fore Mountain Trail
which is backcountry singletrack. This portion of the Fore Mountain Trail
takes you out of Douthat State Park and into the George Washington National Forest. The National Forest trails are typically not as maintained as well as the Douthat trails.
The intial portion of the is trail is uphill and then you'll begin some very fun descending. The descent goes from gradual ridge singletrack to a very steep and loose trail. After this steep downhill there is a steep 300' pine needle covered climb. At the top of this climb you'll want to take a left (this is not marked, but the straight option is usually blocked).
This next descent has a number of switchbacks leading into some really fun twisty singletrack. This portion of the downhill goes on for a while so enjoy! There is a lefthand turn which is not marked but the straight option is usually block (see photo of orange jacket rider).
You'll eventually pop out on the doubletrack trail taking a left on the McGraw Horse Loop
. This portion of the ride is old fire roads which are not open to vehicles. The next several miles are not singletrack, but still fun riding.
The McGraw Horse Loop
will drop you down to a gate where you'll take a left and immediately go through another gate and follow the trails for Douthat State Park (you can bail out to State Road #629 by taking a right at this first gate). This section of the ride will include several short climbs before turning into singletrack as you re-enter Douthtat Sate Park.
At your next intersection take a right on the Stony Run
Trail. This final descent is fast, be careful because there are many more trail users in this portion of the Park. You'll eventually come to an intersection with the Locust Gap Trail
, continue straight on the Stony Run
Trail (you can take left if you want additional to do additional singletrack in the park or back to the start of ride).
You'll drop you down to State Road Route 629, the main road in Douthat State Park. Take a left on the pavement and enjoy the final 2 miles back to the start of the ride.