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South Branch Loop



3.5 mile 5.7 kilometer loop


Ascent: 317' 97 m
Descent: -316' -96 m
High: 148' 45 m
Low: 10' 3 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 10% (5°)


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Trail shared by Ryan Delaney

The main loop trail at Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area, open to hikers and bikes.

Ryan Delaney

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-


South Branch Loop is the backbone of the mountain bike trail system at Meadowood Special Recreation Management area. Built by volunteers from local IMBA Chapter MORE and BLM staff working together, South Branch was the first mountain bike trail constructed at Meadowood. It is accessible via three trailheads, the primary one at the Mason Neck Gateway kiosk on Gunston Road, and two satellite lots on Old Colchester Road and Belmont Boulevard. South Branch serves as the starting point of the three bike-optimized technical trails, Yard Sale, Stinger Trail, and Boss Trail.

South Branch's rolling singletrack winds through mature hardwood forests along the sides of the South Branch of Massey Creek's stream valley. Expect tight turns, mellow berms, flowy grade reversals, and wooden boardwalks over floodplains and wetlands. South Branch is a great ride on it's own, and is the perfect place for beginner and intermediate riders to hone their bike handling skills before trying the progressive trails at Meadowood or nearby Fountainhead Regional Park.

Ridden clockwise, riders face a sustained climb out of the South Branch stream valley, and short, rolling downhills. Ridden counterclockwise, the long (for Fairfax!) descent to the stream valley is your reward for tackling the numerous short climbs back to the ridge.

South Branch holds up well to moderate precipitation, but is prone to the freeze-thaw cycle in the winter months. Please be mindful of trail closures posted on the BLM or MORE's website, at the trailheads, or at the kiosks along the South Branch Loop.


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May 27, 2020
Timothy Howard
Quick ride through SW Loop & Stinger Trail. Highly considering getting my full suspension Giant and parking my Cannondale for different terrain. 4.8mi — 1h 29m
May 10, 2020
Timothy Howard
Took a few wrong turns but had a blast. Wiped out on "northern lights" section of Boss. Met a new friend...;) 4.2mi — 1h 23m
May 7, 2020
Joyce Reimnitz
3.5mi — 1h 30m
May 5, 2020
Timothy Howard
Great overcast day for some flowly riding. Had the chance to work on my climbing skills as well as my cornering and bike/body separation. 3.5mi — 1h 00m
Apr 22, 2020
Zac Brooks
Apr 22, 2020
Michael Stevens
Mar 27, 2020
Timothy Howard
Came to do the boss trail and south loop. Did a few complicated sections of boss trail and now I'm just rolling through the rest of south branch loop. — 11h 00m
Dec 23, 2019
Jeff Goerlitz
Pre-Christmas ride. A little mud in places

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 14 votes


  4.4 from 14 votes
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in Virginia


154 Views Last Month
2,014 Since Feb 25, 2015



The big wall ride on The Boss Trail.
Jun 3, 2015 near Lorton, VA
Having fun towards the top of Yard Sale trail.
Jun 3, 2015 near Lorton, VA
Biking Bad at Meadowood
Dec 4, 2018 near Lorton, VA
Small break time.
Sep 24, 2018 near Lorton, VA
A young rider with MORE's sMORE's kids program dropping in on Boss Trail.
Feb 25, 2015 near Lorton, VA
Enjoying the South Branch Loop.
Apr 19, 2017 near Lorton, VA


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