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South Branch Loop

Intermediate
 4.4 (16)

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


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Map Key

3.5

Miles

5.7

KM

Singletrack

148' 45 m

High

10' 3 m

Low

317' 97 m

Up

316' 96 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

10%

Max Grade (5°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Unknown

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Ryan Delaney

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 16 votes

#999

Overall
  4.4 from 16 votes
5 Star
44%
4 Star
56%
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Trail Rankings

#28

in Virginia

#999

Overall
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2,588 Since Feb 25, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

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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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 11 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Sep 22, 2020
Anthony Marshall
Sep 5, 2020
Timothy Howard
Second trail system of the day after a long time off my bike since my injury & subsequent surgery. Earlier I warmed by doing Laurel Hill MTB trails. — 1h 05m
Aug 9, 2020
John William
2h 00m
Jun 14, 2020
Jose Giron
4.4mi
May 31, 2020
Timothy Howard
First time our with my Giant Stance Full-suspension MTB. Wow, I should have been riding this bike much longer 4.8mi — 0h 49m
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

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