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greenBlue South Branch Loop

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Trail

3.5 mile 5.7 kilometer loop
Singletrack
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

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

Grade

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

Dogs

Leashed
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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

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

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.

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Check-Ins

Nov 19, 2018
Kevin Munck
excellent trail 3.8mi
Nov 11, 2018
Gary Ahrens
Sep 22, 2018
Laura Castillo
Pretty sure I was the first rider of the day- so I cleared out all the spider webs with my face- you’re welcome! LOL ! Muddy but awesome ride!! 5mi
May 4, 2018
David A
3.7mi
Nov 18, 2017
Justin Figel
Oct 22, 2017
David Naputi
Nice beginner trail. Not too crowded on a Sunday afternoon. Guide recommended counterclock direction, everyone else I saw went clockwise 3.5mi
Oct 1, 2017
Brian Hart
Aug 19, 2017
Ben KB

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Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 11 votes

#4137

Overall
  4.3 from 11 votes
5 Star
27%
4 Star
73%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#108

in Virginia

#4,137

Overall
32 Views Last Month
1,504 Since Feb 25, 2015
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

9%
64%
27%
0%
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