“This loop ride features rocky sights and downhill delights.”
— Tim Haggerty
This ride provides a great ridge ride to the Big Schloss Overlook. This overlook is unique and provides a unique 360° view into Virginia and West Virginia. Big Schloss Cut-Off
is a fast downhill with technical pockets. You can reach high speeds coming off the ridge where there are straight segments.
Need to Know
Drinking spring on 675 Wolf Gap Rd on the climb up.
You can start this loop at the bottom of Big Schloss Cut-Off
on Forest Road 92
, or at the beginning of the south side of Mill Mountain Trail in Wolf Gap campground. I prefer to start at the bottom of Big Schloss Cut-Off
to be finished after the last DH. Parking at the bottom also leaves you on Forest Road 92
, a good place to access more trails.
Starting this ride from the bottom, you ride a gradual up and down on the gravel Forest Road 92
. It will lead you into 675 (Wolf Gap Rd.), where you'll turn right and begin to climb. The climb is fairly easy grade compared to singletrack climbing in the area. On the way up on your left, there will be a drinking spring running most of the year. 675 winds up the mountain until you reach Wolf Gap Recreation Area on your right. Pull into the looped drive and the trailhead for Mill Mountain Trail will be on the back side.
The beginning of Mill Mountain Trail trail is steep with some rocky parts. It is the most challenging section of the climb. Luckily it is only 0.5 miles roughly. Once past this section, it is a good ridge ride with some challenging rock portions to Big Schloss Spur
Once at Big Schloss Spur
, the technical level steps up a bit, luckily it is only 0.3 mi and you can leave your bike/walk or ride. You can see Little Schloss towards Virginia (east). When you have satisfied your selfie desire, continue down Big Schloss Spur
and take a right onto Mill Mountain Trail once more.
You'll continue on the Mill Mountain Trail with a gradual, technical climb. Once you notice the climbing stops, it is all downhill from here. The ridge will have a gradual DH to the intersection. You'll reach a large, flat spot with camping and an intersection. Turn right down Big Schloss Cut-Off
. This trail will be fast in sections, then turn into rock gardens with demanding lines. Towards the bottom, you'll finish in a loam section of trail through pines.
History & Background
German settlers gave Big Schloss its name. Schloss means castle in German, and it is reference to the rocky outcrop. German was the common language in the area for several years.