“A tough climb to a great overlook into Shenandoah Valley with a rocky, steep descent.”
— Tim Haggerty
You can park at the bottom of Sulphur Springs Gap Trail
/ FR 1725 or you can park along the Cedar Creek Trail (573)
(FR 1863) at the bottom of the DH. There is parking a little ways up Sulphur Springs Gap Trail
next to a gate which is also an option if you decide to take the connector trail and cut out a little of the ride.
The climb up the purple blazed Sulphur Springs Gap Trail
starts fairly easy as it is an active FR road. The trail will turn off to the left of the road after about 1.5 miles. From here, it will be a strenuous, rocky, old ATV trail.
The beginning is intimidating with large rocks and rock gardens in the climb, but it gets easier as the trail rises out of the valley. It gets challenging in spots with steep grade and loose rocks, welcome to the East Coast mountains. The pockets of pines will be your relaxing sections with more traction/loam and less loose rocks to kick up.
As you plateau out, you'll get onto Tuscarora - Three Ponds Trail (1013.2)
on the ridge. This trail is intermediate with rocks that can be maneuvered through fairly easily. You'll gradually climb towards White Rock Trail
for Opa Overlook, with a pocket of steep trail on the way. On your left, you'll pass Tuscarora - Little North Mtn (405.4)
, you'll return to this. You'll pass Old Mail Path (1037)
on the right which drops down the opposite of Little Sluice Mtn.
White Rock Trail
will be on the left with a white blaze. It is a technical trail but fully rideable down; a good puzzle. Enjoy the overlook.
When back to the top of White Rock Trail
, you'll retrace your steps down the ridge passing Old Mail Path (1037)
on your left and dropping into Tuscarora - Little North Mtn (405.4)
with the blue blaze on your right.
This downhill is fast with pockets of steep, eroded-out trail exposing the rocks. These rock gardens will get your butt to the tire but all are roll-able. Don't touch that front brake.
After the majority of the DH, you'll reach an intersection. There is a connector that goes left back to the FR you climbed, near the gate with parking. You can take this or continue down the trail over a creek crossing with a quick climb.
You'll get spit out onto Cedar Creek Trail (573)
(FR 1863) where you turn left to return to the car.
History & Background
Settlers in this area were German. Opa is german for Granddad.