Terrapin Mountain Loop
ElevationAscent: 2,527' 770 m
Descent: -2,526' -770 m
High: 3,304' 1,007 m
Low: 1,067' 325 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 30% (17°)
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“Bring your climbing legs and appetite for technical riding for this one.”— Alan Cross
Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown
Need to Know
Continue straight until the main route crosses Reed Creek and comes to a campsite with a large fire pit in the middle. The trail continues to the right behind a large water bar. At this point, it becomes more of a singletrack trail with lots of loose rocks. Continue climbing until you come to a sharp right-hand switchback and go right to finish up the last bit of trail, which is much less rocky at this point. Emerge at Camping Gap and go to the right.
The entrance for Terrapin Mountain Trail is to the far right of the clearing. There is a steep water bar right at the beginning of the trail. Past this, the trail continues to climb up a steep grade. There is a left turn about 50 yards up, and from here the trail upgrades to hike-a-bike steepness. For most mortals, continue hiking for a while until you reach the ridge.
This part will be rideable for a bit, look for another left turn that will go around the side of the mountain (staying straight goes to the top). This part is very technical - narrow, rocky, and off-camber sections make it a little tricky but doable. After a short pitch up, you'll connect back with the trail that comes over the top of the mountain. Continue to the left.
This part becomes a sweet ridge ride with some fast chutes, technical downhill switchbacks, and some short rock garden areas. Watch for a nice overlook on your left, which is a good place to stop because the rock drop just after is hard to navigate. After the overlook and more switchbacks and rock sections, you'll take a sharp right turn.
Just past this, you'll get to a huge downhill rock garden that goes to the left. It may look like the trail ends, but no... this is still the trail. This part IS rideable, but not recommended. After 100 feet or so, there is a large bridge-like rock and the trail turns right. This part is still rocky, but flatter, so it is more manageable. The final part is a fast downhill with loose rocks that is very sketchy. After this, it opens up into a doubletrack section. Don't miss the intersection on the right to head down the Terrapin Mountain Low Road.
This is an old road bed that has become more of a singletrack since there is a very defined single path along the road. It starts with a short climb, then turns into a flowing ride along the mountainside, with a few short climbs, followed by a down on the other side. There are a few stream crossings that usually have enough rocks piled to cross without getting wet, with the exception of Reed Creek at the end. This will intersect back into Reed Creek Trail you climbed earlier. Take a left and descend back to the start.
Local Club: Greater Lynchburg Off-Road Cyclists
Mar 26, 2018: 03/26/2018
Land Manager: USFS - George Washington & Jefferson National Forests