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Rowland Falls to Jerry's Creek

 4.5 (2)

12.5 Miles 20.2 Kilometers


75%

Singletrack

2,025' 617 m

Ascent

-2,028' -618 m

Descent

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

43%

Max Grade (23°)

4,201' 1,280 m

High

2,643' 806 m

Low

Shared By Allan Lee

Conditions


All Clear 24 days ago
Mostly Dry: Great ride - bit rocky and would have rather gone done than up the west side... History

Getting forecast...

Jefferson National Forest at its finest!

Allan Lee

Dogs Off-leash

Features Commonly Bikepacked

Overview

This route climbs Rowland Creek Trail #164 to connect to Old 84 Trail with a view of a beautiful 100-foot cascade. Then descend the rowdy Jerry's Creek #165 trail. All combined with great views, climbs, and descents, this is a must-do route.
These trails are open year-round and are also open to horses and hikers alike.

Need to Know

Parking is at the trailhead on Rowland Creek Lane. Expect to encounter horses on Rowland Creek Trail #164 in particular. This loop can be potentially connected to Iron Mountain Trail to add an extra 4 miles. Probably the easiest way of extending this loop is to start at a different trailhead point. Rather than park by Rowland Creek Trail #164, park at the pull off on Whitetop Rd where there is a signpost for Iron Mountain Trail. From there it is about 2 miles to the FR84 itself. If Iron Mountain Trail is taken here, a connector spur at 2 miles will come out on FR84. Turn left following the road a short way to reach the trailhead for Jerry's Creek #165. If the loop is started at this point, upon closing the main loop, a right turn onto FR84 after completing Old 84 Trail and following the forest service road will reach the exit of the Wilderness area at Skulls Gap. Turning left here on the main road (Whitetop Rd) with a short steep climb uphill will soon reach the start point again.

Description

The trailhead is located on the right hand side of Rowland Creek Lane beyond a handful of houses. Look out for Jerry's Creek #165 coming in from the right. Head a little up the road until you see a rather hidden sign for Rowland Creek Trail #164. The sign indicates that it is 4.1 miles to reach Old 84 Trail.

This loop starts out pretty smooth on Rowland Creek Trail #164. The trail itself is quite narrow and grassy to begin with before beginning a brutal climb. Note there are some potentially muddy sections to contend with here as there are a few minor stream crossings to contend with and since this trail is often frequented by horses.

Around a mile in, stop and view a beautiful 100-foot cascade with an awesome swimming hole. This section is particularly narrow. Strap in to continue climbing. The climb is a steep relentless pull straight up with no switchbacks or curves to ease the pain. Rowland Creek Trail #164 ends at a barrier at the top of this climb. Turn right here to join a wide grassy path.

Just before the trail appears to head straight on a forest service road which itself bears to the right, look out for the signpost. It does have an arrow designating that Old 84 Trail is off to your right but the marking is on the reverse of the signpost so can easily be missed. Old 84 Trail is actually a grassy narrow trail off to your right and not particularly obvious. In fact, the only real indication that it is a bona fide trail is that you'll see some orange blazes on the trees by its start. These can be found along the whole of the trail but are ad hoc in frequency.

Old 84 Trail widens out to a grassy and stony old fire road. It winds in and out following the curve of the mountain side for about 4.5 miles. There are glimpses of views. There are some slight inclines along the route but the ride should be easygoing. The last of the winding sections meets Jerry's Creek #165 at another barrier to your right.

Jerry's Creek #165 is a rowdy descent with a steep drop-off to a creek bed on one side. The path is not just narrow but falls away to a sharp drop. This short but highly technical descent is one of the best in Jefferson National Forest. After crossing the creek, continue to climb for a short while. After the creek, the trail actually widens out to more of a old fire road that is similar to Old 84 Trail in that it skirts around the mountain side. The terrain is more pleasant as the vegetation is less thick so there is more natural light. The climb also rewards with more glimpses of views. After the climb, enjoy a smooth descent back to the Forest Service road where you began.

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Check-Ins

Jun 27, 2018
Bill Perry
Only did till the part where it joins Hurricane Rd. Troublesome bear at the start people said and say a 1.5 yr old at top. Should have done other way.
May 9, 2018
Blake Bohanan
Nov 4, 2017
Joey Atkins
Oct 13, 2017
Maddy Hatter

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#1612

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
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Rankings

#48

in Virginia

#1,612

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77 Views Last Month
554 Since Sep 3, 2017
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