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Little Flat Mountain Loop

Extremely Difficult

Trail

3.0 mile 4.8 kilometer loop
Doubletrack
Extremely Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 985' 300 m
Descent: -979' -299 m
High: 2,304' 702 m
Low: 1,327' 405 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Map Key

Trail shared by David Kutassy

The original fire road before P.A. Byrom became a park.

David Kutassy

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

This is a multi-use trail. Be conscientious of your speed and watch for other trail users.

Description

If you ever wondered what it would be like to ride straight up the side of a steep mountain, then you've come to the right place! This trail is mostly a rocky fire road that was made long before mountain biking became popular, and they clearly weren't concerned about making switchbacks to maintain a climbable grade.

This description follows a clockwise direction (as mapped) and the advanced difficulty rating is mostly for the steep climbs, but the descent also has some very fast and difficult singletrack.

Start at the intersection with the Blue Ledge Trail and head south along a moderate climb to reach the Blackwell's Trail. Although it's a black diamond trail, taking the Blackwell's Trail cuts off the steepest and most relentless part of climbing on the Little Flat Mountain Loop.

I recommend riders bypass this section unless you're looking for the physical challenge. There isn't anything technical, but the grade is incredibly steep. If you clean this section, then you may bask in the glory of being a mountain biking god. Otherwise, riding up Blackwell's Trail is a much better option for the rest of us.

From the upper intersection with the Blackwell's Trail to the top of the park's highest point is a fun challenge. It's uphill the whole time, but there are three major climbs. The first one is 100% rideable but very steep. I believe the second once can be ridden, but there is a 40-foot stretch in the middle that I have not been able to conquer yet. The third is about the same grade as the first, but a little shorter. At the top of the third climb you'll find yourself at the very top of the park!

Just as you start downhill you'll find a beautiful overlook. There's a bench and an amazing view of the mountainous terrain in this area. This is a great place to stop and eat as you're about to experience some amazing downhill singletrack worthy of any lift-served bike park.

This is where all of the climbing you just endured truly pays off. Continuing clockwise on the Little Flat Mountain Loop, you'll be served some true singletrack trail that requires laser-like precision to navigate the rocks successfully at speed.

Riders will soon come to the picnic area and the first of three descent options. The first option is to hang a left on the gnarly rocky singletrack of the Crooked Tree Trail. Or, continue straight through the picnic area and start on a new section of wide flowing machine cut trail which then returns to rocky steep fire road. Further down, riders can engage the third option by splitting off onto the Blue Ledge Trail.

Biked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed

Contacts

Land Manager: Albemarle County

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Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 2 votes

#15156

Overall
  3.5 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#431

in Virginia

#15,156

Overall
3 Views Last Month
302 Since Sep 30, 2017
Extremely Difficult

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Photos

Brand new section of trail on Little Yellow Mountain Loop.
Sep 30, 2017 near Grottoes, VA
Overlook from the highest point in Patricia Ann Byrom Forest Preserve
Sep 30, 2017 near Grottoes, VA
Sign that reads "Mt. Jennifer"
Sep 30, 2017 near Grottoes, VA
Small piece of a long rocky trail.
Sep 30, 2017 near Grottoes, VA
The bears love using trail markers as a scratching post.
Sep 30, 2017 near Crozet, VA

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