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North Mountain Trail (#467)

Difficult
 4.7 (3)

Near-wilderness, singletrack playground trail! Vistas, caves, climbs and rapid ravine descents!!


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Map Key

8.6

Miles

13.8

KM

Singletrack

3,226' 983 m

High

1,361' 415 m

Low

511' 156 m

Up

2,111' 643 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Unknown

Features Commonly Bikepacked

The only reason for mentioning dogs as 'Leashed' is for (a) common courtesy to other trail users and (b) should you run into black bear, the USFS urges owners to be sure your dog is leashed. However, as a trail dog MTBer, I would ride with my pup unleashed unless circumstances warranted a need for him to be leashed.

Description

If you'd prefer not to climb Collierstown Road (Route 770) as shown in the Longdale Furnace North Mountain Loop Featured Ride you can drive to a small parking area at the start of this trail. Just take caution driving as it's a one-lane road with little room for turnoffs. Having said that, let's get to the fun!

Just south of the small lot at the top, you'll discover the trail, which heads south along the ridge. Welcome to instant fun and incredible views! If you want to plan your vista detours well, a hiker's guide to the trail with detailed distance markers (by Jeff Monroe) can be found here.

The views are phenomenal and the ridge, in my opinion, ought to be ridden back and forth as much as you're able to get the most out of your time! Lots to see and lots of fun to be had!

Near the end of the ridge climb, you'll have to hike-a-bike up stone steps through Pete's Cave (a conglomeration of enormous stone outcrops that form an eery, but awesome cavernous route up and over to continue the trail). At the end of the ridge to the south, you should come straight up to an old wooden sign that says "TO LONGDALE."

After a super fun, winding descent down the ravines and about five to six distinctive creek crossings (no bridges needed with low crossing water), you should see a sign directing you to the right to connect with Simmons Road (FSR #334) to follow the winding gravel service road that leads you back to the lower parking lot. Otherwise you can keep left on the North Mountain Trail proper to work down to the Yaccrs Run Trail (#658) where it meets Tri County Road (FSR #271).

I rode this solo, but strongly urge you to ride this in a group. It would have been a lot more fun and safer as a group or partner ride. Marked as 'Commonly Bikepacked' as there is a campsite and is navigable as a portion for a bikepacking route.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brad Donze

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#5993

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
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Trail Rankings

#136

in Virginia

#5,993

Overall
9 Views Last Month
509 Since Dec 4, 2017
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Photos

Follow the 'Wisps'. But be mindful...black bear make their home in these Virginia hills. Nearing the entrance to Pete's Cave and to the steps up through your hike-a-bike reservation. Beware the use of super wide bars. :)
Dec 3, 2017 near Clifton…, VA
View off the eastern side of the ridge.
Jan 10, 2019 near Clifton…, VA
Shedding grams off your bike wasn't important...before you find Pete's Cave. This isn't your mother's hike-a-bike...it's a real bear!
Dec 3, 2017 near Clifton…, VA
Keep your eyes peeled for antiquated markers.
Feb 21, 2018 near Clifton…, VA
Pete's cave. Pete's never home.
Jan 10, 2019 near Clifton…, VA
Fatty takes a rest while I capture Big House Mountain to the east (background). The climbing isn't finished; enjoy a bit of rest at these vista overlooks and regain your strength!!
Dec 3, 2017 near Clifton…, VA

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May 26, 2018
Terry A
Jan 17, 2018
Dick Nobbs