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The Long Loop

 4.3 (6)

The Long Loop strings together the steepest climbs and longest descents offered by the park.

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2,913' 888 m


2,173' 662 m


1,903' 580 m


1,925' 587 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Unknown


This featured ride aims to deliver the most climbs in the park without backtracking. With the steepest climbs also comes the longest descents. This is a real workout and not for the faint of heart as there are several sections with grades in excess of 25%. It's composed primarily of a dry shale singletrack with bits of doubletrack thrown in. Run this counter-clockwise (as mapped) to enjoy the best descents.

Need to Know

At the beginning and end there are restrooms and water available at the Camp Burson Campground. At roughly the halfway point there is food and drink available at the park restaurant or beach snack bar. There are also bathrooms and water available at several locations in this area.


Start at the spillway parking area adjacent to Camp Burson. For the first mile, the ride follows the Lake Trail Loop east to wind in and out of small hollows with mild climbs and descents. At the one-mile point, the trail drops into the Lake boat ramp area (where additional parking is located). From here, the track leaves the Lake Trail Loop and proceeds onto the CCC Trail.

The CCC Trail portion combined with a section of Molly's Knob Trail is the longest and steepest climb on the ride with an elevation change of 800 feet in a little less than two miles. Most of this section is singletrack with lots of turns and a few level spots that will let you catch your breath on the way to the top.

At the end of your climb, you're rewarded by a long two-mile drop down to the bottom. This steep punchy singletrack section is loaded with lots of turns, twist, and jumps! Be careful as there are lots of blind curves along this section and it is heavily traveled by hikers during summer months.

The bottom of the descent returns to the Lake Trail Loop for a short casual pedal along the water's edge. This is the busiest part of the park so be courteous to other trail users. You'll mostly find paved trails here and it's easy to get off track if you're not familiar with the park layout. Keep an eye out for the park restaurant, as it signals the spot to cross over the park road and access the Raider's Run Trail and Old Shawnee Trail.

Both of these trails are short, but they are also some of the most twisty and less traveled in the park. The initial climb is steep but the descending switchback turns are absolutely awesome! When back at the bottom, return to the Lake Trail for a short ride to Highway 16. Turn right (north) on the road for approximately 200 yards and then turn left into the park picnic area. Proceed north and you'll find the Stone Lick Trail.

The Stone Lick Trail is another steep and long climb of about one mile. Near the top, keep right to follow Stone Lick all the way to its end. When you reach the top, you'll find a short mild descent until meeting up with the Clyburn Ridge Loop Trail. Stay right at the junction. This section of the Clyburn Ridge Loop Trail is one of the finest sections of this ride. There are lots of jumps and places to get airborne. It's packed full of more turns and water bars per mile than any other section in the park. When at the bottom, stay straight and proceed onto the Clyburn Hollow Trail.

The Clyburn Hollow Trail is a mild climb with the only water crossings in the park. Proceed north until you reach the second half of the Clyburn Ridge Loop Trail on your right (if you were traveling it the opposite direction, it has some great places to catch air). Instead, you'll work through a moderate climb to reach the ridge where riders will find an awesome view of Hungry Mother Valley and Lake.

Get ready for the final and straightest descent the park has to offer. Like the rest of the Clyburn Ridge Loop Trail it has plenty of water bars and jumps, but with minimal turns. Pay close attention at the bottom or you'll miss your exit. It's a sharp switchback that turns right down to the parking lot.

At the bottom, simply cross Highway 16 and go into the Burson Campground. At the rear, you'll find the short connector back to the spillway parking lot. You're done!


Shared By:

Joey Atkins

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 6 votes


  4.3 from 6 votes
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in Virginia


7 Views Last Month
2,142 Since Dec 12, 2017



View of Molly's Knob and Hungry Mother Lake from the top of Clyburn Ridge Trail
Sep 24, 2017 near Marion, VA
Heading up the Hollow.
Feb 24, 2018 near Marion, VA
The Junction
Feb 24, 2018 near Marion, VA
Proud Trail Pup.
Oct 30, 2017 near Marion, VA
looking up the Ridge Trail
Dec 1, 2017 near Marion, VA
Shawnee Trail
Dec 12, 2017 near Marion, VA


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Oct 24, 2020
Joey Atkins
Apr 22, 2020
Joey Atkins
Nov 26, 2019
Brian Potter
10.5mi — 2h 00m
Aug 30, 2019
Joey Atkins
Jun 29, 2019
Jim Christ
Good route/lots of climbing. Hike a bike the steepest sections (at least for me). I decided to hike a bike Vista to Molly's Knob and totally worth it. 12.5mi
Mar 16, 2019
Joey Atkins
Oct 19, 2018
Beck M
Oct 17, 2018
Don Cameron