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Gold Loop

Difficult
 4.4 (8) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Connecting all the blue flow trails on the Western Slope.


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Map Key

8.3

Miles

13.3

KM

100%

Singletrack

2,232' 680 m

High

1,524' 465 m

Low

1,264' 385 m

Up

1,268' 387 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

39%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Allowed

The Massanutten Western Slope is private owned and riders must carry a valid annual pass or purchase a day pass ($10) or week pass ($25) from the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition.

Overview

This mid-mountain traverse route flows nicely in both directions. This route connects all the new blue trails and is a fun way to get up to most of the more difficult black trails. Folks looking to increase difficulty and distance can stack loops off of the gold loop and add Laird's Loop and the Pink Loop for some more difficult terrain zones.

Description

Recommended loops on the Western Slope are all blazed. As a rule of thumb for easy navigation, follow the green blazes for the Green Loop, blue blazes for the Blue Loop, pink blazes for the Pink Loop and gold blazes for the Go Loop. To avoid repeating the phrase "follow the gold blazes," assume that most of the intersections will be blazed gold.

The lower sections of this route are shared with the Green Loop and the Blue Loop, making an easy bailout early in the ride possible before climbing to the mid-mountain elevation section of the trail. There are lots of intersections to navigate along this route, so follow the gold blazes. There are a few "you are here" map signs at the more complex intersections to help simplify things. Consistent with Massanutten trails, this route does include rocky sections, but they are not super technical, plus they are mixed in with the most flow trails in the network.

Enter the trail system at the Northeast corner of the fenced in parking lot next to the information kiosk and repair stand. Hang a left onto VA '54 for a quick creek crossing and continue to Boundary. This route will be fun unless it's been a wet week. To avoid the mud, stick to the gravel roads that parallel the lower trails until you get to the pond.

Boundary will exit the woods just below the pond where the Green Loop and Go Loop split. Follow the gold blazes for more climbing along blue terrain or, if you are gassed, hang a right to follow the Green Loop back downhill to the parking lot. The Go loop hangs a left at the top of Boundary and turns onto Lower Granny Bypass where the true nature of the Go Loop reveals itself with a machine-cut bench with lots of fun rocks to challenge intermediate riding skills.

The most complicated intersection of the trail system is at the top of Lower Granny Bypass. To continue on the Go Loop, follow the gold blazes, turn right on the bottom portion of Upper Granny Grind, and descend to IMBA after merging and crossing Laird's Downhill. Be advised—you might be hauling some mail down Upper Granny Grind from the big intersection, so be on the lookout on the left for a roller that looks like a fun jump as it's the entrance to IMBA.

This is the real start of the traverse where there will be many intersections, but most should be gold blazed to stay on the loop. Turn left on Three Creeks for a creek crossing and short section of singletrack before continuing straight onto Boy Scout, then keep left on Big Stump, and stay straight past onto Lower Ravine.

Continue along the traverse past 81, part Big Valley, past Lower Hanenkahm, onto Connector, and then take a left on Berm Trail at the Upper Homestead intersection. Climb up Berm to the road, and cross back onto trail to the intersection of 2000 Hours (2K) and 4000 Hours (4K). Continue on this trail back to the road and continue onto 4000 Hours Connector. Take a left onto Upper Homestead to the road and continue onto Lower Homestead to the bottom. Continue heading north onto the gravel back to the parking lot on the left.

Contacts

Shared By:

S. Scott Wootten with improvements by Sean Devitt

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 8 votes

#1721

Overall
  4.4 from 8 votes
5 Star
63%
4 Star
13%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#47

in Virginia

#1,721

Overall
59 Views Last Month
1,908 Since Nov 14, 2018
Difficult

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17%
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83%
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Photos

A quintessential look at typical trail conditions on 4000 Hours.
Apr 10, 2017 near Massanu…, VA
Looking out at Hensley's Pond at the very top of the "Green" Pond Loop. Right side of the photo is the trail over top of the dam and the picnic tables are on the left side of the photo.
Oct 19, 2020 near Massanu…, VA
Below the dam at Hensley's Pond and at Intersection "F" on the map. A "You Are Here" map
Oct 19, 2020 near Massanu…, VA
VA '54 Trailhead.
Apr 11, 2017 near Massanu…, VA
Be Alert
Oct 9, 2015 near Massanu…, VA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 5 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jan 10, 2021
john otero
muddy on most trails.
Sep 12, 2020
Timothy Howard
Explored the western slope green trails/tractor roads and connector trails to our ultimate destination of riding the last counter-clockwise portion. — 2h 34m
Sep 22, 2019
Bill Bunting
Jul 14, 2019
Bryan Folts
solo ride 8mi — 1h 13m
Jun 23, 2019
John Grubb
Trails in awesome condition all around. 10.8mi — 4h 41m
May 24, 2019
Andre Gilbert
Gold loop et 2X connector. Belle descente et section rocailleuse technique. 20mi — 2h 23m
May 21, 2019
Thaddeus W
2h 00m
Jan 30, 2019
Grande Warwass