North Mountain Trail - TRAIL

North Mountain Trail - Trail, Lexington, Virginia

This was rated #1 in the State of Va by Outside magazine, definitely a winner for southern Va!!!This goes until you get to a rock cavern (great natural stairway for trials and broken bones) after about 45min of chill climbing along the ridge. Unbelievable view of the valley here and all along the trail, many spots you can see all the way to Blue Ridge Pkwy. Then starts some descents and after another 10-20min you'll need to look carefully for a right turn. This is some bada** down hill a good half hour - 45min depending on your skills and watch the ravine! A few creek crossings after this great descent. And then you'll branch to the left at a wider trail head with some signs (very well marked). This takes you right back to the parking area. Be careful if it's wet! Enjoy!! Feel free to email me if you need help or have suggestions.

User Reviews (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6  
Hale Trotter   Weekend Warrior [Aug 10, 2006]

Trail could be run as both a loop trail with a long 4-5 mile forest road climb, or as a shuttle run by leaving one car at top of Forest road at single track trailhead. If you do the forest road climb be aware that once you are on single track you still have many smaller but steep climbs along the ridge ride before you get to the downhill, so bring power bar, and save some strength for the trail. This is a great ride, one of my favorites. The ridge ride has may rocky outcroppings and one that you must climb up and through carrying your bike (steep climb). The trail is fun as it winds through the forest and around trees and rocks. Once you head back down the mountain the fun really begins. Great single track downhill through beautiful fern covered forest floor and creek crossings. Fairly extreme.

Customer Service

Once you get to the bottom of the downhill, trail will widen and go in 2 directions. go right across the creek and follow trail to a forest road which will wind you back to lower parking lot, mostly downhill and fast return.

Similar Products Used: Do that state park, Rimel park in pocahontas county Wv. has some nice trails too.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ross Meyer   [Mar 19, 2000]

Very scenic trail. Not too technical but awesome. In parts, especially the beginning and the decent down the mountain after the natural staircase, the trail is narrow with bushes and branches that slap and whack you as you fly by. Those parts are pretty fun and they give you nice scratches on your legs and arms to show off to people. Do look carefully for that right turn after the descent that is after the staircase and look for those red diamonds.
One problem is that I couldn't figure out how to come out right at the parking area like the first guy did. I branched to the left at that wider trailhead with the signs after the creek crossings like he said. But I must have missed something else because I came out in the Longdale Recreation Area and onto the road that parallels the interstate (the route 850 or 269 or whatever it is). I am wondering if the guy who made the first description of the trail meant to say turn right at the wider trailhead with the signs after the creek crossing. Because that would make sense looking at a map that I have.
The other thing that is a little off about the first guy's directions is that it's less than 20 miles. It took me 17 and that was including when I went the wrong way throught the Longdale Rec. Area. I would estimate it being about 12 miles if you go the right way. Other than that this trail rocks!

Customer Service

Just as the first guy said, take the Longdale Furnace exit and turn left at the end of the ramp (onto route 850 I think or it might be 269). Take the next left (route 770 I think) which turns into the fire road to the top of North Mountain. Park at that parking area on the right. Ride up the fire raod until you get to that t-intersection. It's about 4 miles from the turn onto route 770 to the t-intersection. Turn right there and go a short distance. On the left you'll see a road that goes up to some kind of radio tower. Right after that on the left is a small place for one or two cars to back into. Directly across the fire road from that is the trailhead. The trail is marked with red/orange diamonds on the trees.

Similar Products Used: Douthat State Park in Clifton Forge, Pandapas Pond in Blacksburg, Carvin's Cove in Roanoke
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Stephen Gabris   [Mar 19, 2000]

Once you find the trailhead get read for some real fun. The trail is very narrow in places so if its not too warm I would suggest long clothing if you like to keep your skin. Its maybe 4 miles of awesome ridin and scenery to the staircase. I stopped many times to check out the amazing views. The staircase is a good place to explore around the rocks. Once past that and after a quick decent there is a sharp right turn that is easy to miss but the tree blazes help. Then get ready for fast and dangerous downhill, at least 2 or 3 miles of it. The trail was slippery near the bottom and I almost plunged into the ravine a couple times but its a great downhill. I think its a right turn at the signs at the bottom that takes you back to the parking lot. Its a good distance though. I went left (the wrong way)but found the parking area eventually. Total trail length around 12 miles. Polish up that frame, grease up that fork and get out there, it rules!

Customer Service

The other reviewers left good directions so just follow them. The parking area is on the right about 1 mile up the fire road. From there about a 3 mile climb to the T-section, not too steep but a good workout.

Similar Products Used: Douthat State park, Carvins Cove
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
slip_kid   [May 17, 2000]

This is purported to be one of the best rides in the state of Virginia? Okay, the views along the ridge line are spectacular. Ride it once when things will be in spring bloom or during the fall colors and take a camera. However, once you get past the rock outcropping referred to as Pete's Cave, prepare to get shredded (this is a bad thing)... The trail is often overgrown to the point where you don't even have a bar width. Wear something long. After the trail drops off the ridge line and starts its descent to the bottom the brush stops being a problem. It's a fun single track down hill with some nice scenery and some off-camber/technical bits. I only wish it had been longer. After you hit the fire road at the bottom you've got a fair amount to go but a lot of the excitement is gone.

The view from the top is admittedly great. The trail itself is okay, but I think the Big Levels/Sherando & Douthat trails are better.

Customer Service

I'd recommend following the directions given here to make a loop out of it... We followed some *terrible* directions in Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine to make it a point to point ride. It'd be much better as a loop with the warm up climb.

Similar Products Used: Sherando Lake area
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Mike O'D.   [Jun 15, 2000]

I think I logged about 14(?) miles. It seems best to park near the entrance to Longdale, turn right on the highway to begin the long climb to the singletrack. The last time I was here I surprised a bear(!) on the super-fast downhill, actually very close to recreation area. This ride is a must if you're nearby or passing through.

Customer Service

Great directions in Jim Parham's VA "
Off The Beaten Track" guidebook

Similar Products Used: Douthat
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
steve   [Aug 07, 2000]

Fairly well marked and easy to follow until you get to the sign at the bottom of the descent. If you go right you will come to the gravel parking area at the fireroad. If you go left you will come out at the paved road near the interstate (adds a few miles). Either way you can get back. The trail overall does not get much use and it is overgrown in places. I do recommend at least shades to save the eyeballs. We dismounted in several places to push to bike through the growth. Overall, the trail is much worth it. The descent, as you get to the ravine at the bottom, would be treacherous if it was wet. Very off camber and rooty in places. I would do this trail again if in the area.

Customer Service

The directions from others are good. Park off the fire road. Ride clockwise and climb up the fireroad to the trailhead.

Similar Products Used: Douthat
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
K Hamilton   [Sep 26, 2002]

I rode Douthut the day before, so I was a little tired, but the trail is very scenic and fun. I was worried I might get poison ivy because the trail is kind of brushy(constantly scrapping legs on brush), but lube up with lots of sun screen to form a protective layer. The trail has lots of sharp rocks, so carry a spare tube and pump. Great ride, but not very long. Would be good to hike as well.

Customer Service

I went with Mountain Rick from Lexington. We parked at Lake Robertson. We left the parking lot and took a right. We climbed about 4 miles on a gravel road until we came to the ridge.Beware of dogs about 1/3 the way up.

Similar Products Used: Douthut is great. Also there are some trails around Lake Robertson.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-6 of 6  

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