Kennedy Peak Circuit - TRAIL

Kennedy Peak Circuit - Trail, Luray, Virginia

This was my first time riding the Massanutten. For those of you familiar with Duncan Hollow, they pretty much start from the same location. The trailhead starts from a parking lot right before the entrance to the Camp Roosevelt picnic/camping area near a red storage shed. Since the parking lot is both the start and end of the ride you can do it either clockwise (yellow blazed Stephens trail), or counter-clockwise (white blazed Massanutten Trail).
If you do the trail counter-clockwise like I did be prepared for a pretty intense uphill climb that will require as much endurance as technical skill. Many area's will require a little hike-a-bike. Once you reach the top of this uphill you will end up back on SR 675 on the ridge of the mountain. Take a left and about 20 yds ahead on the left will be the trailhead in the form of a fire road. This fire road; however, will soon dead end into another grueling uphill single track that leads to Kennedy's Peak. At the top you have the option of taking a short .25 mile hike to Kennedy Peak to a worth while scenic overlook.
Continue on down Massanutten trail where you will intersect with Stephens Trail (yellow blazed). Make that left on Stephens and you will be rewarded with a killer downhill that switches back and forth between flowing and small rock garden sections. This trail will dead end right back the parking lot where you started.
I ran into two other mountain bikers and we stopped to chat. They were locals that informed me that if I were to do it again I should do it clockwise since Stephens Trail is a bit easier to climb and the intense uphill section that I began with is a blast to bomb down. I also asked them on the comparision between Kennedy and Duncan Hollow and they said they would ride Kennedy all day over Ducan because it's more of a technical ride with not as many fire roads. I plan on trying this route in the opposite direction in the fall, but I still believe the agony of the initial climb is worth the long downhill at the end.
Bring plenty of water and stuff for mechanicals (I had a flat and busted chain) because it is some what isolated and few and far between with other trail users. Both horses and hikers are said to use the trail but I didn't see any.

User Reviews (0)

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va12Bike   Cross Country Rider [Mar 29, 2010]

This is a nice trail right across from Duncan Hollow. You can do this and then do Duncan for a nice long ride. I took the same route as the initial reviewer. The climb a good challenge and the flowy downhill is also good. It would also be fun in reverse now that someone mentions it. Comparing the DH to Bear Wallow at EF, it's much easier if you go the counter clockwise route. Going clockwise would be more challenging on the DH, but pretty ridable. I did see horses on this trail, and if you look at it's design, it's a horse trail for sure. Probably the main way they can get to the ridge. If you are doing Duncan, this is worth the extra time for sure.

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