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I am the owl
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to have 3 or 4 hours to hit Carvins Cove on Sunday but I've never been there before. Looking for some recommendations on what trails to hit. You know, best ones to climb to maximize the fun downhills, best direction for flow on trails, etc.

We are fit riders who aren't afraid to climb and like technical riding. Any recommendations?

Thanks!
 

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CrgCrkRyder
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See Kapusta's recommendations

Kapusta did a good ride recommendation for Carvins Cove a few weeks ago.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=416303

The only other route I would add would be (if you are really into climbing) is to go up Hi-
Dee-Hoe, left on the fire road and down Hemlock Tunnel to Comet. Then you could do the lower trails he decribed (Songbird Schoolhouse,etc.) You could also go up Hi-Dee-Hoe to do the Gaunlet loop (Gauntlet ->Trough-> Buck). Up Hi-Dee-Hoe is a tough climb, but sometimes that is what I want.
 

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It's a good ride, and tons of people frequent there. Also check out Explore Park as well. They have maps at the main building, be aware that you have to buy a parking pass.
 

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CraigCreekRider said:
Kapusta did a good ride recommendation for Carvins Cove a few weeks ago.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=416303

The only other route I would add would be (if you are really into climbing) is to go up Hi-
Dee-Hoe, left on the fire road and down Hemlock Tunnel to Comet. Then you could do the lower trails he decribed (Songbird Schoolhouse,etc.) You could also go up Hi-Dee-Hoe to do the Gaunlet loop (Gauntlet ->Trough-> Buck). Up Hi-Dee-Hoe is a tough climb, but sometimes that is what I want.
i would also recommend hemlock tunnel to comet. i helped rake out hemlock tunnel a few weeks back so it is ready to rock. the bottom section is lots of fun. twisting in and out of the trees and what not.

up, over and back (gauntlet trough buck) is also stellar
 

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CrgCrkRyder
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wiretapstudios said:
It's a good ride, and tons of people frequent there. Also check out Explore Park as well. They have maps at the main building, be aware that you have to buy a parking pass.
Day parking passes at The Cove are $3 I think, you can get them at Just the Right Gear on Rt311 on the way to the Bennett Springs parking lot (best access point). You can also get them at the parking lot at the dam off of the Hollins I-81 exit. Explore has good trails, but no large climbs or decents. I didn't pay the last time I was there. Wiretapstudios - were you talking about a parking pass at the Cove or Explore?
 

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CraigCreekRider said:
Day parking passes at The Cove are $3 I think, you can get them at Just the Right Gear on Rt311 on the way to the Bennett Springs parking lot (best access point). You can also get them at the parking lot at the dam off of the Hollins I-81 exit. Explore has good trails, but no large climbs or decents. I didn't pay the last time I was there. Wiretapstudios - were you talking about a parking pass at the Cove or Explore?
Just keep in mind that Just The Right Gear is closed on Sundays.
 

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I am the owl
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all of the info. Trying to figure out the parking pass thing, I won't be arriving until Saturday evening and want to be on the trail by about 9am so it looks like getting the pass at the shop is out. Seems the recommended starting point is the parking lot where the passes aren't sold.

What time can I buy a pass at the other lot? If I park at that lot, how long of a bike ride is it to get to the recommended trails on the west side? Any other parking pass options? Looked online to see if I could grab one there, but no dice. I've got no problems paying for a pass, but they don't seem to make it easy.

Thanks everyone!
 

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CrgCrkRyder
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Boat Dock link

Yea RiderX, I agree on the parking pass issue. :madman: Wish they would do like Douthat and provide envelopes and a drop point via honor system. People do like to ride on Sunday and I don't think they should ticket anyone if they can't provide access to passes. I didn't realize JTRG was closed Sunday.

The link below gives a phone number for the boat dock area that also issues passes. Maybe someone there can help you out. Access on that end is pretty good for the trails by the lake. Probably 3 miles or so in on rolling doubletrack (Happy Valley) It makes riding The Gauntlet or trails off the top of the mountain a longer journey. Coming from that end you would probably want to just ride up the fireroad (Brushy Mountain Trail is the latest name I think) to access Gauntlet, Hemlock Tunnel, Hi-Dee-Hoe, or Buck.

http://www.roanokeva.gov/WebMgmt/ywbase61b.nsf/vwContentByKey/N26CGQX6774VGREEN
 

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CraigCreekRider said:
Yea RiderX, I agree on the parking pass issue. :madman: Wish they would do like Douthat and provide envelopes and a drop point via honor system. People do like to ride on Sunday and I don't think they should ticket anyone if they can't provide access to passes. I didn't realize JTRG was closed Sunday.

The link below gives a phone number for the boat dock area that also issues passes. Maybe someone there can help you out. Access on that end is pretty good for the trails by the lake. Probably 3 miles or so in on rolling doubletrack (Happy Valley) It makes riding The Gauntlet or trails off the top of the mountain a longer journey. Coming from that end you would probably want to just ride up the fireroad (Brushy Mountain Trail is the latest name I think) to access Gauntlet, Hemlock Tunnel, Hi-Dee-Hoe, or Buck.

http://www.roanokeva.gov/WebMgmt/ywbase61b.nsf/vwContentByKey/N26CGQX6774VGREEN
Yes, the parking pass situation is unacceptably stupid. I think the drop box idea is a good one, and I cannot see why on earth they don't do it. I know a lot of people who park without a pass because it can be a real pain to get one, especially on Sunday (or anytime JTRG is closed), but would most likely drop a few bucks in the box to avoid a ticket.

I parked at the boat docks once to do a ride, and I felt like I spent forever on a gravel forest service road just to get to and from the first of the lower trails. You'd may as well just park for free a few miles away on the Bennet Spring side (maybe in the school parking lot?) and ride the road to the trails.

Before I got my year-long pass, if I wanted to ride on Sunday I just went without one, rather than deal with the boat-dock nonsense.
 

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There is also a third gated entrance off 81 on a different map I have as well, I'm pretty sure you can just park and ride, I highly doubt there is someone going over there on Sunday to check for passes.

Here is the link to the map for anyone that doesn't have one:

https://www.justtherightgear.com/resources/carvins_cove_map.jpg

 

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I am the owl
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Someone suggested parking at Whispering Pines park and riding 2.5 miles up the road. Sounds like 3 miles on a fireroad is a better bet and puts me closer to Rt. 81 if I park at the other lot. I'll scope out the map some more.

What is the cost of a ticket BTW? I want to pay for the pass, I've got no problem supporting the trails with $$$, a lockbox would be a no brainer. If I thought it wouldn't get snagged I'd leave the cash on the windshield!
 

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i say you risk not having a pass. first time they give out a warning anyways

not saying that its cool to try and not pay but i wouldnt sweat it too much. if you parked at the spot at the end of timberview rd there would be less chance of getting noticed.
 

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I've also done the note on the windshield thing. Actually I went out early this past Monday morning (after that wicked Sunday night rain) and JTRG doesn't open til 11. I just wrote on a receipt and left it on my dash. No ticket on the way back out around noon. Great riding by the way. I can't get enough of Songbird. Not technical, but really fast. I have yet to try the super steep upper trails, although I like Jacob's drop.
 

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Oh yeah... as of Monday there was a pretty big tree down on Tuck-A-Way. It was really muddy when I did it and I was hauling ass, about slid into the thing. I'm game for log jumping but I couldn't make myself small enough to fit through the branches of this sucker.
 
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