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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The wife and I are heading up to Damascus over July 4th. What loops would ya'll suggest? We are looking for a variety of loops (15, 20, and 30 mile). I have searched through the VA forum and have found differing schools of thought on the amount of and quality of the riding in the area.

We're coming from the Upstate of South Carolina, so the marority of our riding is done in Pisgah and Dupont State Forest. How does the Damascus area compare to Pisgah?

The only ride we have planned so far is to ride Iron Mountain as a loop, starting and ending in Damascus. Ride up 58 to FS 90 and then connect up with Iron Mountain back into town. I've read about doing this as a shuttle, but would rather not do that. Is 58 any more dangerous than any other paved mountain road? Is it feasible to use the Virginia Creeper instead of 58, without much backtracking, to hit FS 90?

I've checked out the bikeguy website, but it appears to be fairly dated information.

Also, if any one has recommendations on eats and beer, that would be most appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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...soon to be sith lord..
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Yo Punker! I live in Abingdon, just a few miles from Damascus. The loop we normally like to do is to start at the caboose at the end of town, ride up the Creeper Trail to what is called the "4 mile parking lot", which is ironically enough, about 4 miles from the caboose. Can't miss it, there will be a bathroom there and everything.

You'll want to go into the parking lot and ride up to the main road (58). Just about 10-15 feet up the road, across the road, you'll find a trail called Beech Grove (not 100% sure it's marked) that climbs to the top of the mtn. From here, there are tons of options if you turn right.

Stop by Adventure Damascus and have a chat with the folks that work there and pick up a Nat Geo map of the area. They'll be glad to help you out. I think a few of us may be heading up to Iron that Sunday. I'll check back to let you know if we go or not. I'd be more than happy to show you around!
 

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Obi's got it right. I have ridded up 58 from the fourmile & it's not bad but the shuttle vans will be running hard this weekend. Talk to Adventure Damascus about hopping on one of their Creeper Shuttles & getting out at Beartree, you can add in a bunch of loops that way. Nat Geo map #786 covers the Mt Rogers NRA.
For your big day, I would reccomend working in Rowland Creek Trail somehow. You could do the Rowland/Jerry's Creek loop & then ride the Iron back to Damascus for something like 25-30 miles. A friend & I already have plans to be there (Rowland Creek) on the 5th, maybe we could give you a ride & get a ride back to my truck from you?
I live in town, happy to help any way I can.
 

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casey441 said:
For your big day, I would reccomend working in Rowland Creek Trail somehow. You could do the Rowland/Jerry's Creek loop & then ride the Iron back to Damascus for something like 25-30 miles. A friend & I already have plans to be there (Rowland Creek) on the 5th, maybe we could give you a ride & get a ride back to my truck from you?
I live in town, happy to help any way I can.
Do you recommend going down Rowland Creek and up Jerry's Creek or the other way around? I've done the hike a bike up Jerry's Creek a few times and would rather not do that again.
 

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casey441 said:
Obi's got it right. I have ridded up 58 from the fourmile & it's not bad but the shuttle vans will be running hard this weekend. Talk to Adventure Damascus about hopping on one of their Creeper Shuttles & getting out at Beartree, you can add in a bunch of loops that way. Nat Geo map #786 covers the Mt Rogers NRA.
For your big day, I would reccomend working in Rowland Creek Trail somehow. You could do the Rowland/Jerry's Creek loop & then ride the Iron back to Damascus for something like 25-30 miles. A friend & I already have plans to be there (Rowland Creek) on the 5th, maybe we could give you a ride & get a ride back to my truck from you?
I live in town, happy to help any way I can.
C'mon Casey, be a man and ride your bike up to Rowland/Jerry Creeks ;)

I think we'll be up that way riding on the 5th as well. Don't know what our route will be just yet. How many will be with you?
 

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hillbilly_hank said:
Do you recommend going down Rowland Creek and up Jerry's Creek or the other way around? I've done the hike a bike up Jerry's Creek a few times and would rather not do that again.
Tough climb out either way, Hank.
Believe it or not, I know a guy who has climbed up Jerry's clean:eek: There is another way to go down Jerrys or Rowland and loop back...... Barton Gap trail......, turn right at the bottom of Rowland and climb fireroad 'till you're in the gap (about 4 miles) then right on Barton Gap up & over the ridge & decend to F.R. 84, go right 3-4 miles takes you back to the top of Rowland.
Climbing Rowland is not as bad as Jerrys b/c it does not have the fire road lead-in. (Jerrys is technically 5 miles long but about half the distance is on fire road, unfortunately this half of the distance only knocks out a fifth of the elevation.). Only done that twice and did plenty of walking through the middle section.
 

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obi_twan_kenobe said:
C'mon Casey, be a man and ride your bike up to Rowland/Jerry Creeks ;)

I think we'll be up that way riding on the 5th as well. Don't know what our route will be just yet. How many will be with you?
I screwed up, Obi, My bunch is riding Rowland, etc. on Sunday the 6th. I'd like to get up with your group on Sat. though, whatever you have planned. I will be sweating out patriotic beers all day.
 

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casey441 said:
I screwed up, Obi, My bunch is riding Rowland, etc. on Sunday the 6th. I'd like to get up with your group on Sat. though, whatever you have planned. I will be sweating out patriotic beers all day.
You lured me into the "5th" debacle. We'll be up there on Sunday too, not Saturday. I was just as wrong about my dates as you were.
 

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Awesome. Lets try to ride Rowland/ Jerrys & then back to Damascus. We could hire a shuttle if they aren't all booked or we do the two-truck shuffle. I'm gonna call AD and get shuttle info and your #, I think Bill has it?
 

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Well, Punker's thread has turned into the "Casey & Anthony don't have each other's phone #" thread. Yeah, 10 at AD on Sunday is great.....my group will be 3-5 guys, the shuttle will be between $5-$10 each depending on how many show, well worth it in my opinion to avoid having to go back after the truck (or trucks, as the case may be). Can you guys get there about 9:45 for a 10:00 departure?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the info. We had a great ride, albiet we would have liked to hit more, but time, rain, and training for marathon, did not allow it. We rode up VCT, to 58, to 90 and then Iron Mountain back to Damascus. We will be back with more time. A lot of trails that need exploring. Our biggest suprise was the lack of mountain bikers. Any given weekend in Pisgah we would have seen a lot of people; we saw no one (excluding VCT shuttlers). For those of you have ridden in Pisgah, Damacus reminds me of Brevard 15 years ago.
 

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Punker said:
Thanks for all the info. We had a great ride, albiet we would have liked to hit more, but time, rain, and training for marathon, did not allow it. We rode up VCT, to 58, to 90 and then Iron Mountain back to Damascus. We will be back with more time. A lot of trails that need exploring. Our biggest suprise was the lack of mountain bikers. Any given weekend in Pisgah we would have seen a lot of people; we saw no one (excluding VCT shuttlers). For those of you have ridden in Pisgah, Damacus reminds me of Brevard 15 years ago.
There are lots of mountain bikers, but even more trails. The actual Iron Mountain Trail is a small portion of what is up there. Lots of downhill type guys shuttle to the top of their favorite trails and don't make it to the main sections of Iron most times.

We rode just under 30 miles on Sunday (all on trails/fireroads) and saw other riders and horseback riders as well.

Let us know when you're back in town so we can show you around!
 
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