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Bikecurious
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I'm trying to plan a camping trip with some friends from Northern VA, and I live in Harrisonburg so I was hoping to find a place about halfway between us. Not really big on the overly developed campgrounds, I prefer more like a clearing in the woods or something. I'll be going with non-biking folks, but I thought maybe I could use this as an opportunity to go hiking on a trail or two that I might want to ride in the future, just to check it out. I was thinking possibly Elizabeth Furnace, but I'm not very familiar with the area up there. Any suggestions? Thanks.
 

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Hey, I went to Elizabeth Furnace 2 weekends ago on my mountain bike and I have to say it was not easy. Basically you climb up and up for a long time so bring plenty of water. A lot of the trails are mostly rock gardens so you need to be a pretty good rider or you'll be walking most of the sections. If you're hiking on foot then it won't be a problem.

There's a campground not too far from the parking lot, but I don't know how developed it is. Here's a pretty decent link that gives you a good map and description.

http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/gwj/lee/recreation/camping/elizabeth_furnace.shtml

Here's another link where a guy gives a good route to take on the bike. Be very very careful coming down blue if you are on a mountain bike. If you slip and wreck it will not be pretty. Safer way down is to take orange. Once again, if you are coming down by foot it won't be a problem on blue.

http://www.bikerag.com/images/MAPS/va_elizabeth_furnace_review.htm

The only water you'll come across are a few running streams before purple hits orange. Good luck.
 

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Right up from Front Royal is the Shenandoah National forest and Skyline Drive. There are mad (a lot) of really nice campgrounds along skyline drive and they aren't to expensive. The views and the hiking up there is top notch. There is also plenty of backcountry camping in the forest. I have never been riding up there though.
 
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