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Discussion Starter #21
So 4-5 hrs is standard. You can skip the southern loop (Woodstock loop) of the figure of eight and get in a 13+ mile ride (if you include going around the reservoir on the single tract) That takes 2+hours.

You can also go up Bear Wallow to the top, down "Hike a Bike" turn right and then up Signal knob and across Makena to bear Wallow and back down that . Its 12+ plus miles of almost all single tract. Mostly all in the sadle as well.

I did the standard EFurnace loop yesterday (without the Woodstock loop) it took me 2:30hrs with a snack break. Stream crossing were cold but doable, and trail was fast and fun.
Thanks for the suggestions!

While I have everyone in this thread... What other rides within 2ish hours from Northern VA are your favorites? (excluding bike parks). I did the SM100 this year and really enjoyed Stokesville.
 

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So I really enjoy Frederick watershed and Gambrill State park west of Frederick MD, Also Cacapon state park in WVa (south of Berekely springs) is a hidden gem, and then Rolling Ridge west of Purcelville is a great loop as well.

there are great trails in the GWNF as well. Big Schloss and Little Schloss and Super Chunky (opa overlook trail on MTBproject)

The trails south and east of EFurnace are all fun too though. I find 10-15 mile loops when I can and then add or subtract to get about a 2+hr ride in. Shaw, Sherman, Buzzard east of passage creek from eFurnace are all fun and rocky. Did I mention rocks....
 

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Thanks for the suggestions!

While I have everyone in this thread... What other rides within 2ish hours from Northern VA are your favorites? (excluding bike parks). I did the SM100 this year and really enjoyed Stokesville.
If you like really, really tough climbing and are on a short time constraint you can climb Signal Knob then take Maneka Peak over to the top of Bear Wallow and descend that. It's a pretty brutal quickie ride.

For other places in the area, if you like that style of rock then you'll love the Frederick Watershed and Gambrill State Park. They're not as rocky as EF, but still pretty technical riding depending on the trail. Gambrill is well marked and easy to navigate, watershed not so much... But you can piece things together if you're crafty or just use trial and error.
 

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For shorter Figure-8, I like to do the southern half up to Woodstock (skip the Signal Knob part, just go back on the same trail you started). It's more forrest road than a Signal Knob loop, but skips the hike-a-bike section (though I'm usually off my bike a fair bit on the Massanutten Trail section).
 

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For other trails in area, most of the above has it covered...
- The Shed is awesome for packing tech trail into a "local" ride (I'm in Reston, so it's about an hour's drive). Typical ride would be 12-15 miles, 3 hours or so total.

- Fountainhead - 12-ish mile XC trail with a few tech features and jumps (all with ride-around). Another 6-ish miles of hiking trail on the BROT is open to bikes from the same lot (ridden as out-n-back). So, you can string together 24 miles/4 hours of XC. Great training and good spot for group rides (esp with riders who aren't ready for the backcountry stuff).

- You already found Stokesville. 2-3 hours, but tons of trail and there's pretty much always somebody riding out of Stokesville Camp/Lodge. Like the SM100, you have to ride a lot of gravel/forrest road to get around, but easy to string together epic all day rides.

- And locally, you have Lake Fairfax and Wakefield/Accotink - quality trail networks, though not super exciting, but close enough to sneak in rides after work. Lots of organized group rides, a few races, etc.

- My current training ride (when I just want hours in the saddle) is to ride CCT from Reston to Oak Marr Rec Center, back to Reston on same, then do a CCT/Lake Fairfax loop. 3 hours of so of riding, not very tech, but all offroad. Beats riding on the road (I do that too, but sometimes I just wanna be on dirt).
 

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If you like really, really tough climbing and are on a short time constraint you can climb Signal Knob then take Maneka Peak over to the top of Bear Wallow and descend that. It's a pretty brutal quickie ride.

For other places in the area, if you like that style of rock then you'll love the Frederick Watershed and Gambrill State Park. They're not as rocky as EF, but still pretty technical riding depending on the trail. Gambrill is well marked and easy to navigate, watershed not so much... But you can piece things together if you're crafty or just use trial and error.
What Dwayyo said + Michaux State Forest in souther PA. Also Patapsco State Park, not super tech but miles and miles of fun trails (See Tour de Patapsco and a walk down MTBR memory lane for the OG version.)
 

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The Frederick Watershead is an 45min to an hour from Chantilly. You can pack the bike if you know you'll get of early. Trails there are like a twisty mix of Black and Daniels(rough side).
 

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First, welcome! I moved out from SF CA a number of years ago and it took a while to find where the goods are but soon found that there's some good stuff around here.
Second, you're so stoked you are a mile away from fountainhead...like hitting the jackpot. It closes a lot for wet conditions but still that place is killer!
 

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If you like that one, try the Big Buzzard Lollipop next. Same parking area, other ridge.
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/22126193
That one is what made me decide to come over to the dark side and install gears on my first 29'r. For some reason that escapes me now did the Buzzard Rocks trail in January with 3-4 inches of snow on the ground. Probably spent more time with my face planted and walking than on the pedals.

There is also some good stuff in the piedmont. Check out Richmond and Fredericksburg some time.
 

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My current training ride (when I just want hours in the saddle) is to ride CCT from Reston to Oak Marr Rec Center, back to Reston on same, then do a CCT/Lake Fairfax loop. 3 hours of so of riding, not very tech, but all offroad. Beats riding on the road (I do that too, but sometimes I just wanna be on dirt).
Speaking of which, OP, since you are in FFX county, here is a somewhat complete trail map of area trails that you can link up as well. They are a mix of single track and walking trails but aren't part of any trail center. There does exist quite a bit of "hidden" single track in FFX county (I have a trail right out my backdoor which is not listed on the map for example). It's a mixed bag though but enough to build out longer training loops or add some variation.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Rad! Thanks for the map!


So I went out and did a 12ish mile ride at EF. I went with a guy that knew the area, so I’d have to look at my Strava to see which trails we went on... but there was a rad fire watch tower. The trails were rad! You guys did warn me about it being slow going and rocky... and it certainly was, haha. We didn’t start riding until about 1pm, so didn’t have time to bite off any more. I will certainly be back though!


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Rad! Thanks for the map!


So I went out and did a 12ish mike look at EF. I went with a guy that knew the area, so I’d have to look at my Strava to see which trails we went on... but there was a rad fire watch tower. The trails were rad! You guys did warn me about it being slow going and rocky... and it certainly was, haha. We didn’t start riding until about 1pm, so didn’t have time to bite off any more. I will certainly be back though!


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What do you ride? That's pretty good 12miles before sunset at EF
 

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Discussion Starter #36
What do you ride? That's pretty good 12miles before sunset at EF
I was on my YT Jeffsy. It was fun for the area. There was this fire road descent at the end that was super peanut buttery, and a blast to ride! Got filthy.




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Looks like you had fun. Looks like you went to Woodstock tower. That is a fun area on the southern end of the EF "Figure eight of hate" Let me know when you come out here again. You really do need to go on the EF with bear Wallow as your down hill. One of the best downhills around.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
I rode up signal, and down a trail that I believe was called bear wallow yesterday. That’s some damn good stuff!

Anyone have suggestions for campsites around that area?


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