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Washington and Lee University

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Lake Sherando

Switchbacks and Single Track

Map to Lake Sherando

Overview

  • Difficulty:  Difficult
  • Drive Time:  50 minutes
  • Miles of Trails:  20

Directions

Take US 11 north just past Greenville. Turn right onto US 340 east to Stuarts Draft. Turn Right onto state route 608, South River Rd. After Stuarts Draft turn left onto state route 610. Then turn right onto state route 664. This will connect with Forest Service road 42. Turn right onto route 42 to the Turkey Pen Trail parking lot.

Trail Description

This is one heck of a ride! Can you imagine having a 10-mile downhill (with much of it on single track) and going about 50 miles an hour on a mountain bike? This trail is not intended for the soft of heart as there is a 2-mile ascent with many switchbrakes that will surely test your will power! Park at the Turkey Pen Trail Parking Lot (Off of FS 42). Follow the Blue Blaze Trail. This trails narrows into a single track that is fairly rocky at times and which has several stream crossings. Ultimately you will assault Bald Mountain. After reaching the summit you will take a left onto FS 162 which takes you to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Turn left onto the Parkway and begin your descent. 3 miles down the Parkway on the left you will turn left onto the White Rock Gap Trail. (Orange Blaze) (Parking Lot adjacent to the trail on the left side of the Parkway). You have an awesome stretch of single track as you approach Lake Sherando. On bisecting the park road (paved) turn right. Follow this to the park entrance. Turn left onto route 664. This will take you back to FS 42 where you began. The ride will take you several hours. Lake Sherando has a swimming area should you want to cool off.