A year of a improvements to the George Washington National Forest

Almost 2 miles of this on the Lower Hankey Project

This year is going to be an exciting year for trail projects in the George Washington National Forest (GWNF). Our friends with the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) have been working hard for years to line up funding which is all going to fall to the ground in 2016. The first and probably the largest project for 2016 is in the books, the Upper & Lower Hankey project. If you have not been able to get out and experience all the work done by our friends at Elevated Trail Design we encourage to you grab your mountain bike and head to the GWNF.

We have been talking about the Upper Hankey Project for the past two months, and a lot of folks have experienced this new mile of trail that replaces the “death shot” on The Wild Oak Trail (TWOT) near the upper portions of the Dowells Draft Trail.

Map of the Upper Hankey Project. Red = New, Blue = Old
The Lower Hankey Project will open people up to a whole new trail experience, as most folks in the mountain bike community have not ridden this portion of the Wild Oak Trail . This portion of the TWOT had numerous steep sections which kept most mountain bikers away from this area of the National Forest. The improvements to the lower slopes of Hankey Mountain has created a great trail loop that will allow folks to enjoy the Dowells Draft Trail with less road!

Lower Hankey Project
A unique thing about these the Upper and Lower Hankey builds is that they are connected by a hidden gem of the trail called the “Besty Trail”, AKS “Magic Moss”. The Betsy Trail is a short 1/2 mile trail but is what I commonly refer to as “half track”. Half track this is when the tread is so narrow that you can’t quite call it single track.

The thin trail of the Betsy Trail….with moss everywhere.

So what are the other projects in store for the National Forest this year?

  • Carr Mountain (30 North/West of Harrisonburg): six miles of new trail in a very remote part of the GWNF. The Carr Mountain Trail will be part of the larger Great Eastern Trail.
  • Wolfe Ridge Trail: Over the years this trail has seen numerous improvements, this time expect another mile of tasty trail to be built. Work will also include small improvements on the ridge section of the Wolfe Ridge Trail.
  • Chestnut Ridge (TWOT): This trail descending from Little Bald Knob is always a highlight for the SM100 event, these improvements will keep the trail in top shape.
  • Camp Todd (TWOT): Probably one of the longest continuous sections of single track on the TWOT is between Camp Todd and Little Bald. This beautiful section of trail will see much needed maintenance.
  • Southern Traverse: This 17 mile section of the Shenandoah Mountain Trail will see much needed love. The trail became popular after is was designated an IMBA Epic Ride.

See you out on the new improved trails.