September 22, 2016
All these reviews state this is the best trail in NOVA. This is the best trail I've ridden, period. I was on this trail in the early 2000's, it's since been transformed several times. Though I've ridden nearly 20 years, I only started mtn biking as a serious hobby in 2014. We'll ride in meetups, travel out, ride in neighboring states...but yet the best trail is only 15 minutes away. We'll ride this several times a week during peak season. The more you ride, the better the reward. Rather than break at the top of that long intro climb to Blue Loop, catch your breath on the next flowy section and you'll be ready for the next climb. Yes, this trail is purpose-built for the intermediate (at a minimum) rider. Obstacle courses, log crossings, elevated ramps and bridges, rock gardens...it's all here. While other trails have periodic features, FH rolls one into the next. Challenges exist for every skill level, but I'd take rookies to Laurel Hill, then Meadowood before this rude introduction. I've seen the most expert riders hit all three loops in just over 1:30 (admittedly bypassing a few obstacles in the process), but plan on 1:15 for intermediate riders on Green/Blue and add another 45 minutes for the nearly 6 mile section of Black. A few bypasses exist as well if you're exhausted or poor weather is approaching. If you're traveling a good distance, call first. If it rained yesterday, chances are good the trail is closed, at least in the AM.