Dody Ridge

4.67 out of 5
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↑ 2,000 ft
↓ 2,000 ft
elevation (ft)

Trail Description
About this trail
Yes, Roanoke, there are many alternatives to Carvin's Cove, which obviously ain't bad itself.

This little jewel cooks up a killer 2.8 mile 1500' climb to warm up, a mellow Blue Ridge Parkway portage, a fun, pedal-assist downhill, and finishes off with some mean rock stew that just keeps getting rougher and tougher by the day.

Take 460 east from Roanoke towards Montvale. Just before Montvale, spot Camp Jaycee Rd on the left. Signs say Day Creek Recreation. Take it. Go 1/2 mile to left on dirt to Day Creek parking area. Exit parking to the gated road, which is the start of the Black Horse Gap fire road climb. If the road you take is basically flat, it's the wrong one (you'll return on that). Climb like hell, the first mile being unkempt gravel. The second gate introduces dirt. Think Carvin's Cove's 1000' climb, only at 10% rather than 5%. You'll pass a historical area where once sat the Black Horse Tavern. This was the main route from to West Virginia, later on becoming VA 606 that heads to Sweet Springs, WV.

You'll finally grunt through a gate at the parkway, which is always welcomed after this beast. Go left, or south, on the Parkway, eventually passing the Great Valley Overlook. Stop there and take in views of Dragon's Back, Bald Mountain, Potts Mountain, and other great mountain bike locales to the west.

Proceed downhill south on the Parkway for a mile, reaching Salt Pond Rd., a fireroad gated on both sides. Take the left. Have fun, on the gas, dropping down a 3-5% grade for 1 1/2 miles. Go left on Quarry Rd. After about 1/2 mile, after passing the A-framed house on the right, you'll spot a steep, wide trail to the left. If you get to a powerline, you overshot. Take this steep, rocky, rutty beast.

Eventually, you'll get on top of ol' Dody on a neat, mini-slickrock ridge skimming across bolder scalps, slcing through sandstone cantaloupes and bocce balls. Technical zones keep your rotors warmed up, as does a Clownheadesque drop off that nasty rock.

Surviving that, you cross the headwaters of Day Creek in a nice wooded section that yields to more fun with rocks before you're completely done. If you happen to spot a fork in the trail, stay left. Right works, too, with a creek bed ride that's a hoot, but it's longer and better left. If you make it through the rolling stones, you'll be singing Gimme Shelter to get outta that place! Back on the dirt road, go left, downhill at 2% back to your vehicle.

If you want Dragon's Back training in a 2 hour packet closer to home, this is it. More fun from Day Creek to follow...

added by n-man-726Trailblazer
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
what's this?
Recent Trail Check-ins     (5 total check-ins)   on Jul 12, 2017
  RoadWarrior   on Jun 20, 2016   on Nov 26, 2015
  delapowicz   on Oct 29, 2014
  Broadway   on May 9, 2012
Photo & Video Gallery (15)
Trail Photos & Videos (15)
Reviews (4)

Granny Gear

September 30, 2013
alexlipine Granny Gear  
Review: Awesome ride.
The initial climb is about the same as Carvins Cove 1000 foot climb, not sure if there is a significant difference in %. Apparently the fire road is one that was used ages ago to travel between VA and WV with horse and carriage. Then you get on the BRP mostly descending mesmerized by the beauty of the mountains (keep your eyes on the road). Salt Pond rd - just a fire rd, slow descend. Once you turn onto Quarry Rd, we were confused about where the trail starts and where the A framed house is. Proceed on Quarry Rd, you will see the power line parallel to the road on the right, the trail is rather difficult to make out, it will be on your left and as of yesterday there was a short sign sticking out of the ground with pink tape on it, it is overgrown but really fun. Plenty of rocks and fallen trees. Once you get to the top, the real fun begins. Rocks of all sizes on the trail, making it intermediate/advanced pretty much the rest of the way down. You will be on the mountain ridge having a blast for almost a mile until the trail descends.

14.4 miles (according to the mileage tracker) of shear awesomeness and badassery

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August 21, 2013
mtberik Gnarly  
Review: Its an good trail but I think it is to short and way to rocky.

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February 8, 2013
n-man-726 Trailblazer  
Review: Please note that Salt Pond Road crosses over to private road, including Quarry Road. One homeowner in the neighborhood has his panties in a bunch and calls the law, so be mindful. Also, due to this, the first half mile of the Dody Ridge trail off Quarry Road has been tank trapped all to Hell and has become quite unpleasant. Thankfully, there is an alternative route to Dody Ridge, bypassing this mess.

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July 29, 2016
Review: This is an excellent ride. Spec Mines is one of the funnest downhills you'll ride, and great alternative to Carvin's when the trails are wet. bear in mind that the "alternate" route that is mentioned to access Dody is illegal. It's on NPS property. stick to the described route here...

Similar Trail: Douthat

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February 9, 2016
Guest Trailblazer  
Review: At Great Valley Overlook cross the BRP and find the singletrack that will take you to the up to trailhead about 100 yards up a 5-10% grade.

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December 30, 2015
Guest Trailblazer  
Review: n-man-726, Could you please describe the alternate route you are talking about? e.g. mile marker __ off the parkway

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December 24, 2010
Review: The ride on top of Dody Ridge is one of the best in the area. I only wish the ridge-top section was longer. Rocks, rocks, and more rocks - some embedded, some loose. With the Parkway at the top there are many loop and double loop options other than the one described here. Best to hook up with a local though, since trail markings are few and far between.

* Review edited 12/24/2010

Similar Trail: Dragons Back, Massanutten Mountain

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Dody Ridge MTB Trail 4.67 out of 5 based on 4 ratings. 4 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed