June 22, 2018
After riding the Creeper Trail, I searched for trails in Damascus, using wifi from the restaurant because I didn't have any service all week... Iron Mountain came up and I had heard of it before. If you have ever ridden and of the National forest in Va Blue Ridge area, you would be OK.
We started on the Creeper trail, but now that we know, there is a parking place at the trailhead of Beech. There is even a big map to help. As soon as you cross the street and enter the trail, you climb. It is about a thousand feet in a mile. It is wide enough and not overwhelming with roots, but without a good cardio engine, you will need to rest and catch your breath and hike a bike a bit. I had to a couple times. It gets a bit narrow towards the top but nothing extreme. We got to a T in the trail and went left. We had a late start so if you have time, go right and get a longer ride in. But we headed left, back towards Damascus. It gets a bit sandy at the top, then shifts to a pine section. The down hill is pretty steep, doable but I rode the brakes pretty hard because of these loose round annoying rocks were everywhere, so I wanted a little less speed. Get back, a dropper here would be valuable. It is less severe of a grade towards the bottom and becomes really fun. Then you finish off the trail by going through a bunch of creek crossings. Some with poppy little banks and some just rocky so pick a line and commit. It was over way too soon, alot more time for Iron Mountain and enjoy.
Douthat State Park