Length: 8 mi (12.9 km)
Elevation: +2,610/ -2,523 ft
Total: 39 riders
Mountain Biking Iron Mountain
#66 of 300 mountain bike trails in Virginia
For a KILLEr climb, start in Damascus and ride up to Feathercamp. For easier access, park at Beartree, and access from either the Lum Trail, or other trails going up the mt. from the camp ground. I highly recommend maps from local bike shops. THe old race course is a good ride, takes less than 2 hours to ride. Iron mt. trail is the OLD Appalachian Trail, so it's in pretty good shape, but it can get technical and rocky. Its a very nice alternative to the MUCH easier Virginia Creeper Trail.
First added by xcaliber on Nov 18, 2004. Last updated Apr 30, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
- Drinking water: unknown
- Lift service: unknown
- Night riding: yes
- Pump track: unknown
- Restrooms: unknown
- Fat bike grooming: unknown
- E-bikes allowed: unknown
- Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Can access from downtown Damascus or from Beartree Recreation Area or other points. You can park on FS Road 90 in small pull-off area just off US 58, approx. 6 miles east of Damascus.
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.Thank |
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.
I would agree with Daniel...iron mtn trail is not a bad trail, but its not easy to bike to. Beach grove is a ridiculous climb (no switchbacks), climbing iron mtb from town is difficult with some of the trail being washed out, and fire road 90 is a steady climb out in the open. But, iron mtn trail is a great workout with the ups and downs and rough sections. If you are used to flowing singletrack, this is not your kind of trail, but if you love climbs and downhills you will have fun.Thank |
First i would like to say there are some great sections on this trail when You can get to them.Getting up the hills straight up could be doable if there was some switchbacks to help prevent erosion.Ruts 12-24 " deep and wooden water breaks should not be on singletrack Mt. bike trails.Still these trails are worth the time after getting past the crappy starts.Thank |
First, let me say that there is a National Geographic Map ($12.00) that has a good overall trail map showing the complete Iron Mtn Trail. I recommend you "copy & blow up" the Iron Mtn portion of the map. You will need to set up a shuttle, you can ride either direction but I personally do not consider it to be an "out and back" due to the time required and difficulty. Do not ride this trail alone. As for the trail, drive to Beartree Campground and start at the LUM trail, which is the easiest climb of the trail. After one mile of climbing the LUM, go left at the intersection....If you ride the complete Iron Mtn trail, it's approx. 11 miles to the back side of downtown Damascus near Dot's beer joint. You have options after five miles (signs are posted along the way) to branch off and retutn to your car at Beartree. That seven miles alone is a tough ride. If you ride the total trail, you will ride the ridge line for five miles but it's rocky and has rocky/rooty climbs up and down several peaks. The total trail is very rooty/rocky, and has many steep rocky climbs and decents on a trail that is "washed out" for about 50% of the trail. Do not try this trail if you are intimidated with steep climbs of rocks, gullies, and roots and man-made boards across the trail to help prevent erosion. A few miles from Damascus, the trail is a narrow path with a long drop-off if you go off the path on the lower side. It can be intimidating. It's a tough, technical, aerobic, hill climbing and decenting ride. Be prepared for a "ride & walk trip". You may have a flat, be prepared, it's a long hard walk back. A GPS is recommended. One option (approx. 5 miles ride) is to get a lift up "fire road 90" (starting at Hwy 58) for 1.5 miles and head to Damascus from there. If you camp, I recommend the Beartree campground (no electricity). With all of this said, This was not my first ride at Iron Mtn....I enjoyed the challenging ride and will ride this trail again. Always remember to be safe and don't be too proud to get off and walk at some difficult/intimidating places.Thank |
This is a great trail with lots of climbs and technical switchbacks. No bad root sections or jagged rocks to kill you on.
The trail starts off with an as yet to be conquered(by us) set of moss covered rocks going from the end of the paved road immediately uphill. There is a short climb then a short ride that will drop and come into a clearing with an old cabin. After you cross the bridge you can go left to the outhouse or right on the trail and the climbing starts here. There are several ransitions between climbing and decent so it get's mixed up evenly. There are some parts of the trail that drop off of the left side into nothingness but I seem to never notice them when busy navigating at he last long downhill is really fast and doesn't let up so make sure your brakes are up to par. Lots of small glofball to baseball sized rocks in the trail after rains (during and after hard rains the downhill sections may actually be a stream but this is great fun if you like the roostertail flying up behind you, but it is extremely slick). There are several high speed downhills that are quite long and a blast to ride. A friend has an unsuspended 29'er and blasts down it rocks and all so it is doable by all at speed if you have the skills.Thank |
Great singletrack and tons of options in the area. Unfortunately I was trying to follow a route laid out in the VA FalconGuide and got horribly lost when I took the wrong trail down more than 1,000 vertical feet and 3.5 miles before I realized I was off course. I definitely recommend using the digital map offered on singletracks OR at least purchasing a map of the area at one of the local bike shops in Damascus. With a map you can also make your own route and connect some of the trails together like the reviewer above suggests.Thank |