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Tags:
Level: Advanced
Length: 10 mi (16.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +1,109/1 ft
Total: 17 riders
 

Mountain Biking Kennedy Peak

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#190 of 283 mountain bike trails in Virginia
#9756 in the world

This is a very rocky, continually challenging trail. Stephen's trail alternates between flowy singletrack and rock garden mania. It sidehills a few miles, then you start to veer east and make the climb to the ridgetop. The climb is nothing less than brutal in places. The combination of grade and technical requirements will force most off their bikes a time or two, but it's a great ride. When you hit the ridgetop, go right on the Massanutten trail. Again, more cool singletrack and and rock gardens with an occasional view of the valley between Massanutten and Shenandoah. There's an optional out-and-back to the top of Kennedy peak which may or may not be worth it depending on your fitness level and desire for more miles and technical riding. Keep following the Massanuten trail--it'll turn into double track for a while before dropping you out on 675. Never fear, upon taking a right on 675, there is an almost immediate singletrack to the right and you're right back in the woods for some very technical rutted and rocky singletrack, some of which is just painful but most of which is just plain fun. This singletrack will deliver you back to the access road to the parking lot.
This ride is a lot like it's more famous neighbor, Elizabeth Furnace. While the last descent on Elizabeth Furnace is longer and more varied, this ride has two thing going for it over Elizabeth Furnace. First, it's all singletrack; you don't need miles of fire road to make a legitimate loop. Second, while there are some real technical challenges, even for advanced riders, you won't spend nearly as much time on mandatory hike-a-bikes. It also gets a lot less traffic; well worth the extra trouble to find it.

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
On I-81, take the Edinburg exit and head East. When the road Ts in Town, go left. In less than a mile, look for the sign indicating state route 675 to the right. Turn here and follow the signs--you will have to make a number of turns and take a few forks, but you're staying in 675 the whole way. After 9 or 10 miles, you'll see Camp Roosevelt on the left. Keep going and look for the access road on the left shortly thereafter. Park in the lot at the end of the road. Stephen's Trail begins on the North end of the parking area.
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catdaddy1972 (on Aug 4, 2018)
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(on Jun 13, 2019)
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  • catdaddy1972
    **

    Short and sweet....BAD
    -Trees down because of the recent storms.
    -Tons of erosion because of the recent storms, and very rocky now.
    - Completely overgrown with raspberry thorn bushes from mile 4.5 all the way to the top. I bled A LOT on this ride!
    -Take a chain saw and a weed eater if you go ride this trail at the moment - and knee pads!

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  • gdeger
    ****

    Rode this trail in the heat of August. Previous reviews are accurate. Would add that some sections were overgrown so I had plenty of cuts from thorny brush over hanging the trails and this added the element of riding blind several times.

    Would not recommend this as a regular ride as 90% is rock garden, which does get old after several hours, but worth the trek at least once if you want to challenge your self. Climb to the top was more walking then riding at times. I rode it alone but recommend riding with someone. Did not see a person the whole day so you are on your own if you have a bad fall.

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  • flailmaster
    ****

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is a bit more than an intermediate trail. Mainly because of the climb through the rock gardens! I am also going to say that this is a punishing trail, both on you and your bike. Slow or fast, you get hammered! Granted the trails were wet so the rocks were loose and slippery, and I was sucking wind in a few of the steep sections, so it wasn't ideal conditions. I imagine when it's dry a lot more of these featured become sticky and fast! Once I got up top, though, I got an amazing view of the two valleys on either side. I think the ride up to the peak/observation tower is worth it. The views are great and it's only about a half mile or less past the trail turnoff back down. Plus, it was the only section of trail that was dry for me today ;)

    The downhill back is really fun... Plenty of rocks to bounce off of and some natural terrain jumps here and there. There's a section of double track that's got some added climbing but that just gives you that enduro feeling ;) The main description of the trail is right on about the 100' on road you have to deal with before dipping back into the single track. And that's another fun section as well.

    I will say that you lose phone signal before you reach the trailhead. And if you're using this app or another map application to find the trail, it will probably stop working about three or four miles before the trailhead. But don't fret- the trailhead is well marked from the road so as long as you're going in the right direction, you'll have a hard time missing it. I can't wait to come back here in the spring and see this in all it's glory! - have fun out there.

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