September 8, 2013
Third trip to Roanoke area this year and have ridden Carvin's Cove once and Poverty Creek twice. I often ride solo so a well-marked trail system saves me wasted time trying to determine where I am and where I should be going. Pandapas is a favorite because it is so well-marked. Rode in April (still some snow on north-facing trails) starting a couple miles down 708 (dirt rode) at Trillium trail. Connected to Skullcap then Prickly Pear. Climbed up Snakeroot and down and up Old Farm and then back down ridge by way of Jacob's Ladder...3-4 hours of advanced trails...this is an awesome loop with lots of rocks, roots, drops, switchbacks, climbs, and fast descents. The scenery was perfect and the early-Spring trails were in great shape. Made my way only by using trail markers. This week I arrived at the main trailhead at 7pm with only an hour to ride. Helpful locals in the parking lot advised that a climb up Horse Nettle across the ridge to Jacob's Ladder and back by way of Poverty Creek Trail could be done in less than an hour. They were right, again well-marked trails allowed me to get in a great ride before dark. This is an awesome trail system and will ride again in subsequent visits to Roanoke area. All the trails (that I have ridden here) are do-able by a capable intermediate rider like myself.