About This Blog

This Blog contains information on Gravel/Dirt road routes in Virginia , Maryland, Southern Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Also some links to Gravel/Dirt road databases (for planning your own route). Mainly close to the Washington D.C. Metro area. There will not be a lot of new posts. But the posts will be updated regularly. New posts will be added only when there is a new area needed to be added. I hope this will be helpful.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mount Weather Gravel Grinders

                                              Morgans Mill rd., Clarke County, Virgina

Here are a few options for hitting the Roadie famous Mt. Weather with a twist. Most people are unaware there is a more brutal gravel road climb up the backside of the Mountain. Morgans Mill Rd. has some steep grades making you wish you had a compact crank. Seriously, unless you are a Mountain Goat, a cross bike with a compact crank will be the proper tool.

These routes start in Round Hill, Va at Woodgrove Park. You do not go far before you hit gravel on Williams Gap rd. Then the route turns to pavement as you climb the mountain on Rte 7 for 1.6 miles at Snickers gap. This is a fairly easy climb. You will drop down the other side make a u-turn and climb back up part way to Ebeneezer rd. Ebeneezer rd. starts out paved then turns to gravel. It is an up and down beautiful road. You then come to the intersection with Morgans Mill rd. Turn left and start climbing. The first section of this climb is steep, real steep. Hang on because you will get a break before the last steep section up to the Mt. Weather Emergency Operations Center. The Climb is only 2.6 miles but it is a tough one. You will hang a right on Blue Ridge Mountain Rd. After a little up and down you will bomb your way down to Rte 50 then into Paris Va. to Rte 17. Then the routes take you on Carr lane, a hidden gravel jewel. The 49 miler and Metric century routes will split at the intersection of Delaplane Rd. and Rectortown Rd.

 49 Miler This route will follow the description above till the intersection of Delaplane Rd. and Rectortown Rd. Then it will take you into Upperville for food and water if needed. Then back on some Classic Loudoun County Gravel Roads. You will ride along the base of Mt. Weather for a while before heading back to Round Hill. This route is approx. 55% gravel (26.5 miles) and 45% paved (22.5 miles) with approx 4592ft of climbing. There are 2 water stop options. The first is at mile 24.5 at Sky Meadows State Park. You have to go off route and climb up for water. If you can, wait till the second water stop at mile 31. There is a Barbeque Joint in Upperville on Rte 50 on your left and a gas station/convenience store on right. They both are as you head out of town. Bring plenty water if you plan on doing this in the middle of summer. You will be sucking it down on the climb.

Metric Century 63 Miler This route also follows the description above till the intersection of Delaplane Rd. and Rectortown Rd. You will break off and hit some very nice gravel roads with short sections of paved roads in Fauquier and Loudoun Counties. This extension of of the 49 miler is for those people that want a longer nice ride. This route is approx 63% gravel roads (40 miles) and 37% paved roads (23.3 miles) . With approx. 5703ft of climbing. There are 3 water stops on this route. The first is at mile 24.5 at Sky Meadows State Park. Remember you have a climb to get to the water. The second you will have to go off route for 3/10th of mile at mile 39.5 and head into Upperville to hit the gas station or Barbecue joint described in the 49 miler's description. The third stop is at mile 54 at the corner of Airmont rd and Snickersville Turnpike. There is a convenience store there. I have never stopped in, I just have ridden by it. Have fun!

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