Longdale Furnace/North Mountain trail.

Looking South from the ridge line at the first overlook.

Looking South from the ridge line at the first overlook.

A few weekends ago, after hearing about the unique ridge line and rock features near Longdale Furnace, a friend and I set out to explore some unknown terrain about an hour south of Harrisonburg. 

Looking south west from the ridge line somewhere near the halfway point on the ridge.

Looking south west from the ridge line somewhere near the halfway point on the ridge.

After a hefty gravel road climb up to the top of the ridge we entered the single track.  From here we rode south west on the ridge.  The first mile or two is loamy, rocky single track with a constant overlook view to the left.  After this the trail begins to undulate more and become less rocky for several miles. 

One of many great views from the ridge top.

One of many great views from the ridge top.

After a few big rollers on the ridge, you start to enter a section where house size boulders populate the ridge top creating a maze of rock hallways.  Through this section you are on and off the bike due to the steepness and width of the trail.

Through the maze.

Through the maze.

The end of the rock maze pushes you up through this steep narrow slot.  Terrain here requires you to turn your bars sideways parallel to the bike, to fit your bike up through this slot.  After this slot the trail leaves the ridge.  Starting with fast smooth bench cut super highways connected by tight switch backs.  Eventually dumping you into a small creek drainage with super a narrow bench cut that takes you back down to the car.

This slot marks the end of the ridge and the beginning of the descent.

This slot marks the end of the ridge and the beginning of the descent.

Getting there: Take 81 South to exit 191.  form exit 161 take 64 West to Exit 35 for Longdale Furnace.  the parking area is about a mile From Exit 35.

Stop by the shop for more details, maps, and directions!