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Old 11-29-2013, 10:11 PM   #1
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Long Run - 2nd Mountain Trail - Dictum Ridge

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If you're looking for a change of pace from the Flagpole Knob or Meadow Knob thing, there are trails just around the corner from Flagpole that are just as fun and offer a couple of different experiences, but they're fun and offer some unique experiences/views.

If you're coming up 33 from Harrisonburg, instead of taking a left on Clover Hill Road to hit the southern side of Flagpole, take a right at the same intersection onto Whitmore Shop Rd. Take the road until it dead ends and make a left, where it becomes Hopkins Gap Road. Follow for ~ 3 miles to a left on Long Run Rd. At that corner, there is a triangle perfect for airing down.

Follow Long Run back and forth up the switchbacks for some time (~6mi.). Once you get to the top, turn left to follow the signs for the ATV Trail Parking - if you go straight/rights, the trails for Long Run go on forever, and we've yet to explore Gauley Ridge. That left will take you to the parking lot where you can use it as a launching point for both trails, where 2nd Mountain takes a southern route, and Dictum takes a southwestern approach.

On the way to 2nd Mountain, make certain you go up the ridge when you reach the power lines. The view from up top is spectacular and "sizzles" too! From there, go back down the ridge and continue on the trail. It's a fun ride, and the rocks towards the end of the trail literally tell the tale where 2 tectonic plates collided and sent rock hurling up at angles that you normally don't see. It's truly breathtaking. Once you get past those rocks, it's about time to turn around and go back.

Once you get back to the parking area (good lunch spot), it's time to hit Dictum Ridge. This trail is fairly tight, and can get you some pinstriping. Along the way here you're going to find some nice trail riding, and there is a rock formation at the end that you would swear aliens built a castle out of. Again, a there and back trail, and all points lead you back to the trail head where you backtrack the way you came.

All in all, a really fun ride. While it doesn't have the mud flats and rock garden of flagpole, there are a lot more spring-fed puddles, consistent non-technical rock gardens, and a whole lot of fun to be had. If you look at the trails, it appears both are accessible from 33, and I'm not certain why you couldn't access from there, but the route we took was good fun. The switchbacks on Long Run would definitely provide pucker factor during the winter months with some snow!

I kept telling everyone we went with how surprised I was that there wasn't any information on the boards for these trails as they were a really good time and comparable yet different from Flagpole. Happy trail riding!

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Old 11-30-2013, 08:18 AM   #2
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Thanks for the info. For some reason I had gotten the idea that these trails were closed but glad to hear they're not.

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Old 12-30-2013, 01:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by gyramax View Post
Thanks for the info. For some reason I had gotten the idea that these trails were closed but glad to hear they're not.
Both the Second Mountain and Dictum Ridge trails are open year round. However, the Dictum Ridge 'stairs' are closed and have been that way for several years. There is also an experts-only ATV trail linking SM & DR.
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:09 AM   #4
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The trail does connect to RT33 but the last 3/4 mile is a private road thus the bottom gate is locked. We did a trail cleanup there last year and finally pulled those two rotting recliners off the side of the trail. The Ranger in Harrisonburg is looking for more interest in maintaining and improving Second Mountain, the local Clubs were hit by the bad economy and kinda fell off the map.

I am planning another Trail Cleanup for Union Springs Road the weekend of Earth Day in April if you are interested.
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:12 AM   #5
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I'm interested in a clean up day. Please post up when the time comes closer.
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