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Old 07-02-2013, 04:41 PM   #31
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Thanks. I stopped at REI today and grabbed those maps as well as a map by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club that the guy at REI said was better than the Nat Geo maps. Another friend with a 4Runner has decided to join us, so it should be a lot of fun. I'll let you know how it goes. I appreciate the work you put into this.
Just a heads up, the only maps that the rangers for gwnf acknowledge is the gwnf mvum and the nat geo maps. If you get caught on a trail that isnt listed on either of those they will issue you a ticket. Not being a ball buster but I have met numerous guys out there that have received tickets for being on trails that were not on those maps....

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Old 07-02-2013, 05:44 PM   #32
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[QUOTE=HRPinDC;3921211]....I stopped at REI today and grabbed those maps as well as a map by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club that the guy at REI said was better than the Nat Geo maps. QUOTE]

I'm a PATC member and own many of those PATC maps. If you are planning on hiking they are excellent but for wheeling the Nat Geo maps are more suitable. I usually bring a PATC map along with me but rarely use it unless I plan on hiking, too. The Nat Geo maps, just so you are aware, are maybe 95% accurate in matching the MVUM but they aren't perfect. For that matter, the Forest Service doesn't strictly follow the MVUM in showing what's wheelable and what's closed.

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Old 07-02-2013, 08:33 PM   #33
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We're going to try the route w/ Shoe Creek this weekend, which isn't covered by any of the Nat Geo maps I have. Since my buddy has a stock Grand Cherokee I'm thinking this may be the better choice. Fortunately the PATC map does cover this area. Next time we'll try the other route you've posted. Does that make sense?
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:49 AM   #34
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The Nat Geo map for Shoe Creek is #789. It's worth obtaining if you plan on wheeling in the area. I did Shoe Creek Mother's Day weekend. It's a really rocky road but doable even in 2WD. Is this a day trip or are you camping? I ask because if you are coming from the D.C. area that's a pretty long drive. Consider checking out Big Levels (FR162 & 162A), too. I rate Big Levels as good as or better than Shoe Creek. I also recommend exploring the FR1167-SR621, FR520, and the FR1176 complex. We did FR1167, 520, 1176 and Shoe Creek all in the same day without rushing. Crabtree Falls is supposed to be pretty nice. That's a hike in from along Shoe Creek.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:15 PM   #35
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The Nat Geo map for Shoe Creek is #789. It's worth obtaining if you plan on wheeling in the area. I did Shoe Creek Mother's Day weekend. It's a really rocky road but doable even in 2WD. Is this a day trip or are you camping? I ask because if you are coming from the D.C. area that's a pretty long drive. Consider checking out Big Levels (FR162 & 162A), too. I rate Big Levels as good as or better than Shoe Creek. I also recommend exploring the FR1167-SR621, FR520, and the FR1176 complex. We did FR1167, 520, 1176 and Shoe Creek all in the same day without rushing. Crabtree Falls is supposed to be pretty nice. That's a hike in from along Shoe Creek.
We'll be camping out over night and plan to hit many of the roads you mentioned. Starting I think with 520 and then 1167, 1176 and Shoe Creek. I will take a look at Big Levels too as nothing is set in stone yet. Was also thinking about going to Peter's Mill instead and exploring around there. This being our first time out in brand new trucks, we're looking to take it easy. It's been a long time since I've done any real off-road driving, so I figure it's best to ease back into it. We'll firm things up tomorrow. Thanks again and have a happy Fourth.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:17 PM   #36
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Just a heads up, the only maps that the rangers for gwnf acknowledge is the gwnf mvum and the nat geo maps. If you get caught on a trail that isnt listed on either of those they will issue you a ticket. Not being a ball buster but I have met numerous guys out there that have received tickets for being on trails that were not on those maps....
Thanks for the heads up. I do have the MVUM along with the PATC, but won't have the Nat Geo if we go to Shoe Creek. If we change and go to Peter's Mill, I have that one.
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:41 PM   #37
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All,

By request, I've posted a gpx track log for an all day tour of the main GWNF forest roads in the mountains west of Harrisonburg, VA and north of Hwy 33. This covers the Long Run, Second Mountain, Dictum Ridge, Feedstone Mtn, Peru Hollow/Gap and German Valley roads. I purposely left off the numerous side roads so that you can explore on your own. I've included several camping sites as well. You can easily make this a weekend outing. When the seasonal forest roads open, like 85-2, there will be even more road to explore.

You can pull the gpx file down from wikiloc at Wikiloc - GWNF Forest Road Jeep Tour trail - Preston Heights, Virginia (United States)- GPS track or gpsies at Motorradtour Harrisonburg | All-day wheeling tour of George ... | GPSies. Note: these websites tend to garble the waypoint symbols so if you want the native Garmin gdb file let me know. The tracks & waypoint locations are still accurate though.

This 130 mile drive starts at the Harrisonburg Sheetz and finishes in New Market on I81. This is suitable for a stock Wrangler. If you would like specific planning information or have questions please PM me.

I forgot to reflect it but you can get gas and food at the general store in Bergton. It's a cool, old time store so give the locals your business.

I've done all the tedious trip planning for you so go out and enjoy the tour. Tread lightly and consult the MVUM as the final authority on road access. :-)
I downloaded from the link for gpx file but it appears to be a htm file. Is that right? Cant seem to get it to import into the topo map app (back country). When I browse to where the file is, nothing shows up
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:21 PM   #38
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I downloaded from the link for gpx file but it appears to be a htm file. Is that right? Cant seem to get it to import into the topo map app (back country). When I browse to where the file is, nothing shows up
Make sure that file extension is "gpx" without the quotes. That fact that it appeared to be htm leads me to believe it's just a matter of giving it the right file extension name. GPX (the GPS Exchange Format) is a light-weight XML data format which is related to or resembles html. If you still have problems PM me.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:31 AM   #39
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The Nat Geo map for Shoe Creek is #789. It's worth obtaining if you plan on wheeling in the area. I did Shoe Creek Mother's Day weekend. It's a really rocky road but doable even in 2WD. Is this a day trip or are you camping? I ask because if you are coming from the D.C. area that's a pretty long drive. Consider checking out Big Levels (FR162 & 162A), too. I rate Big Levels as good as or better than Shoe Creek. I also recommend exploring the FR1167-SR621, FR520, and the FR1176 complex. We did FR1167, 520, 1176 and Shoe Creek all in the same day without rushing. Crabtree Falls is supposed to be pretty nice. That's a hike in from along Shoe Creek.
Shhhh! ... lol.

Levels is certainly better camping (mainly because of the Shenandoah vs Rockfish views), but you can set camp near the foot trail (AT iirc, my maps aren't out and I am lazy today) to crabtree falls on the shoe creek trail and hoof it up from the bottom. It is also accessable, with a cool bridge, from the top, near 56 @ BRPkwy, near the hatchery, where shoe creek puts out if ya find your way through. It is about a .6m hike from the upper parking lot, again iirc. At MM 11 or so is Ravens Roost overlook, a short drive North on the Pkway from levels/sherando and crabtree falls. It has just about the best summer sunset on the Pkway. Adjacent to the Big Levels area is Lake Sherando, a National playground, with (registered) camping, fishing, hiking, biking, etc. It requires a day pass to enter and fee based campsites.

DO NOT TRY TO CLIMB OUT FOR A BETTER PICTURE AT CRABTREE FALLS! Seriously, don't. Not worth it. Response 9 doesn't need any more practice, they're really good already. Don't make em come get ya.

& +1 on PATC being hiking maps, but very good all around topicals, & certainly not bad on the fireroads.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:37 PM   #40
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So we made it down there this weekend and had a great time. It was me, my buddy with a '14 Grand Cherokee and another friend in a 4Runner with 33's. We started on 520, then to 48, 1176, and 246. We camped out off of 48 and hit 1167 on Sunday. Unfortunately we didn't make it to Shoe Creek, but that gives us something to look forward to. 1167 was by far my favorite of the trip. None of it was technical, but 1167 was rockier, had one deep hole that was fun (especially for the Cherokee), some small streams to cross and a few big mud puddles. This was perfect for two brand new Jeeps, although I did take a small chunk out of my fender flare. Doh! Can't wait to go back and explore more. The MVUM and the PATC maps were helpful, but I'll get the Nat Geo map for our next trip. The Jeep performed flawlessly, all systems were great. I even ended up sleeping in it (there's something about two large, smelly men in a small tent that I didn't find appealing) although I wouldn't recommend it, especially if you're 6'4". Thanks for the help Kawa.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:34 PM   #41
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Glad I could help. For the next trip you can do Big Levels and Shoe Creek. And further down in the Jefferson NF there's Pott's Jeep Trail. Pott's is king of them all.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:02 PM   #42
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Great suggestions Kawa, thanks.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:04 AM   #43
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Once the seasonal forest roads open up in the Fall I'm planning on organizing a high mileage 2 or 3 day tour in the northern GWNF. I was thinking about doing it orienteering style where small groups pick their own routes to get to certain points that I'll designate in advance.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:15 PM   #44
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I'm off to get maps, my son and I are looking to do some exploring on Saturday. I'll be looking over the previous posts and "planning" out a day trip from Northern VA, anyone else going to be in the forest on Saturday?
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:40 PM   #45
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Once the seasonal forest roads open up in the Fall I'm planning on organizing a high mileage 2 or 3 day tour in the northern GWNF. I was thinking about doing it orienteering style where small groups pick their own routes to get to certain points that I'll designate in advance.
This sounds really interesting! I'd like to join in if you do put it together. I think all the information you gathered is very impressive.

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Old 07-14-2013, 09:46 PM   #46
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Drove OHV/ATV trail 433 (GWNF maps 1-2 on saturday and had great time. We were the only jeep and I'm not sure newer/larger Jeeps would fit in a few places, though we are newbies
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:48 PM   #47
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And not a great judge of off road trails.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:56 PM   #48
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A few photos of the trail...
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:14 AM   #49
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Drove OHV/ATV trail 433 (GWNF maps 1-2 on saturday and had great time. We were the only jeep and I'm not sure newer/larger Jeeps would fit in a few places, though we are newbies

Just about every kind of truck or Jeep will fit on 433 (Peters Mill).

There's a Big Dogs event coming up in August. You should consider going to that.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:46 PM   #50
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I'll look into the event and go if work / hockey /family allow. Peters Mill trail was perfect for my current abilities and the Rubicon hardly seemed stressed. I did lock the differentials once, more to s
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:47 PM   #51
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What happens more than anything else
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:09 AM   #52
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Oh my... My wife has been pushing me to find some remote camping spots. I was reading into FlagPole Knob. Is it worth a trip? I purchased a Nat Geo map of the area a few weeks ago. I need to start building a mental map of the dirt trails so I can plan a wheeling/camping trip out there.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:21 AM   #53
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Oh my... My wife has been pushing me to find some remote camping spots. I was reading into FlagPole Knob. Is it worth a trip? I purchased a Nat Geo map of the area a few weeks ago. I need to start building a mental map of the dirt trails so I can plan a wheeling/camping trip out there.
I'm on my phone, so I don't know where you're at exactly, but the rapidan wma has some fantastic valley/river camping with decent fire road type paths, not much in the way of wheeling, though. It is a little south east from flagpole on the other side of the blueridge. Unfortunately for camping there, hunting season is about to open.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:32 AM   #54
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I'm on my phone, so I don't know where you're at exactly, but the rapidan wma has some fantastic valley/river camping with decent fire road type paths, not much in the way of wheeling, though. It is a little south east from flagpole on the other side of the blueridge. Unfortunately for camping there, hunting season is about to open.

Is most of the land in this area open to hunting?
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:10 AM   #55
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Yes, the majority of the GWNF is hunting land. I wouldn't stop from wheeling or camping though. You can't hunt off or a road and the hunters will be out there camping, too. Wear orange. The whole Flagpole area is has quite a few camping spots. Home Quarry has a campground.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:34 AM   #56
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Is most of the land in this area open to hunting?
Rwma is all hunting and rather small (in comparison to gwnf). I would not let hunting season keep me out of the gw or tj forest, but I do stay out of rwma until spring.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:48 PM   #57
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I have a 3 day trip planned for October 18th to 20th. Probably be somewhat cold up in the mountains but oh well.

My questions is kind of the opposite of what I see being asked often. Our rigs are rather built and can handle the tough stuff. With that being said, where are the more difficult, technical trails in GWNF?

We are coming from the DC area if that will make a difference in your advise.

Thanks!
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:49 PM   #58
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I have a 3 day trip planned for October 18th to 20th. Probably be somewhat cold up in the mountains but oh well.

My questions is kind of the opposite of what I see being asked often. Our rigs are rather built and can handle the tough stuff. With that being said, where are the more difficult, technical trails in GWNF?

We are coming from the DC area if that will make a difference in your advise.

Thanks!
Can't give you first hand advice, but I spent a little time researching today and these links were among the most helpful in my research in the Flagpole Knob area:

Pics of the Trip Sat. April 10th/2010 GWNF VA. (George Washington National Forest) - Page 7 - Nissan Frontier / Navara Forum

Midwest/ East Coast Camp Commader August 12 - 15, 2010 - Flagpole - Page 3 - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=e...13495&t=h&z=10

Didn't see too much in the way of technical trails however.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:15 AM   #59
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Thanks for doing the research! You didn't have to but I really appreciate it.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:58 PM   #60
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Picking up Nat Geo map #791 tomorrow. Can't wait to start looking over it and planning.

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