Trail Description: MTB on DuPont's West SideAuthor: Woody Keen
Park at the new Corn Mill Shoals Access area on Cascade Lake Road. (directions)
The west side seems to get more MTB and less equestrian use. Good technical trails off the Corn Mill Shoals Access Area on Cascade Lake Road include Big Rock, Cedar Rock, and Burnt Mountain. Easy trails are Little River and Corn Mill Shoals to the shoals.
A good west side loop starts from the Corn Mill Shoals Access Area, go directly across the paved road and turn left onto Longside Trail. Go right at the next junction (staying on Longside) and this will carry you up some nice armored sections of trail before a fun and technical drop. This will put you at a junction and go left onto Pine Tree Trail. Take this out to Cascade Lake Road and go left to Quarry Road. Here, go right and up to a left turn onto Michajah Trail and then left on Wilkie Trail. This will drop you back near the parking lot and this makes for a nice warm-up loop.
Now get ready for the real climbs. Cross over the road again and this time take your second left (passing by the Longside Trail you took earlier) that is the Big Rock Trail. This is a good stout climb with some technical rock sections but there are some breaks and a chance to catch your breath every so often. Follow the cairns (small piles of rock) and stay off the moss. This will put you on top of the granite domes known as Big Rock and Cedar Rock. Great views are had off to the left, and then back into the woods and when you emerge you have a great view of the expanse of DuPont at the juncture of the Cedar Rock Trail. After catching your breath from the climb, a right hand turn will drop you down a slickrock descent that is so much fun that it too will take your breath away. This is a technical descent so pay attention and watch your speed. At the bottom, go right on Little River Trail that meanders along the lazy slow waters of the Little River. You next junction will be Corn Mill Shoals Trail and go left here. After a very short distance, Corn Mill Shoals Trail turns left down to the river and the actual shoals. Go visit if you like and then backtrack a bit, but the trail straight ahead is your route onto the Burnt Mountain Trail. This has a gradual but steady climb that takes you to the top of one of the best technical drops in DuPont. This trail features some good short drop offs and other fun and challenging stuff and has been armored for sustainability in many places by the Blue Ridge Bike Club. A left at the bottom onto Corn Mill Shoals Trail takes you back to your car.
Updated by Lynn Harton per 2005 maps.
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