Narrowback Trails Connection
Rockingham County, Virginia
The Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition aims to construct 3 miles of trail for the Narrowback Trails Connection that will improve accessibility to adjacent trails and create much-needed connectivity to existing parking. The Coalition has already secured funds for the project with a Recreational Trails Program grant through the Virginia DCR and needs to provide a partial match to meet their goal.
Narrowback Mountain is one of the most popular places to ride in the George Washington National Forest. The Narrowback Trails project will connect the Narrowback Tower Trail with the newly constructed Wolf Ridge parking lot. Primary goals for the project focus on providing more accessible beginner to intermediate trail opportunities. The surrounding area provides extensive opportunities for backcountry trail recreation but lacks trail opportunities for newer riders or those with less fitness or technical experience. In addition, this project will add much-needed short loop opportunities to an area that typically requires multi-hour rides to create a cohesive loop experience.
The project will also realign a portion of an existing unsustainable trail, Narrowback 432, to create a sustainable trail alignment while reclaiming the old trail corridor. The realignment will create a complete trail loop that was previously partly forest road. The current alignment of this portion of the Narrowback Trail consistently exceeds grades of 15% and lacks adequate drainage. At the base of the mountain, the trail crosses a series of small tributaries and wetlands without proper erosion control. These factors have resulted in a deterioration of the trail condition, and this portion of the trail has seen a significant drop in visitors. A sustainable trail alignment built on more moderate grades is needed to provide a more enjoyable visitor experience for trail users.
The project is located on the edge of the George Washington National Forest and serves as the nearest National Forest trail access for the surrounding population centers. The trailhead and parking area are located just under 30 minutes from the Harrisonburg metropolitan area and several colleges.
The Narrowback Trail Connection Project is the Coalition's fourth undertaking funded with a Recreational Trails Program grant since 2007 (officially awarded in November 2019). The project will build upon our past successes and continue transforming the North River District of the George Washington National Forest into an area known for accessible, safe, and fun trails for a wide range of visitors.
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