Located in the George Washington National Forest
With its ridgeline riding, rocky trails, and a memorable descent from the top of the mountain, this mountain biking route has something for everyone. Many sections may be navigated by wide-tire gravel bikes and are perfect for trail running and training as well. The trails featured on this route were built and improved through the efforts of the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition and North River District of the George Washington National Forest. The new, machine-built Narrowback West Trail features smooth switchbacks, while the Tillman West Trail features newly graded berm turns, rollers, and a variety of jumps. The route also passes by an old dog graveyard that can be seen and accessed directly from the trail.
Trail Activities: Mountain Biking, Hiking and Trail Running
Time required: 1-2 hours
Challenge level: Intermediate
Distance: 10 miles
Elevation change: 1,199 ft.
Terrain: Singletrack, doubletrack and dirt roads. Most grades are newly constructed moderate trails. A few sections of the Tower Trail along the ridge have technical rocky features.
Preferred direction: Ride south, then continue clockwise on the southern loop until it intersects with the main trail. Head north to return the way you came.
Practical Planning Information
Services along trail: None
Food & water: None on route. Two streams are available 2.2 miles south of the parking area. Bring a water purification method.
Mobile phone service: None at parking lot. Some service is available upon starting the route.
Directions & Parking
Google: Wolf Ridge Parking
Driving time: 30 minutes west of Harrisonburg
Signs and marking: This ride is comprised of the Narrowback West Trail, Tower Trail, and Tillman West Trail, as well as two unpaved roads. Trail junction signs are present at all key intersections. Follow the trail signs closely to make your turns onto the next trail.
Parking: The parking area is on the west side of the road and has space for 15-20 vehicles. Alternative parking spots are available along Tilghman Rd. at mile markers 5.4 and 6.5.
Navigating the Trail
Drive along Rt. 257 through Briery Branch, passing the entrance to the Hone Quarry Recreation Area. Turn left onto Tilghman Rd. After crossing a bridge, the road will turn to dirt. Within 0.5 miles, a large parking lot will be visible on the right side of the road.
Ride the Narrowback West Trail up a series of smooth switchbacks to a four-way junction (2.1 miles). Continue on the Narrowback West Trail. Follow signs to the Tower Trail – 432A and ride along the ridge through rocky areas. Turn right onto the Tillman West Trail – 439 (3.3 miles) a two-mile, flowy track. Cross Big Run Creek at the bottom of the mountain and turn right onto Tilghman Rd (5.4 miles). Head north and turn right onto Dog Graves Road. A dog graveyard with headstones can be seen from the trail. Climb the mile-long doubletrack back up to the Narrowback West Trail. Turn left onto the trail and enjoy its smooth grades. Return to the parking area.
For more of a challenge, extend the loop to the west via the Festival Trail or Narrowback Rd.
Hunting season occurs from November 5 to January 7 each year. During this time, be aware hunters may be active on National Forest lands. Wear bright clothing to make yourself more visible and consider wearing a brightly colored hat or vest. Whistle, sing, or carry on a conversation and alert hunters to your presence. For more information and safety suggestions, visit the Virginia DWR website.