The Flag Rock Area Trails offer eight miles of mountain bike trails that are also open to hikers, trail runners, cross country skiers, birders, and other “people-powered” activities.
Trails travel through rhododendron-choked forested tunnels, past giant sandstone boulders and cliff lines, and through beautiful hardwood forests as they wind through Flag Rock Recreation Area. www.nortonva.gov for visiting outdoor recreation in Norton.
Novice Level (Easiest) Gentle climbs and descents with obstacles such as rocks, gravel, roots, bridges, humps, holes and berms. Riders must have general bike handling skills before using these trails.
Beginning at the Reservoir Trailhead, Lake Lake Show (0.95) and Twisted Forest (0.99) forms the eastern and western sides of the core loop of the trail system. These trails afford views of the Upper and Lower reservoirs, and large tangles of mountain laurel to a mature hardwood forest. Sugar Maple (0.64 miles) begins at the Shelter Trailhead and serves as primary access from the Flag Rock to the core loop of the system.
Intermediate (Difficult) Challenging riding with steeper climbs, descents and obstacles. Trail may be narrow, with poor traction. Shorter sight-lines are common.
Fern Gully (0.61 miles) trail is part of a connector between the Upper Norton Reservoir and Forest Road 2420 on adjacent National Forest property. Forest Road 2420 (2.7 miles) is a gated, grassy forest road connecting to Forest Road 238C, which climbs to the main ridge road on High Knob. A segment connects with other trails to create 4.2 miles. Moonshiner’s (0.75 miles) trail begins at the northern end of Reservoir Road and continues down to the junction with Lost Creek and Pickem Mountain. Oak (0.47 miles) trail consists of a 0.24-mile single-track segment from Twisted Forest to Reservoir Trail and shares the 0.23-mile southern end of Reservoir Trail connecting with Reservoir Road. Pickem Mountain (0.75 miles) trail lies mostly on National Forest property. If coming from Moonshiner’s, this trail climbs steadily for most of its length.
Advanced (More Difficult) May be narrower, have long steep descents and climbs, loose trail surfaces, and numerous natural and man-made obstacles.
Grind Central (0.26 miles) trail connects Fern Gully to Lake Lake Show on the east side of the Upper Reservoir. It is a steep descent from Fern Gully, or a serious “grind” from Lake Lake Show (steep, but not too technical).
Expert (Most Difficult) Include extended steep descents, including rock drops and steep rock faces, very narrow trails, man-made ramps, and other extreme features. Only recommended for highly skilled riders.
Lost Creek (0.90 miles): This one is one way…DOWN! Eat your Wheaties and bring your Big Boy Pants. Lost Creek is a very rocky, technical fall-line trail, which heads straight down the “holler.” It does not meander or let up. Numerous rock-drops and extended, steep, rock-garden riding. Empties onto city streets so beware.
For these and other mountain biking opportunities region-wide, visit HEARTofAPPALACHIA.com.