Trail Report: Blue hole – Grove Hollow 02/15/18

February 15, 2018

Trail: 302 Grove Hollow at Blue Hole in Bergton, Virginia. Drive all the way back, over four cattle guards.

Parking: Not a very big area. Small turn around. Space for two or possibly three small rigs. There is a second spot to park just past the main spot but it is often flooded or extremely muddy.

Todays Ride: I got a very late start and didn’t reach the trail head until nearly 3pm so I decided to do the quick loop with the big down hill finish. It has amazing views, lots of room to move out and the big down hill adds another level to the work out. It does slow down the over all pace quite a bit but it’s a fun challenge. Certainly not for every ride.

The ride starts out through the closed fire road gate, and on we go. Past lots of logged areas, up and up, on a slow incline for about the first two miles or so. This makes this area a bit of an annoyance for me to do a ride in and back out since the last two miles is a down hill ride. I dislike that level of down hill on Simon. He is so slow and not as surefooted as I would like and let’s his laziness peak. It takes some constant work to keep him moving at a decent pace. Which is not how I like to spend the last two miles of any ride.

After a bit there is a road that beaches to the left, 302b Grove Hollow – with a closed fire gate, or proceed ahead onto 302 Rocky Spur.

I really had no idea what I was going to do at this point. But I was working with limited daylight. I debated for a bit too long then opted to head left on 302b grove hollow.

It’s a nice hack along until you come to a an opening with three split offs in front of you. Choosing left makes for this loop. None of these have road markers or any designations displayed.

So off to the left, which is a quick down, around and up and then this trail shows its beauty. Since they logged this area a few years ago, there are absolutely amazing views. And this section of the trail is all amazing. The trail rolls up, down and around, and it’s perfect for a nice rolling canter, popping up on each new crest with a “king of the world” feel!

As expected photo and video just does not show these views.

Alas the views end and the main trail runs out and becomes a much narrower trail. And on we go.

Here is where the real challenge comes. The downhill. The trail sort of narrows down and becomes less clear. There are pink marker tags here to assist with the hill, I recommend following them. It starts off not bad, going straight ahead and then curving to the left and beginning to slope down. It’s gradual but quickly gets steep. I have gone all the way down mounted, but I usually dismount once it gets super steep. Although I have mentioned previously I really am uncomfortable going steeply downhill on Simon so I am not sure how much of that plays into it, but I assure you, it is steep. The trail is visible, although the markers make it easier to follow, especially once on the ground.

Today I was climbing down on foot with Simon and I slipped and rolled a little ways. I popped up from the roll and I swear Simon was was laughing at me *oh come on human, really?* It was comical. Once to the bottom, it’s an easy slip to the right into a more dominant trail, and just a few yards ahead across a creek and turn right. This trail has some downed trees, but nothing impassable. It dumps you out at a rocky creek type of bed, bare a bit right and across a creek, there is a clear crossing (this area is a bit messy since it floods on occasion and not so clear. After the rocky bed area bare right to the running creek, closer to the fence). After crossing the creek there is a path, sort of tough to see, it is parallel to the creek, forcing you to make a hard left to enter it. It takes up along the creek, then bares up and dumps you into the road, just a short shot left to the parking.

Video clips of the ride.

oh did I mention it was in the 70s!!!

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