Some Other Mystery 4×4 Trail Spots

Some other mystery spots

Madison County VA .
Club Status – Not visited, use information at own risk

– 1.5 hour down i-66west/29south (1/2 hour north of Charlottesville). Some areas around Grave Mountain Lodge, Blakey’s Ridge.

Fredericksburg, VA
(I call it FredVegas) 1hr down I-95 south from Beltway. Fire trails and the like…..

– Directions to Shoe Creek Trail: Blue Ridge Mtns/GW Forest/Crabtree Falls.
Club Status – Not visited, use information at own risk

First of all, go buy the DeLorme, VA Atlas, if you don’t have it. This is money well spent. This atlas has helped me find
my way home many times. Even the most obscure dirt road can be found in this atlas. It’s great. I got mine from Barnes
and Nobles Bookstore. If you can’t find one, call DeLorme at 1.800.227.1656, ext 6200. Shoe Creek Trail is on page 54
Section B-3.

On to the trail… I’ll assume we’re coming from North of Waynesboro: Take Interstate 81 South to Waynesboro. Continue
on I-81 about 15 miles south of Waynesboro until you see the sign for the Steeles Tavern/Raphine exit. This should be
Route 606. Turn left on Rt-606 towards Steeles Tavern. Continue (south?) on Rt-606 until you reach Route 11. Turn left
on Rt11, go about 50 yards, take your next right onto Rt-56. Shoe Creek trail is off of Rt-56.

Continue on Rt-56, past a small (tiny)) town, over some railroad tracks, and then up the mountain. Rt-56 is a steep road up
the mountain. (My old Ford really moans up this hill). Eventually, Rt-56 will begin to level out. You should pass the
Montebello Fish Cultural Station (they teach fish how to speak French) on your right. Now you’re really close, maybe a
mile or so. Start looking for a dirt road on your RIGHT side. It will be FR-826 (but, alas the sign is usually hidden by a
tree). There will be a house up a small hill to the right of the dirt road. There will be split rail fence in front of the house.
On the left of the dirt road is a meadow (Crabtree Meadow). You’ll also be on the downhill side of Rt-56. (If you miss it,
you’ll end up at the Crabtree Falls Parking area. Turn around here, go back up the mountain).

You’re off-roading now… Turn right onto the dirt road (FR-826). This is a state maintained dirt road that will lead you up
the mountain, past some primo primitive campsites, past a gravel parking area for a nice hiking trail. (Stop here, take a 2
mile hike to the falls and overlook. Well worth the walk).

This uphill half of the trail is a pretty easy cruise up to the top of the mountain. (Best campsites are near the top). The
downhill side gets more interesting. Generally an easy trail, it does have a few mud holes and rocks to contend with.
We’ve gone down (and up) with vehicles ranging from a stock Wrangler to a modified Suburban without any problems.
Near the bottom of the trail, you’ll pass waterfalls, cross thru Shoe Creek a couple of times and then follow the creek to
the end of the trail. Great place to wash and wake up in the morning.

(Half way down the trail there is an off shoot to the left. This smaller trail is more difficult, but only precedes for a mile
or so (expect to test your skid plates here.) There is a long narrow downhill run at the end which only a small 4×4 can get
down without collecting trees. If your 4×4 is narrow enough to fit between the trees, this downhill section will rejoin
with the main trail.)

Now turn around and go back up…

The easiest way out is back the way you came. If you can’t go back up the trail, there are a couple of ways to go
depending on where home is. Here’s where the atlas comes in real handy. If you can’t get the VA DeLorme atlas, send me
mail, I’ll be glad to give you specific directions.

Dave Allred ’85 Ford F-150 Off-Chamber Club Annapolis, MD

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