18 miles
4,800 ft
-4,800 ft
3,161 ft
High Point

Start at the lower end of Douthat Lake and roll out to main road. Take a left and enjoy a short warm up on pavement before turning left onto the Wilson Creek trail that gradually climbs its way to a road winding up to the cabins and guest lodge. Pedal steeply up the pavement to a hairpin turn.

Notice a trail sign on your right and head this way up Guest Lodge. Pass the first intersection on your right and then take a left at the next intersection onto Mountain Top. Continue the grinding climb up; there is a viewpoint that awaits. After checking out the dense forests surrounding Douthat, descend past an intersection with Mountain Side and then onto another intersection with Beard’s Gap. There is a small shelter here with a place to sit and rest before continuing.

Stay straight at the Beard’s Gap intersection on Brushy Hollow and climb again (thankfully a short ascent) to another viewpoint. Take advantage of another opportunity to rest before finishing the climb. Now it’s time for a much deserved, long descent. The trail is fast but has many switchbacks so be aware of your speed going into turns. Nearing the bottom of the valley, you’ll encounter eight rock-armored creek crossings before reaching the swing bridge over Wilson Creek. Bounce your way across the bridge and then roll out to Douthat Road.

Take a right and pedal just over half a mile to Stony Run. Take a left here and start the biggest climb of the ride. The grade is not steep at first but after the first intersection, the trail begins to ramp up. Stay straight at the next intersection with a horse sign and begin the real climbing. From here to the turnoff for Tuscarora Overlook you’ll experience several switchbacks through mature forest.

The best views of the park are available from the cabin at Tuscarora Overlook, the out-and-back should not be missed.

From the overlook continue up to Middle Mountain Trail where you’ll reach the high point of the ride. The last bit of the climb takes you into moss and lichen covered rocks and trees, a surreal landscape. Once you top out, Middle Mountain is a fast cruise across the ridge through the trees. You might feel like you’re riding through a scene from Lord of the Rings.

Take a right at the intersection with Salt Stump and enjoy and fast, rockin’ descent through big trees and dense forest. Continue straight through the first intersection and then bear right at the next junction.

Laurel View is a slightly downhill route over relatively smooth trail with a few roots and rocks traversing lower slopes.

At the third intersection, take a left to work your way to the start of the ride at the bottom end of Douthat Lake.

Route Supporters
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Blue Ridge Off-Road Cyclists (www.roanokeimba.org)
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1 Review & Comments

  • + 0
flag Natesteroc (Dec 6, 2017 at 16:59)
 When looking at the map with the lake to the north, everything to the right of access road is amazing. The climbs are downright brutal, but every descent makes it 100% worth it. The trails on the other side of the road are a different story in my opinion. The climb is unforgiving, and seemingly goes on for ever. The descent involves a few short climbs, but is overgrown and way too chunky. I had to stop multiple times, and i ride a 160mm travel all mountain bike. The last couple hundred feet of the trail are sweet though, with some crazy tight switchbacks and a really steep ending. I would definitely ride this loop again, but would be hesitant to ride the section that starts at Stony Run.

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  • Riding area
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Physical rating
More Stats for Douthat State Park - IMBA Epic mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    1,296 ft
  • Altitude start
    1,399 ft
  • Altitude end
    1,399 ft
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    9 miles
  • Distance down
    8 miles
  • Distance flat
    912 ft
Avg: 4 (1 votes)
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Ridden Direction

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The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.

  • > 96%
  • > 90%
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  • Wilderness (typically no bikes in USA)
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  • USFS (Wildlife sanctuaries darker than usfs)
  • State land
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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
  • Map Markers
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  • photo Photo
  • place Directory Listing
  • region Riding Area
  • Parking Parking
  • Viewpoint Viewpoint
  • Information Information
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  • Directions Directions
  • Water Fountain/Source Water Fountain/Source
  • Sight Sight
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