Rappahannock Rough Ride: Sept. 17, 2016

It’s coming, one of our favorite events of the year… the Rappahannock Rough Ride.  And this year it’s even more special as they celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the ride. This is a unique ride since it offers both paved and unpaved options of the ride, taking you on some amazing roads in Rappahannock county and features some gorgeous views along the way.

The ride offers multiple route options range from a family friendly 12 mile loop through the historic villages of Little Washington and Flint Hill, to paved/unpaved road Rough Ride options to the full 63 mile paved route, one of the most beautiful and challenging one-day bike tours in Virginia.

The ride takes place on Saturday, September 17 at 9 and registration options at 7:30 am and starts from the Washington Volunteer Fire & Rescue. Your registration fee covers rest stop snacks an drinks as well as lunch after the finish.  Breakfast is available at the fire hall for an additional $8 the morning of the ride.  All proceeds from meals support the Washington Fire & Rescue.

Be sure to register early and save $10 per rider!

Check out the routes!

Paved Routes

12 Mile Route


The short paved route is the only route that heads north out of Washington on Fodderstack. This is a lollipop route and so also returns on Fodderstack. But don’t let the short distance fool you. This route takes in more elevation gain per mile than all but one of the other loops. This comes courtesy of the high point of the route just 2.5 miles in. But since it’s a lollipop, the backside of this climb gets revisited on the way home at mile 10. Despite the climb, riders of all ages and abilities successfully tackle this route every year. It has some great views, especially around miles 4 and 8, near the intersection of Fodderstack and Dearing Rd.
33 Mile Route


The medium and long paved routes share the first 28 miles. The first 5 miles are a gentle roll out on 211 followed by Rock Mills Rd. The turn onto Hunters greets riders with several steep hills and descents. There is a short section on 522 before riders turn left onto Scrabble road to face another 6-7 miles of steep to rolling roads before arriving at the Laurel Mills rest area at mile 19. From here the riders head north on Richmond Rd and Ben Venue Rd. Take note after crossing 211 and onto Ben Venue Rd. The small buildings on the left are on the African American Historic Sites database and were once slave quarters. One of the buildings is a current residence. At mile 28, the medium paved route turns left in Flint Hill onto Fodderstack and returns to Washington. This includes the steep half mile climb to the top of Fodderstack at mile 32 before a mostly descending ride back into Washington.
60 Mile Route


The medium and long paved routes share the first 28 miles. The first 5 miles are a gentle roll out on 211 followed by Rock Mills Rd. The turn onto Hunters greets riders with several steep hills and descents. There is a short section on 522 before riders turn left onto Scrabble road to face another 6-7 miles of steep to rolling roads before arriving at the Laurel Mills rest area at mile 19. From here the riders head north on Richmond Rd and Ben Venue Rd. Take note after crossing 211 and onto Ben Venue Rd. The small buildings on the left are on the African American Historic Sites database and were once slave quarters. One of the buildings is a current residence. At mile 28, the long paved route turns right onto Crest Hill and heads east away from Flint Hill. Crest Hill takes riders approximately 8 miles to Leeds Manor Rd. Crest Hill maintains the theme and is mostly hilly although the last few miles are flatter. At Leeds Manor, riders turn left and ride 4 miles north to Hume. At Hume, riders turn left onto Hume Rd and are greeted with some of the best views of the rolling hills and mountains. Riders spend 7 miles on Hume Rd and are greeted with their second and last rest stop at mile 43. At mile 47 riders turn left on 522 and ride south for 3 miles before turning right on Hittles Mill. Take care on 522, this is often a headwind and generally has more traffic than the rest of the route. Riders take Hittles to Dearing and finally onto Fodderstack for their final assault up the steep climb on Fodderstack at mile 56. The last few miles are mostly a descending ride back into Washington.

Rough Ride Routes

20 Mile Route


Both Rough Ride routes head west out of Washington on Harris Hollow and climb up to their highest point inside the first 6 miles. This is mostly a gradual climb gaining about 600 feet over those first miles. The routes follow the Rush River that flows out of of the Shenandoah. At the top of the climb there is a fairly steep descent on gravel that turns to a fast runout on pavement. After a short spell on 211, the routes follow Rock Mills road to the lowest point of the route, again at the Rush River. At this point the 20 mile Rough Ride bears to the left and climbs away from the river on Long Mountain Rd. This is a scenic, fun and somewhat difficult couple miles of gravel. At the left onto Tiger Valley, riders are rewarded with views of the mountains and just a couple miles back to Washington.
30 Mile Route


Both Rough Ride routes head west out of Washington on Harris Hollow and climb up to their highest point inside the first 6 miles. This is mostly a gradual climb gaining about 600 feet over those first miles. The routes follow the Rush River that flows out of of the Shenandoah. At the top of the climb there is a fairly steep descent on gravel that turns to a fast runout on pavement. After a short spell on 211, the routes follow Rock Mills road to the lowest point of the route, again at the Rush River. At this point the 30 mile Rough Ride turns right and takes in a few more miles of gravel on Wharton Hollow before turning left onto Lizzie Mills. Miles 16 to 26 are filled with steep hills and descents but riders are rewarded with the the rest stop at Laurel Mills at mile 20. Be careful on the steep descent at mile 25 before rejoining the shorter Rough Ride at Long Mountain Rd for the scenic, fun and somewhat difficult couple miles of gravel. At the left onto Tiger Valley, riders are rewarded with views of the mountains and just a couple miles back to Washington.
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