Sherando Lake Recreational Area- A Father's Day Adventure

On Father's Day, I like to get out for a few hours of adventure and then come back to the house to have Father's Day dinner with my family. This year it was time for a mini-epic and I figured Sherando Lake in the George Washington Forest was a good place to make it happen.

January 1999 was the last time I rode the trails a Sherando Lake. That time, I was with another rider and we had the worst crash that I have had on a bike. But that's another story...

I planned to start my ride from Fire Road 42 or better known as Coal Road. This gravel road is just a few miles down the road from the main entrance of the recreation area. About 1 mile up FR42 you will find a small parking area and a gate to the left. I could not remember if I kept up FR 42 or started at the gate. After a mile up FR42, I figured it was the gate.

I downloaded two GPX files from (no longer active)  and had some issues figuring out which GPX file to use. This was an operator error on my part. Lesson learned- zoom into the track file...

Once I got to the first Ford I knew I was on the right trail.

Or did I miss the trail and Ford? Yes, I did...

Knowing that I was going to cross the creek a few times I had packed a spare pair of socks to change into. Somehow they did not make the transfer into my Wingnut pack. Great! Wet feet for the rest of the day!

I ford the creek about five times.

The Mountain Laurel is still out and the higher I went the more of it. You could see the Mountain Laurel on the next mountain which was cool.

I love Mountain Laurel and so do the bees

The switchbacks kick my ass! But I made it. About the same time as 6 backpackers. 

But the reward is the view

After a couple of miles riding down the Blue Ridge Parkway, I picked the trail back up at The Slacks Overlook.

Just a few hundred yards down the trail I ran into a group with their dogs on a Father's Day hike. They let me pass and I guess I got 50 yards in front of them I saw a black bear in the middle of the trail. By the time I turned around to tell the hikers to get their dogs that there was a bear on the trail, the bear had runoff. Anytime you see a bear it just makes your trip a little more adventurous.

Virginia is full of history.

It's just sad to see it falling apart. 14 years ago it did not look like this.


You can also download GPX files for your GPS from (no longer active)


Ride what you bring! I did this trip on my Bontrager. A full rigid set-up. If that did not make it epic, then I don't know what does!

This was also the first time I got to use my Wingnut pack other than on the local trail. Post to follow with pictures of a bag dump.


I used an online tool for my "PLAN B" called (no longer active) I will do a follow-up post on just this tool.


I had to make a stop in Waynesboro VA to get a quick bite to eat. Waynesboro is a small town and this would have been the last place that I figured I would find a small classic Porsche dealer. I also stopped at Rockfish Gap Outfitters. Just down the mountain from that AT. I made the stop there just to see the Helle knives and Gransfor Bruk axes


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