Massanutten Ring

It's 68 miles of what's considered by many to be the most challenging ride in the East - relentlessly rocky, raw, and endlessly challenging ridgeline riding - and equally rewarding.

Shenandoah County, VA

Manahoac and Massawomeck lands

12,000'

ELEVATION GAIN

Spring to Fall

riding season

2-3

days out

8

PHYSICAL challenge (1-10*)

16:22

women's FKT -
britt mason (supported)

68

miles

10

TECHNICAL challenge (1-10*)

11:23 / 12:22

men's FKT -
Abe Kaufman (cached water) / Sam Skidmore (unsupported)

General route description

The Massanutten Ring is considered the most challenging ride in the East – relentlessly rocky, raw, and endlessly challenging . . . and rewarding. The Ring traverses the ridges of the eastern and western Massanutten Mountains around the historic Fort Valley, Virginia while overlooking the Shenandoah and Front Royal River Valleys. For the lover of challenging singletrack, it doesn’t get much better than this. Expect hike-a-bike, both up and down. Expect the miles to tick by very slowly. And expect to find some of the most incredible and tough backcountry riding on the East Coast.

A detailed route description can be found on Mountain Project, and an even more detailed section-by-section description of the trail with photos can be found on Barry Cocker’s website (Barry is the champion of mountain bike FKT efforts on the trail and has more known completions than any other rider).

The route can be ridden any time from spring to fall, but the trail is typically the least overgrown in April and May.

Photos by Barry Croker

route map and download

Disclaimer: This route and associated information is just a starting point for your preparation, and your safety is your own responsibility. Although this route, its GPS track and waypoints, route data, and the route guide were prepared after extensive research, their accuracy and reliability are not guaranteed. Check for current conditions, route updates, detours, use common sense, obey local laws and regulations, and travel with alternative means of navigation. The Backcountry Bike Challenge and its creators and contributors will in no way be responsible for personal injury or damage to personal property arising in conjunction with following this route or utilizing any of the route resources provided on this website or via RWGPS.

additional route information

  • Seasonal streams and several more reliable water sources are found around the loop, but it’s a relatively dry trail due to how much of the time is spent on ridge crests.
  • No services are available along the loop.
  • Virtually the entirety of this route is on public land.
  • None of note for this route
  • The Ring is incredibly technical, slow riding. Plan knowing that 5mph is a fast pace.
  • Hunting allowed along the trail for several weeks during the fall.
  • Be respectful of other trail users.
  • The route can be raced in either direction and from any point, but a clockwise ride starting from the northernmost trailhead is preferred/standard.
  • The Ride the Massanutten Ring Facebook Group is focused on single-day rides and FKT challenges around The Ring
  • The Ride the Ring group’s FKT classification differs slightly from the ride-style delineations we identify on the Backcountry Bike Challenge website. The listed FKT history by the Ride the Ring group classifies FKT’s as (s): Self-supported. Caches, etc. but no support crew, (u): Unsupported. No pre-positioned or outside assistance and ** for a Reverse Ring (counterclockwise).

stewardship of the massanutten ring

Extensive trailwork on the Massanutten Ring has been done over the past couple decades by volunteers with the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition. And the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club spends countless hours each year brushing the trail to keep it from getting too overgrown. Donations to either of these organizations will help support the future of adventures on the Massanutten Ring.

your rides on this route

Click here for the Ride with GPS FKT Leaderboard. Rides are also tracked on the Ride the Massanutten Ring Facebook page.