Bikepacking Stokesville: Gateway to Shenandoah

“Is Stokesville a real place?” Find out in this new film from CHUMBA USA following Hunter and Vince along the lush singletrack and rocky ridgelines of the Shenandoah Mountains… complete with a great soundtrack. Plus, find more info about the route and area…

We joked that “Stokesville” wasn’t a real place… maybe more of a feeling. But after riding there, it has really stuck with me as truly inspiring destination. It was great to throw distance goals and GPS maps out the window in return for spending back-to-back days pointing at maps, focused on finding fun riding with our bikepacking rigs setup like trail bikes.” – Vince Colvin, CHUMBA USA

  • Bikepacking Stokesville Video, Chumba and Wanderlust Gear
  • Bikepacking Stokesville Video, Chumba and Wanderlust Gear

Stokesville is actually a town… a crossroads, really. It sits at the edge of the Shenandoah Valley at the base of the Ridge and Valley region of Appalachia in western Virginia. It’s also at the heart of a popular mountain bike destination and IMBA Ride Center near Harrisonburg, VA. Known the gateway to the Shenandoah Mountains, Stokesville offers access to hundreds of miles of singletrack found in the George Washington Jefferson National Forest. The big feature that stand out in western Virginia are its long ridges. As such, riding there usually means long, steep climbs and big descents. The trails around Harrisonburg and Stokesville are also known to get a little rowdy at times with granite rock gardens, plenty of stream crossings, and loads of rocky ridgeline singletrack. There are plenty of options for jeep road climbs and connectors too. In a nutshell the vast singletrack network amongst a swath of National Forest land makes the area prime for concocting great two or three day, 50-70 mile bikepacking routes. And much more for those looking to stay longer…

  • Bikepacking Stokesville Video, Chumba and Wanderlust Gear
  • Bikepacking Stokesville, Chumba bikes, Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Bikepacking Stokesville Video, Chumba and Wanderlust Gear
Chumba Stella Ti
Vince’s CHUMBA Stella Ti setup with 27.5+ wheels and tires, Wanderlust Bags, and Ergon grips and saddle. Here are a few more details about Vinc’e rig:
Frame: CHUMBA Stella 27plus size Lrg
Fork: Fox 34 Factory 120mm
Wheels: Raceface Arc 40 rims to Hope Pro4 hubs
Drivetrain: Shimano XTR (11-42T XT Cassette)
Crankset: Raceface Turbine Cinch, 30T NW Ring
Brakes: Shimano XTR
Bars: Raceface 35mm Atlas/Turbine stem
Seatpost: Thomson Elite seatpost
Tires: Maxxis Rekon EXO TR Silkshield rear, EXO TR front
Handlebar Bag: Wanderlust Piñon Pocket up front
Stem: Wanderlust Rattlesnake stem bags x2
Frame Bag: Wanderlust Divide frame bag
Top Tube Bag: Wanderlust Beargrass
Seat Pack: Wanderlust Shenandoah seat bag

The Route

Vince and Hunter set out to do a 2-3 day loop trip with the goal to link some of the East’s best technical descents, rock gardens and water spots. There is so much great riding in Stokesville to take in and the layout of the area allows you to create a 60+ mi route planned on the saddle. It’s also worth noting that you can use the Stokesville Lodge and campground as a basecamp for such an adventure (just near where this route starts). In case you’re interested, here’s the map of their route. This particular loop features some 1,500’+ singletrack climbs, several long descents, and a generally low hike-a-bike to riding ratio:

More Routes in The Area

Between the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest and the endless ridge lines of the Shenandoah Mountains, there are plenty of options for bikepacking of all types in western Virginia. Here are a couple more we have mapped in the area:

The Virginia Mountain Bike Trail

An epic, diverse, and wits-crushing bikepacking route that follows the endless ridges of the Allegheny and Blue Ridge mountains along a continuous, 473 mile off-road route from Strasburg to Damascus. The VMBT writhes its way through isolated farming communities, remote wilderness, panoramic crags, and historic rail grade trails…

Slate Springs Overnighter

The Shenandoah Mountains just west of Harrisonburg, VA harbors some of the finest dirt roads on the east coast. This bikepacking overnighter route cuts through its heart and can be expanded to a weekend ride or more…

  • Bikepacking Shenandoah Video, Chumba and Wanderlust Gear
  • Wanderlust Gear



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