Big Walker, Bland County Virginia

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by travlin, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. error cooled

    error cooled anything but asphalt

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    Did you run the ridge from 52 down to Bland? Or did you go from Bland to Carnot on the old turnpike road? I can't imagine the latter passable to a
    Jeep.
    #21
  2. FarmBoyBrad

    FarmBoyBrad Crash test dummy

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    Error Cooled, in the satellite image you posted above, we did the entire route of Walker Mtn Rd (Forest rd 206) you had marked with the orange line. It took us four hours to cover the approximately 14 miles (as his odometer indicated). It is much more passable now because of my chainsawing efforts and I also broke off/snapped and cut off lots and lots of brances out of the passenger window as we were inching along. We started at the Big Walker Lookout and came out beside of the old church building on Little Creek rd (or Little Creek Hwy...not positive on that).
    #22
  3. FarmBoyBrad

    FarmBoyBrad Crash test dummy

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    #23
  4. error cooled

    error cooled anything but asphalt

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    PM incoming... that is impressive :deal
    #24
  5. FarmBoyBrad

    FarmBoyBrad Crash test dummy

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    Thanks Error Cooled for the compliment. We had a blast. I have about 40 pictures in the link in the last comment I made on this thread. I am going to try to go back with the local dual sport group and enjoy it again.
    #25
  6. Icecold Dan

    Icecold Dan Been here awhile

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    We are starting the trail in a few weeks and will be using Bland as our jump off point. The plan is to ride hard heading north for 2 days, and then pick up the BRP on day 3 for an easy ride back to the trucks. I'm really looking forward to it.
    #26
  7. maquette

    maquette Been here awhile

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    #27
  8. FarmBoyBrad

    FarmBoyBrad Crash test dummy

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    maquette/Tom
    I sent you a reply pm. Hopefully that has the info you are looking for, let me know.
    #28
  9. error cooled

    error cooled anything but asphalt

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    I have been in touch with the Bland County Historical Society - slowly gathering more information on parts of this road.

    Since I stumbled across this road years ago it has fascinated me. The N/S stretch from Bland over to Carnot - cresting Big Walker - is part of the historical Raleigh-Grayson Turnpike. Use of this road goes back to the early 1800's as a main thoroughfare over the mountain - and it was likely constructed with convict and slave labor.

    I will share more as my research continues.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #29
  10. FarmBoyBrad

    FarmBoyBrad Crash test dummy

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    I am planning on riding Walker Mountain Road with a local Jeep club on election day (Tues, Nov 5th) as part of a group ride. I have talked with a guy that heads up a dual sport group near me and he wants to plan a dual sport day trip that includes Walker Mountain Rd in the near future. If anyone would like to join us on election day, I will post more details as it gets closer or you can send me a pm on here. As it stands right now, we are planning on meeting that morning at approx 10am at the Big Walker Lookout on Hwy 52.
    #30
  11. FarmBoyBrad

    FarmBoyBrad Crash test dummy

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    error cooled,
    I sent you a pm sir.

    also, thanks for the extra info about the Walker Mountain rd, I am fascinated with that road as well like you said that you are...and a quick question, at the tight swicthback near the ridge of the mountain (close to the halfway point of the entire road), there is a road/trail that heads away in what I believe (if I recall correctly) would be a northeasterly direction. I have tried to zoom in and follow it on the google sattelite image and it looks like it ends after a short distance, is that correct from what info you have gathered so far? I thought about parking several of the Jeeps just off the path near the switchback the day we go and maybe all of us load up in two or three and see where/how far it goes.
    #31
  12. error cooled

    error cooled anything but asphalt

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    PM responded. Net/net is I would be really cautious taking a group through the east side.

    Here are some more interesting nuggets on the road:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #32
  13. FarmBoyBrad

    FarmBoyBrad Crash test dummy

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    error cooled,
    you are the man!

    That is some incredible info. Thanks for the time you have put into gathering the story behind this piece of "road artwork".
    #33
  14. FarmBoyBrad

    FarmBoyBrad Crash test dummy

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    I stumbled upon this youtube video from a guy who calls himself vafr206 on Youtube. This video shows the lower side of Walker Mountain Road (VA forest road 206, like the guys name), he calls it Big Bend because it runs past the Big Bend picnic area near the upper end of the road (not shown in video). This takes you from the bottom (off of Little Creek Hwy) up to the big switchback at the top of the ridge, where he cuts off the camera. This shows the toughest/most technical portion of the trail/road. Here is the link to the video...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDCN1QVsuPY

    If you watch it, let me know if you are able to keep from ducking your head or dodging to one side or the other. I couldn't. Anyway, if you haven't ridden this road yet and are thinking about it, this video will give you a great idea of how tough it is in certain spots, and what you are getting yourself into. If you stop at the Big Walker store at the upper end of it, make sure you get one of their ice cream cones. That alone is worth the trip.
    #34
  15. FarmBoyBrad

    FarmBoyBrad Crash test dummy

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    #35
  16. maquette

    maquette Been here awhile

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    #36
  17. FarmBoyBrad

    FarmBoyBrad Crash test dummy

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    Hey Tom,
    We did make the ride across on Tuesday. Two Jeeps loaded up with people. I did not have to use the chainsaw this time (nice improvement) and didn't have to trim/snap a lot of limbs either. Overall road conditions were pretty good and there were four or five hunters parked on the top side off the trail in a few different spots. The big issue is the volume of leaves covering the road and making it look flat/smooth in places where there are holes/rocks/washout/etc. If you ride this road or any trail you are not 100% familiar with this time of year, use caution and assume that there could be rocks/holes and ride accordingly.

    I spoke with the dual sport group near me (about one hour from Walker mountain) and told them about this road, he doesn't have a date set for their next trip, but said he would let me know in advance so I can plan to go with them. I will post on here or send you a PM in case it works out that you could join us.
    #37
  18. Red04Cobra

    Red04Cobra n00b

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    A friend and myself are going to be heading up that way tomorrow in a Taco and my Jeep. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures if it's open!
    #38
  19. maquette

    maquette Been here awhile

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    Brad,

    Somehow I missed this portion of your post, sorry. By all means, if you go up on a bike and know in advance, please let me know.

    Thanks,

    Tom
    #39
  20. FarmBoyBrad

    FarmBoyBrad Crash test dummy

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    maquette,
    I will let you know whenever I head that way on two wheels.

    red04Cobra,
    If you don't mind scratches on the Jeep, you will have a blast!
    #40