This route is brought to you by Molly Cobbs, one of our 2022 Route Ambassadors and gravel enthusiast from Sharpsburg, MD
Photo Credits: Molly Cobbs
This crazy-looking route is a great way to explore some of northern Loudoun County's best gravel roads! You'll pass self-serve farm stands, vineyards, artisan workshops, friendly barnyard critters, and, of course, beautiful scenery.
My favorite part of this route is stopping to see what's in season at George's Mill Farm Store (@georgesmillcheese). On weekdays in March and April, stop to snuggle their baby goats (please check their website before visiting!) and in the summer, stop for goat milk gelato!
This is a four-season route! In the summer, expect several long shady sections as well as long exposed sections.
Sections of this route can have heavy washboarding throughout the year.
There are many tight, blind curves, so be mindful of your speed and stay in your lane when entering these curves!
Amenities (restrooms, water, fuel, etc.) are limited on this route - plan to be self-sufficient!
Do this ride if you want a great beginner/intermediate mixed surface ride without major climbs and you're looking for a great introduction to gravel riding in Loudoun County, Virginia
This route crosses Highway 287 several times - STOP at all stop signs and check traffic carefully before crossing.
There is free public parking between at the Lovettsville Historical Society and Museum (shared parking with the town Municipal Complex).
Looking for something a little shorter? You can shorten the route to 31.0 miles AND still hit all of the high points of this route by cutting out the lollipop/out-and-back at George's Mill Road (but don't miss the goat cheese and farm store!). To shorten the route, at mile 29.0, continue straight instead of turning left onto Georges Mill Road (if you want to visit the farm store, take the left at Georges Mill Rd and pedal one-tenth of a mile; when you finish at the farm store, pedal back out to Irish Corner Road and turn left).
Notable places to stop along the way for refueling and fun:
Mile 0.0 (Within a half-block of the start/finish/parking lot): Back Street Brews is a great woman-owned coffeehouse. Stop in for coffee and ride snacks (I recommend the Hawaiian oat bar!)
Mile 24: Hiddencroft Vineyards' tasting house is 0.2 mile off of Axline Road (follow the signs); they are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 12-6pm.
Mile 29.2: This is why I do this ride! George's Mill Artisan Cheese and Farm Store is an absolute must-stop!! The store is open 24-7 and payment is on the honor system (Venmo, PayPal). The owners do a great job of featuring seasonal produce from local farms, handmade goods (pottery, soap, etc.) from local artisans, and offering their own goat milk delicacies such as skyr, feta, fudge, gelato. Check their website (linked above) for baby goat snuggling opportunities in the spring.
If you're doing this route, these nearby locations are definitely worth a stop, but would be best visited by car:
Long Stone Farm offers pasture-raised eggs and meat as well as seasonal produce. (Bring a cooler!)
Wheatland Spring Farm and Brewery is considered by many to be the best brewery in Loudoun County (now, that's saying something!). The brews and seltzer are top-notch and the setting is perfect for post-ride picnics and hanging out.
Molly grew up in central Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and started mountain biking in high school. In college, she fell in love with endurance sports, outdoor adventure, and the American west. Ultimately, a lifestyle of adventure and endurance pursuits defined her 15+ years of living all over the west and in Alaska.
In 2018, Molly moved back east to be closer to her family and her roots. Exploring mid-Atlantic gravel has been essential to cultivating her “sense of place” on the East Coast and rekindling the adventurous spirit of her wild western days.
Her coolest adventure?
An 8-day ski traverse of Denali National Park supported by dogsled team.
Her proudest accomplishment?
Finishing the Coeur d’Alene Ironman (her first Ironman) in well under 14 hours.
Her next goal?
Finishing strong at the 2022 Gravel Race up Spruce Knob in West Virginia.
Her day job?
U.S. Forest Service - Molly has worked in Federal land management for more than 20 years.
Ice cream, puppies, naps, and funky “free!” finds on the side of the road.