Visiting Massanutten Resort Virginia

There are miles of trails and family fun, and it can all be done in a long weekend from quite a few places. The mountainous property in the heart of Virginia, Massanutten Resort, just 10 miles outside of Harrisonburg, features 6,000 acres of mountain fun at its best. Unique in both its size, variety of amenities, and providing condo and hotel accommodations, Massanutten has secured a spot on our recommendation list for a quick weekend getaway to somewhere a tad warmer and with dry trails.

We headed south to do a little mountain biking, little did we know we would run into so-so weather, but we made the best of it. My favorite adventure vacations are ones where the adventure is close to comfort. Ski resorts understand this quite well. Throw in a gorgeous Virginia day (2 of the 4 were) and a resort sports director who is an avid mountain biker, and you have a playground of trails and a bike park.

Though Massanutten started as a ski resort, over the years it has enjoyed such popularity that it has expanded to include nearly every form of entertainment to which a family could apply themselves. Massanutten Resort offers include the indoor/outdoor waterpark, mountain biking, running trails, an adventure park area, two golf courses, farm-to-table dining experiences, shopping and recreation options, and a day spa for complete relaxation and rejuvenation. Located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Massanutten is easily accessible from many major cities. It also offers a bit of skiing, but this is all about summer right now.

The place even has its own winery nearby, Stone Mountain Vineyards but we opted for the beer side this week and found a soft spot for a few from 3 Notch Brewing.

The time to visit is in the summer, we do mean summer, especially if taking the family. While Massanutten Resort would be perfect for a guys weekend or a family getaway, not everything is open in the spring. Some of the summer mountain rides do not open until after Memorial Day which could lead to unhappy kiddos. A boys weekend (or ladies) designed around running, mountain biking and some good beers is perfect in the spring. Also the spring is a little on the slower side, so the trails are not crowded, restaurant lines are short and it is pretty quiet overall. The trails are very hilly, have a rocky base and drain beautifully. One of the days we were there it rained during the night and in the morning, and we were riding by 11ish.

Massanutten Western Slope MTB Trails

Massanutten Western Slope offers 30 miles of multi-use non-motorized trails that are great for mountain biking and trail running, much of which was built and is maintained by SVBC. These are awesome trails. While 30 miles may not sound like a ton, by the time you mix up the loops, the direction and toss in a fire road or two, you can be rack up some seriously tough miles. The Western Slope Property is private property that is owned by Massanutten Resort and sits just outside of Keezletown, about 7 miles from downtown Harrisonburg.

Since the Massanutten Western Slope is private property, you MUST have a Massanutten Trail Pass to access it. And since SVBC has built and maintains most of the trails at the Nut, and since the revenue from trail passes goes directly back to SVBC, you WANT a Massanutten Trail Pass.

Massanutten Mountain Bike Park

Massanutten’s Park features a lower lift that will provide access to beginner and intermediate trails for newcomers while also offering advanced jump and singletrack trails accessible from an upper lift that are sure to thrill any enthusiast. Whether you are an aspiring rider or a downhill nut, Massanutten’s Bike Park is the place for you. The park is open in the late spring, summer and fall; we suggest you call and speak to someone at the bike park.

Our suggestion, go for a long weekend, have some fun and make sure you are in shape when heading here. Those hills aren’t gonna climb themselves.

Harrisonburg, Virginia Mountain Bike Trails in General

Harrisonburg, Virginia being an IMBA ride center, one of 17 states in the US that has been blessed with this “honor”, riding options are endless. The Shenandoah Valley has a wealth of characteristically-gnarly East Coast singletrack, with a few sections of beginner-friendly trail thrown in here and there. The Harrisonburg community even features excellent in-town singletrack, with several certified IMBA Epics just outside of town. The racing scene is alive and well in Harrisonburg, with local races of various distances all the way up to the Shenandoah 100, part of the NUE series. You will not get tired of riding.

Mountain Biking Massanutten Resort Virginia

There are two ways to get to the mountain bike trails on the property. The first is a 15 to 20-minute drive around the mountain to the trailhead. The second is a 20 to 25-minute ride up the mountain on an access road. Unfortunately, you can’t drive this due to the gate at the top of the climb. Looking for other trails in the area, then car is the way to go. Give the local bike shop a shout and they can give you the downlow. 

The view from the top of the climb. Talk about a leg burner. Unfortunately, we could not see very far on such a dreary day.

The Hahnenkamm is a mountain in Europe, directly southwest of Kitzbühel in the Kitzbühel Alps of Austria. The elevation of its summit is 1,712 metres (5,617 ft) above sea level. In Virginia it is rated “extreme difficulty” and now we now why.

Sections of the upper trail were rock after rock after rock …. well you get the point. Beginner trails start out low and the further up you climb the more difficult the trails get. Please show up with some real tires, a 2.2 would be a great start. 

Pick the best line :-)

The western slopes are not all rocky trails. There are numerous places to rip down hills and rest up for the soon to come long seated climbs.

One of the few places we found mud all week, this was one of the new sections on the lower part of the trails.

A good photo opportunity and a chance to rest some tired legs.

Coming off of a rock section on a Moots YBB. The YBB offers about an inch of travel, next time I would take something with a little more travel. The rock at Massanutten Resort do offer a technical and rough ride. Bring your “A” game.

It was nice to get some wide open trail where you can just hammer it. They do exist but are definitely spaced out.

Sometimes it pays to stop and read the signs. Of course we did not see this sign until day 3.

The post-ride hangout, the Basecamp bar which resides slope-side is the perfect place to grab a post-ride refresher, bask in the sun and chat about the day’s adventure.  Open all year !!

Tomorrow we rent a full suspension bike for the trails. Bikes, helmets and misc other gear are for rent. Massanutten also offers numerous items for sale just in case you forget something.

Massanutten Resort Virginia Condos

The condos are quite nice. Nothing over the top but they get the job done. They are clean, feature full kitchens, balconies and the top and bottom ones connect for large parties. They also offer a freakishly large bathtub. Washers are dryers are located on the bottom floor and can be shared.

Not the most environmentally friendly place in the world, nor the healthiest but the little log cabin at the bottom of the hill has some pretty tasty barbecue and mac and cheese. Maybe grab a little ice cream on the way out.

Jack Brown’s burger joint is quite unique, to say the least. They serve burgers and deep-fried Oreos. On the plus side, they offer a burger on a glazed donut and have a pretty good beer selection. Seating is a little on the tight side. This is a must-check-out location. 

Don’t ask ….. because we don’t have an answer.

Three Notch Brewing Company (20 minutes down the road) offers a great beer selection and an amazing American Pale Ale.

The waterpark is a big attraction if traveling with families. In the winter, head inside to escape the cold, in the summer it is perfect to get out of the sun.  We found it quite nice to go ride for a few hours, grab a snack, come warm up and have some fun. Suitable for all ages.

More family fun with ziplining.

Stables are right outside the entrance of Massanutten Resort. Rides are available for kids and adults alike ranging from 10 minutes to longer tours of the area.

While ziplining, horseback riding and the waterpark all cost money, the hiking is 100 percent free. The entire area boasts mile upon miles of trails, varying terrain and tons of fun to be had. Hikers and walkers have separate trails from the mountain bikers.

Our trip was in late March, so it was somewhat cold and not very green, but a nice relief from the snow and cold up north.



Adventure, Travel, Outdoors, Gear and Fitness