This tour begins at the South Fork Ruritan building in Oak Flat,
which is located on US Rt. 33, 8.2 miles east of Franklin or 3.6
miles west of Brandywine.
Begin the tour by turning right on US Rt. 33. This section of main
highway totals 2.6 miles, but half of that distance includes a third
lane making it safer for bicycles. This is also a steady uphill
climb topping out at 2.5 miles. At 2.6 miles, turn right onto Troublesome
Valley Road (Rt. 12) and begin a gradual climb up that valley, reaching
the crest at 5.8 miles to overlook the watershed of Deer Run and
the small community of the same name. At 6.8 miles, turn right at
At 7.2 miles, pass by the intersection with Steele Gap Road and
the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church.
At 7.9 miles turn right onto Siple Mt. Road (Rt. 14). The view
from here is outstanding. The pastoral landscape of near and distant
farms, and fields with grazing cattle and sheep is a vivid evocation
of a rural way of life that is rapidly disappearing.
At 9.0 miles, reach the crest of Siple Mt. and begin a descent
through roadside scrub pines and magnificent vistas of Shenandoah
Mt. and the South Fork Valley. The road levels out at 9.8 miles
and then gradually descends, passing Mitchell Mt. Road at 10.1 miles
and then narrowing somewhat as it enters a pine reforestation area
at 12.0 miles.
Make a right turn at 12.9 miles on to the Sweedlin Valley Road
(Rt. 3), and proceed 3.3 miles along this road back to Oak Flat
and the starting point.