Loop 11: Sandy Ridge • Length: 16.4 miles • Ascents: 1 (1.2 miles ) • Gain: 480 ft. • Hwy. Miles: 0.0

 

 

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This tour begins at Thorn Spring Park, which is reached by taking U. S. Rt. 220 south from Franklin 3.2 miles to a left turn onto Dry Run Road and proceeding 0.7 miles to the park. Vehicles may be parked on the perimeter of the playing fields and by the rail fence along the main drive.

Begin the tour by turning right onto Dry Run Road and at 0.4 miles, turn right. At 0.5 miles, cross over Thorn Creek and bear right, beginning ascent of Sandy Ridge Road. At 1.7 miles the road levels out — passing by modest roadside hunting camps. At 2.1 miles fields become interspersed with woods, and the road follows the contours of the rolling countryside.

 

At 5.2 miles, turn left onto Moyers Gap Road (Rt. 25) for a 2-mile descent, bearing slightly left at 7.3 miles, as the road trends right to connect with Thorn Creek Road (locally known as Upper Thorn Road). At 7.8 miles, turn left onto Thorn Creek Road (Rt. 20) (locally known as Lower Thorn Road) and begin a leisurely descent along the banks of the creek, shaded by sycamore trees with their distinctive mottled, peeling bark.

At 10.4 miles, the road ascends for a short distance, as the narrowing passageway does not provide enough room for both road and creek. At 13.3 miles, begins a public fly-fishing-only section of the creek. At 15.9 miles, turn right, go over the bridge, turn left and return to the starting point —Thorn Spring Park — 0.5 miles away.

 


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