Peters Mill Gap – Intro Level Trail Ride

CORE has a number of new members, some with off road experience and some with little or no experience. Rather than risk having the new members “thrown into the deep end” with a first trail ride that is more than they’re comfortable with, we set up this ride for people who want to get a taste of off-roading without risking damage to their 4×4.

Heading out.

The trail is in the Shenandoahs about a two-hour drive from DC. It’s called Peters Mill Gap. If you haven’t done a lot of off-roading, this is a good introduction. The trail is fun, but not that technically tough. A 4×4 without major modifications can have fun, not worry about breaking anything, but still feel like they’re getting some good off road experience. There is a nice pond about half way through the ride that’s a good place to stop for lunch. There is another trail, Taskers Gap, about .8 miles down the road. That feels more like a poorly maintained dirt road.

Attached is a trail map to give you an idea of the area. We ran trail #433. Out and back is about 13 miles.

The trail head is 38o 47’ 22”N, 78o 31’ 8”W.

A 4×4 without major modifications can have fun, not worry about breaking anything, but still feel like they’re getting some good off road experience.


Six of us were able to make the trip.

  • Mike O’Grady (member) – Khaki 2001 Nissan Xterra
  • Jake O’Grady (guest) – 2009 KTM off-road motorcycle
  • Sam L. (member) – Black 2012 Jeep JK
  • Ryann Glaccum (guest) – Gray/black 2002 Mercedes Benz 550
  • Bill & Grace Fay (guests) – Yellow (2015) Jeep JK


We all were coming from different directions, so we met at the Wendy’s parking lot in Manassas and left from there:

Wendy’s parking lot
10700 Bulloch Dr.
Manassas, VA
30 deg. 48’ 18” N
77 deg. 31’ 17” W

It took about an hour to get to:
Cook’s Exxon Inc.,
446 W. Reservoir Road, Woodstock, VA
38 deg. 52’ 20” N
78 deg. 31’ 47” W

At Cook’s we gassed up, bought permits ($5/4×4) and sandwiches then drove to the trail head (15 mins).

Lunch by the lake.

Edinburg/Peters Mill trail
38 deg. 47’ 22” N
78 deg. 31’ 8” W

No problems with meeting; driving out; getting permits, etc. We got to the Peters Mill parking lot by about 10:30. Ryann really had no previous experience, but a very capable vehicle. I asked her to just follow me and put her tires where I put mine, etc. She did fine. Jake scouted via motorcycle and moved up and down the line to be sure everyone was in good shape.

Beautiful Trails

Sam and Bill only had time to do the first half, so they had lunch with us and dumped onto the road that runs by the campground end of the trail. About 6.5 miles. Bill also brought his daughter, who had a good time playing with my Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.

On the way back, Ryann was much more comfortable and kept up a good pace, which was a lot of fun. Everyone had a good time and we were aired up and on the road a little after 3PM, well before dark. Everyone had a good time and wanted more.





Here are a few videos from our adventure:







Photo Album: 12/05/15 Taskers Gap

Trail report written by Mike O’Grady. Pictures courtesy of Mike O’Grady.

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