Many Rivers and Fords 600K
This year’s 600k is a variation of Lynn Kristianson’s 2010 Many Rivers route which she has re-worked for a kinder, gentler final 200k which travels the flatter piedmont and tidewater regions to the south and east of Warrenton. The “second day” is largely based on George Moore’s (thank you George) Rappahannock Randonee in the reverse direction. It includes several battlefields and other sites of historic importance to the Civil War.
Heading south and west from the Warrenton Hampton Inn, the riders pass through Rixeyville and continue west to Griffinsburg where the route turns south into Madison County. After Madison, there are many miles on VA230, with wonderful Blue Ridge views and moderate terrain, to a control in Wolfsville and then on to US33 in Stanardsville. From there we pick up the very scenic 810 through the foothills in Greene and Albemarle counties.
After crossing US250 in Crozet the rollers become more intense; the control in the phenomenal Batesville store will be most welcome. The grueling trip out to Nellysford is swapped this year for a southeasterly roll down wonderful Plank Road and then a slightly hillier stretch to the very basic Howardsville General Store on the James River.
Moving east from the mountains, the terrain moderates through Fluvanna and Louisa counties. After a possible dinner stop in Louisa, it’s a straight road due north until the route crosses the Rapidan and turns east onto the old familiar Algoquin Trail. Bypassing the narrow, dark roads around Kelly’s Ford, instead it heads north to Brandy Station and then east to Remington. Crossing US15, 29 and 17 a number of times, riders return to Warrenton on Lover’s Lane and Lees Ridge.
The second loop of the route heads due south from Warrenton through southern Fauquier and Stafford counties. Some of these roads are pretty busy during the day; an early start is highly recommended. There is a short section of suburban confusion and some increasingly built-up areas until the route intersects Bike Route 1 just west of I-95 and US1. A very quiet approach to Fredericksburg encounters a couple of tough hills, but almost no traffic until the Rappahannock bridge. There is no control in downtown Fredericksburg but breakfast or coffee possibilities are numerous, including Hyperion Espresso a few blocks of the route. After the commotion of old town Fredericksburg the route passes through the National Park Service Battlefield along serene tree-lined Lee Drive. A very short gravel section finishes the battlefield and resumes quiet suburban and then rural roads into Caroline County and the southernmost control at the NPS Stonewall Jackson Shrine.
From here the route swings west and finally turns north to an open control in Spotsylvania Courthouse. Here the riders pick up the northeasterly return - through more battlefields - for the Wilderness Campaign and several other permanents, along Brock Road, Eleys Ford Road and past the Inn at Kelly’s Ford on Edwards Shop Road. Continuing east on Summerduck, the route then takes some little used roads to Midland and finally the very lovely Rogues Road to Neville’s Mill for the final information control before the finish. A few unhappy rollers bring the riders to Meetze and the finish in Warrenton.