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Winter Building!! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 30 March 2014 16:04


The winter of 2013/2014 for Northern Virginia and much of the east coast will certainly go down as one of the worst for trail building in recent history.  Our estimated build schedule was thrown out the door as snow storm after snow storm blanketed our favorite trail.  On top of the snow issues we had periods of arctic cold that made digging almost impossible followed by rapid warm-ups that made the ground a soupy mess.

Despite the weather related set-backs, the construction Team of Ironwood Outdoors and Bergrad Trails were able to complete and open all of Project Area 1 (PA1).  PA1, the climb up and out of the picnic table area and into Port Charlotte, was originally about 6/10's of a mile in length.  The new segment is now 1.4 miles in length.  In addition to the added mileage, PA1 has several board walk features, several rock gardens, a short jump line and a couple of small jumps.  Signage at the front of PA1 will warn riders about what is coming and will encourage them to walk sections they can not navigate in favor of riding around them.  PA1 makes good use of the original legacy trail by using two sections in the reverse direction to help increase the final mileage of the finished product.


As the weather started turning for the worse, it was decided that the builders would skip from PA1 to PA3.  This would allow the builders to keep working while conditions were less than optimal and riders to continue to ride on the long established original trail tread.  Although the new trail will ultimately be more sustainable than the old, we have found that in the first year of a new build, the trail tread, without thousands of lap passes on it, is highly vulnerable to frost heave caused by rapid freeze thaw cycles.


PA3 cuts new trail deeper into the heart of Port Charlotte and will increase the overall length of the system by approximately a mile.  It will include the longest jump line in the project, several platform jumps (with ride arounds) and a nice but very narrow section of hand built trail on some of the steepest side-slopes in the entire Park.



PA3 helps us try and meet our goal of an overall system length of between 14 and 15 miles.


For those wishing to follow the progress of the redesign, a FLIKR gallery has been created.  We hope to document construction well this time:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/7539745@N05/sets/72157636940846243/

For Facebook Users looking for up-to-date information, the Fountainhead Project maintains its page at:  https://www.facebook.com/thefountainheadproject


Last Updated on Sunday, 30 March 2014 17:04
The Black Loop Ground Breaking PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 13:08

The Fountainhead Project is pleased to announce that Phase II construction out on the Black Loop has officially broke ground.

This Phase of the Fountainhead Mountain Bike redesign has been divided into 5 Project Area's with construction occurring in linear order from Project Area 1 though Project Area 5.

Project Area 1, located directly across the bridge at the picnic table area, will be the show case for the entire Black Loop.  This Project Area will contain short samples of all of the components from the entire loop.  From the heavily signed and corralled entrance with rock and wood qualifiers to the short down hill jump line, riders will be given a taste of what the trail will be like over the next 7 miles.

The Fountainhead Phase II redesign project differs from the Phase I project by shifting the design component onto the shoulders of the builders.  Although we were very happy with results of the Phase I effort and ridership at the Park has nearly tripled since finishing Phase I, we recognized the limitations on creativity imposed on the builders by restricting them to a 30 foot wide corridor of a design created by someone else.  Our current Team of builders, a joint effort between Ironwood Outdoors and Bergrad Trails, have worked well with the Fountainhead Project, MORE and the land owner, The Northern Virginia Park Authority (NVRPA).  The design is solid, change orders have been well received and the creativity and imagination seem to be flowing abundantly.

For those wishing to follow the progress of the redesign, a FLIKR gallery has been created.  We hope to document construction well this time:



For Facebook Users looking for up-to-date information, the Fountainhead Project maintains its page at:  https://www.facebook.com/thefountainheadproject

Last Updated on Sunday, 30 March 2014 15:07
The Black Loop Project is under contract! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 26 August 2013 20:07

August 2013: UPDATE

The Northern Virginia Park Authority received two excellent RFP submissions for the Fountainhead Black Loop redesign. The first submission was a joint effort from Ironwood Outdoors and Bergrad Trails.

Ironwood Outdoors run by Brock Lowery, was one of the prime contractors on the Green and Blue Loop redesign effort that took place last year. Bergrad trails is operated by Geoff Allen. Geoff lives local to Fountainhead, rides there often and was the volunteer who came in and fixed some of the trail issues out on the Blue loop using his own machine and time.

The second submission came from 402Trails, owned and operated by Brad Stone. Brad also worked on the Green and Blue trails and was responsible for the highly acclaimed and well received Big Flow Berms that are his signature style of building.

We are proud to report that the Park has gone forward and selected the design from Bergrad and Ironwood Outdoors. Congratulations to Geoff and Brock!!

We would like to send a special THANK YOU to Brad Stone and his crew at 402Trails. Fountainhead would not be the place that it is today without his vision and expertise as a master trail builder.

Since receiving the design from Bergrad/Ironwood Outdoors the Fountainhead Project has been working closely with the builders to further refine and expand the design to further meet the needs of the Fountainhead Mountain Bike Community. The below map represents the latest update we have. The lines were generated from GPS tracks that followed the actual pin flags that have been placed in the ground.


With this design it is proposed that 4.8 miles of new trail be built, 2.5 miles of the existing trail will be retained and 1.5 miles of unsustainable trail be closed. This will bring the distance of the current Black Loop from 3.93 miles to approximately 5.2 miles. When completed the new trail with all three loops should be approximately 13.3 to 13.5 miles long.

As with the first project, Vulcan Quarries has stepped up to provide us the much needed stone to further enhance the Black Diamond experience of the new trail. To be exact they have agreed to donate 7 loads of stone ranging in size of “Baby Heads” to Boulders.




The new Black loop will incorporate; jumps, drops, rollers, berms, boardwalks and of course a rock garden or two.

The Black Loop project is being funded by a matching grant from the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the VA Bureau of Land Management. To maximize 100% of the $152,000 available under the grant a matching $30,400 in cash, labor, service and material donations must be raised. Cash and labor donations totally approximately 22K have been raised to date but we need more. Click on the DONATE NOW button to help the project directly with cash. Every dollar raised will go directly to building trail. And please look for announcements regarding work days. Under Recreational Trail Project guidelines, for every volunteer hour donated, $22.03 can be applied towards matching requirements.

Do you want to be kept up to date on the latest regarding the project. Consider “liking” us on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/thefountainheadproject). Not a Facebook person? Our page is wide open. You won’t get alerts but can check the page often for updates.

Last Updated on Sunday, 08 September 2013 18:09
The Black Loop RFP has been Released!!!! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 16:27

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA) in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) is seeking a contractor to provide an experienced trail crew to construct new mountain bike-specific single-direction natural surface singletrack trails at Fountainhead Regional Park.

The Black Loop redesign will continue and improve on the work accomplished during the 2012 Phase I Green and Blue loop redesign.  However, the goal of the completed Phase II trails is to give riders a “Black Diamond” (defined as, amongst the most difficult, or advanced) experience while maintaining sustainability and care for the land on which they are built.   Trail features such as armoring, wooden boardwalks, ledges, kickers and berms may be implementeded in order to achieve a Black Diamond trail.   After the Phase I construction was completed, descriptors of the redesigned Green and Blue loops were; “fast, flowy, downhill and rollercoaster like”.  For the redesigned Black Diamond loop the design should take into account things like; “tight, technical, slow and uphill”.  Riders should have to work to finish this loop.

The Phase II redesign of the Fountainhead Mountain Bike Trail System is being funded by a Virginia Recreation Trails Program grant. 

Potential Bidders are encouraged to go to the NVRPA main Fountainhead Page to download the RFP, Bid Worksheets, Addendums and answers to questions and clarifications.

To read the RFP from this site please go to:  The Fountainhead Black Loop RFP

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 June 2013 16:35
Phase II is Coming!! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 13 November 2012 02:43

Just a few short weeks ago, we here at the Fountainhead Project seriously discussed shutting down the Project. Earlier in the year we had received negative news about our RTP grant application and our funding for a proposed demo project fell through. And then the below letter showed up in the NVRPA mail box.

We are months and months away from new construction but it looks like the fun is about to begin!!!


The public comment period has begun for the Phase II construction on the Fountainhead Mountain Bike trail. Now is your time to express your concerns, objections or comments to the Park: http://www.nvrpa.org/uploads/Files/Fountainheadmountainbiketrailpubcomment.pdf


The Grant Award for the Phase II construction is for $152,000.  On April 11th, 2012 the Mid Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE), as part of the RTP Grant Application, pledged to raise $16K in cash, provide nearly $17K in volunteer labor and plans to provide over $5K in rental of trail building assets.


Once the environmental studies are completed, an RTP written, released and awarded; we will conduct several volunteer days.  Under the RTP guidelines, as long as we properly record volunteer information, each volunteer hour is worth $22.03 an hour.


Want to contribute now?  Click on the Donate NOW button on the Right Hand side of the Page!

Last Updated on Friday, 16 November 2012 04:01
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