FATMAP difficulty grade
The Massanutten Mountain Trail, sometimes listed as the Massanutten "Ring" or "Loop," is a 71-mile circuit touring many of Virginia's finest ridgelines between Front Royal and Luray.
The "trail," which the locals simply nicknamed "The Ring," "is hard, rocky, and slow," and though portions of the loop "have been around for centuries," the circuit was not officially completed until 2002.
Today, it's considered one of the most epic undertakings available to a trail runner anywhere in Appalachia. According to the local trail club, "the selective amnesia of most trail runners is an amazing thing to behold." They note how "virtually every finisher touches on these three themes before they drift off to sleep after completing their 71-mile run: the aid stations and volunteers were great; the finishing descent down Signal Knob sucks; and thank goodness that this is done, so that I never have to do it again.
Yet somehow many do return to beat themselves up on the rocky Massanutten Trail yet again." Those who successfully complete the circuit are then welcomed into "The Fellowship of The Ring," a registry of all who have completed the run.
Originally, there were even unofficial restrictions on running it more than once each year, though that policy has since been lifted.
According to [fastestknowntime.com](https://fastestknowntime.com/route/massanutten-mountain-trail-va), some of the fastest supported efforts hover around the 14-hour mark, while *unsupported* times range from 16 to 23 hours. Seen here, the version of the route begins on Edinburg Road near Woodstock.
Several road crossings allow vehicle and crew access along the way, and any of them could be chosen as a start point based on where you are driving from.
Late summer and early fall are the most common time of year to attempt the run, though early spring is preferred by others. Sources: http://www.vhtrc.org/news/theRing https://fastestknowntime.com/route/massanutten-mountain-trail-va