Harper Doss Loop (71 Miles)
Harper Doss Loop features Gillespie County's scenic and cycling-friendly western plateau. It also incorporates two small eponymous towns, each offering hydration and sustenance resources.
This large loop begins by climbing out of Fredericksburg. After a few miles of highway shoulder, the route utilizes terrific rural country roads that meander up the sustained but mild Old Mason Climb. This climb leads to a plateau that underpins Harper, Texas and its surrounding area.
Once on the plateau the early intermediate stages of the route present mostly gentle rolling hills and typical Hill Country scenery. These roads take riders into the town of Harper. With US HWY 87 as its primary throughway, Harper is surprisingly resonant for a small town. It contrasts quiet and calm Doss, located further along this route.
Past Harper, the route rolls down a long slope—and off the aforementioned plateau—for a sustained stretch. This section requires little navigation and the friendly terrain makes for fun cycling leading to Doss.
Doss provides this route's best opportunity for refueling at the friendly and usually quiet convenience store located just north of the intersection of RR 783 and RR 648.
Departing Doss, the route heads north and soon turns right for a quick dash past Lange's Mill. Riders then enjoy a long mild rise leading toward the left turn on RR 648 and the challenge of Fang, a biting climb.
After vanquishing Fang, riders find brief relief along another friendly section. This respite precedes another challenge up the early steeper slopes of the Hilltop climb.
At Hilltop's peak lies the Hilltop Cafe, a quirky Hill Country restaurant. This landmark signals a short section of wide shoulder riding on US HWY 87 back to the country road detour down Old Mason Road. At that road's terminus, the route turns right and leads directly back into Fredericksburg, again utilizing the wide highway shoulder.
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This route begins and ends at the Fredericksburg, Texas Visitor Center. Find it at the corner of Austin Street and Lincoln Street, one block north of Main Street. (Click for Google Maps)
This departure location favors groups of gathering cyclists because it features off-street parking. When forming a group ride here, we recommend cyclists gather in the large parking lot located behind (north of) the Visitor Center (and Chamber of Commerce) office buildings. To minimize exposure to traffic, we discourage gathering in front of the facility on busy Austin Street.
The restrooms here usually open at 8 A.M. For more information visit the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce website at www.fredericksburg-texas.com.