Mill Mountain | Roanoke
Less than 5 minutes from downtown Roanoke, Mill Mountain Park offers incredible mountain biking within 5 minutes of downtown Roanoke. The trails encompass Roanoke’s highest point – the summit of Mill Mountain (1703 ft.) and the Roanoke Star. This area offers 900 acres of parkland atop Mill Mountain, picnic areas, two overlooks that provide 20-60 mile vistas, access to additional hiking trails, the Mill Mountain Zoo and the Mill Mountain Discovery Center.
Arcadia Up-n-Over | Roanoke
The Up segment: N37 32.497, W79 34.9 Start riding in the same direction as you arrived (eastward) for 2 miles. This gentle climb turns from smooth asphalt to gravel, netting your first 475′ vertical. At the end, you’ll note a trail to the right, and a trail to the left with a bridge. Kiosks describe this as the Apple Orchard Falls trail (left). The Cornelius Creek trail to the right will provide your return trip.
Pandapas Pond |Jefferson National Forest | Blacksburg | (540) 552-4641 | Elevations and trails
Pandapas Pond is an eight-acre manmade pond that offers fishing, hiking, flat-water canoeing and picnicking. A one-mile loop circles the lake for walkers, runners and leashed dogs. The upper parking lot is adjacent to the Poverty Creek Trail System, which provides mountain biking and horseback riding trails.
Explore Park | Roanoke
Explore Park Trail System, located adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway, is a 1,100-acre preserve, situated along the Roanoke River Gorge, offering both IMBA certified mountain bike trails and access to hundreds of miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Mountain bike trail options (6+) ranging from 10 miles. Many of the trails are loop trails, and are easy to moderately difficult.
Mountain Lake | Pembroke | Blacksburg Ranger District |
Skill Level – Moderate to difficult
The resort offers many guest activities on its 2,600-acre lot, and recently designated several miles of its wooded trails for mountain bikes. Tangent Outfitters of Dublin, Virginia, occupies a small shop at the resort and rents mountain bikes form the Lakeview Cottage. Guided mountain bike trips are also scheduled form the resort for those interested in exploring some of the area’s more scenic spots. Maps detailing their trail systems are available form Mountain Lake Resort. This fairly large loop, form Mountain Lake Resort to Butt Mountain, doesn’t actually use any of the trails on the Mountain Lake Resort property. Instead, it leads cyclists on a more strenuous off-road journey deep into the Jefferson National Forest. This is a great ride for anyone interested in spending an afternoon mountain biking, who isn’t afraid of a few hefty climbs along the way. Trail Surface: hilly dirt roads and jeep trails, some of which can get rocky.
Mountain Lake to Butt Mountain | Pembroke | Blacksburg Ranger District | (540) 552-4641 |
Skill Level – Moderate to difficult
This ride’s general location is 20 miles north of Blacksburg. Scenery includes splendid panoramic views, especially from the top of Butt Mountain. This loop will take you across the tops of several mountains on terrain that is not flat but much flatter than you might expect. You’ll soon understand Mountain Lake’s claim, “We’ll put you on top of the world.” This loop offers little in the way of technical challenges and only moderate ups and downs on hard-packed and hard-surface roads, so the distance is the only factor determining what level of riders could comfortably handle this ride.
Brush Mountain | Blacksburg
Skill Level – Physically and technically tough
Brush Mountain has become, for nearly all off-road cyclists in this area, the quintessential mountain biking haven. Its proximity to town and campus — the mountain is cycling distance from the Virginia Tech campus — makes Brush Mountain an ideal place for busy students to ride. This mountain is also home to some of the finest off-road bicycling trails in the state of Virginia. The Brush and Gap Mountain multiple-use trails have not gone under-appreciated. Local clubs practice regular trail maintenance to preserve this mountain biking mecca. There are numerous waterbeds strategically placed along the steep descents that protect the trails form excessive run-off and erosion. Trail courdoroying, a method of repairing wet or muddy trails, is also evident throughout the mountain’s trail system, further maintaining the trail’s integrity form so much use. Trail Surface: Singletrack and gravel road.
Mountain Bike Heaven |Wytheville | Mount Rogers National Recreation Area | (540)783-5196 |
Skill Level – Aerobically and technically moderate
This ride’s general location is 12 miles south of Wytheville. Scenery includes great views of neighboring peaks and ridges. This loop utilizes single-track, double-track, and Forest Service roads that are part of the Highlands Horse Trail. Except for rank novices, most mountain bikers can handle the mileage and terrain of this trail. Ride the trail during the week when you can have the area to yourself. The 2.5-mile climb on double-track and single-track will be the most difficult part. Don’t be reluctant to stop and admire the outstanding views of neighboring peaks and ridges. The 3-mile double-track descent will leave you grinning for weeks. Advanced cyclists will want to add the 1.5-mile (3 miles total) single-track out-and-back Henley Hollow Trail and then follow the Iron Mountain option, which will create a more challenging and somewhat longer 11-mile loop.
Seven Sisters Trail |Wytheville | Jefferson National Forest |
Skill Level – Difficult
This will demand the very best of you. It is challenging from the very beginning. The seven peaks on Little Walker Mountain can surprise you and tantalize you. The series of gradual inclines in the beginning pump your legs so much they’ll feel like rocks. Take the chance to refuel as you go down the backside of each peak. The last major incline at mile 2.6 is the climb of all climbs. The delicious 1.7-mile downhill will leave you drooling for more, along whit the spectacular view of Walker and Brushy mountains. Trail Surface: Older established trail is well maintained and quite challenging.
Tract Fork and Polecat Trails | Pulaski | Jefferson National Forest | (540) 552-4641 |
Skill Level – Aerobically and technically moderate
This ride’s general location is 8 miles northwest of Pulaski. Scenery includes dense woods with creekside and mountain views. These trails are in good shape and are among some of the best single-track riding in western Virginia. This loop combines single-track with hard-packed FS Road 707 to create a ride that offers advanced beginners and more experienced riders an opportunity to ride rocky single-track and forest roads along mountain streams.
New River Trail Cruise | Galax | New River Trail State Park | (703) 699-6778 |
Skill Level – Intermediate
A bicycle tour along the New River Trail can take you back fifty or sixty years; it can also take you back more than 100 million years. It all depends on your perspective and the elasticity of your imagination. The New River is the second-oldest river in the world and dates back geologically more than 100 million years. Get out on the trail, scan the water rushing past high rock cliffs, and ponder that. As you pedal you will also see clear, tangible evidence of a once-thriving railroad culture. there are two tunnels and three major bridges to remind you that a railroad once roared alongside the river, rattled across bridges, and roared through these tunnels. There are also abandoned mills and industrial sites to visit. Terrain: originally engineered as a railroad line, the trail is relatively flat with an occasional, slight uphill grade.
Primland Resort | Meadows of Dan
This 12,000-acre Blue Ridge Mountain resort features fishing, walking trails, mountain biking, horseback riding, star gazing (with or without a telescope), shooting sports and more. Golf, tennis, geocaching, ATV tours and swimming are also available.
Grayson Highlands State Park | Volney | Grayson Highlands State Park | (540) 579-7092 |
Skill Level – Difficult
Virginia’s highest state park, Grayson Highlands, lies adjacent to Mount Rogers (5729 feet), Virginia’s highest point, and ties together a unique collection of flora and fauna. A highly versatile recreational area, the park is one of the most picturesque spots you’ll find in Southwestern Virginia. You’re likely to encounter some of the wild ponies that live and roam in the park year-round or catch the blooming of the Catawba rhododendron in the middle of June. Visitors are encouraged not to feed or spook the ponies, but they are relatively calm and will gladly pose for a photo. The large light pink bloom of the Catawba explode during the hot summer months and are accentuated by their cluster of shiny oval shaped leaves. The aroma alone is worth the trip. Most of the Catawbas are around four feet high, but they can grow in excess of eight feet. Trail Surfaces: Flat sections, smooth up hills, and wet rocky down hills.
Whitetop Mountain | Damascus | Mount Rogers National Recreation Area | (540) 783-5196 |
Skill Level – Aerobically tough but technically easy
This ride’s general location is 15 miles east of Damascus. Scenery includes great top-of-the-world views. Whitetop Mountain remains the highest point you can climb on a mountain bike. Those of you who want to look down on the rest of Virginia will want to make a run at this out-and-back. You can also view mountain peaks in neighboring North Carolina and Tennessee from here. Anyone attempting this ride should be a strong climber, since you’ll gain nearly 1,000 feet during the 4.2 mile “out” portion of this thigh burner.
Grayson Highlands State Park | Damascus | Grayson Highlands State Park | (540) 579-7092|
Skill Level – Aerobic: Moderate. Technical: Moderate.
The trails at Grayson Highlands can also serve as connectors and beginnings to many other trails in Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Scenery includes mountain meadows full of highbush blueberries, white water, old forest, and cattle are part of this ride. The trail is wide and clear, though pock-marked by horse hooves; stream crossings, with large and hard-to-see stones, deserve caution. It’s not demanding aerobically, but there is one three-quarter-mile climb.
Iron Mountain Trail to Damascus | Damascus | Mount Rogers National Recreation Area | (800) 628-7202 |
Skill Level – Aerobic: Moderately difficult. Technical: Advanced.
The IMT (Iron Mountain Trail), uses closed service roads as well as singletrack to make up the thoroughly challenging — both technically and physically — eight and a half miles in between FS 90 and Damascus. It’s fairly easy and inexpensive to use the shuttle service (if you choose) which is provided by the local stores in Damascus. The initial mile-long climb will give you a great return on the speedy downhill that follows, and it’s worth every labored breath. Doubletrack gives way to tight singletrack; thick forest canopies break away into ski-wide overlooks. Creek crossings and narrow jumbles of stone that require careful maneuvering — it’s all here. This ride lies within the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, uses a section of the former treadway of the Appalachian Trail, and passes near Iron Mountain.
Beartree Recreation Area | Damascus | Mount Rogers National Recreation Area | (540) 783-5196 |Skill Level – Aerobically and technically tough
This ride’s general location is east of Damascus. Scenery includes roadside streams and vistas from atop Iron Mountain. This loop starts and ends at the Beartree Recreation Area and includes enough riding on the Iron Mountain Trail to please anyone who likes rocky, technical single-track. There is also a short section of this ride on hard-surface road through the recreation area. Although not a long ride, this is a moderately challenging one and should be undertaken by those with moderate to advanced bike handling skills and physical abilities.
Feathercamp Ridge | Damascus | Mount Rogers National Recreation Area | (540) 783-5196 |
Skill Level -Aerobically and technically tough
This ride’s general location is 6 miles east of Damascus. Scenery includes a panorama of Virginia’s highest peaks. This ride is pretty simple-you’ll bust a gut getting to the top and have the ride of your life getting back down. Along the way you’ll see views too heavenly for mere mortals, and you’ll pass numerous access points for other rides fanning off in all directions from this peak. This is a tough climb that only intermediate and stronger riders should attempt. But if you’re an experienced novice who’s itching to ride with the big kids, switch into granny gear and get a running start.
Rowlands Creek Falls Circuit | Marion | Mount Rogers National Recreation Area | (540) 783-5196 |
Skill Level – Aerobically tough and technically moderate
This ride’s general location is 10 miles south of Marion. Scenery includes several creeks and the falls. This loop is a combination of rocky single-track and wooded forest roads encircling Chestnut Ridge on the northern edge of Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Its climbs and generally uneven riding surfaces make it a challenge for intermediate and better bikers; however, less-experienced riders who are content to get off and walk when the going gets tough can enjoy much of the Rowlands Creek Falls Circuit. The ride has 2 high points: one is the top of an infamous climb up Jerry’s Creek Trail. The second is the series of falls along Rowlands Creek that cascade through a dark, shaded area.
Barton Gap | Mount Rogers National Recreation Area | (540) 783-5196 |
Skill Level – Aerobically tough and technically easy
This ride’s general location is 15 miles south of Marion. Scenery includes roadside streams lined with towering hemlocks and hardwoods. This loop is relatively short but still quite challenging. Technical challenges are few, but you’ll find yourself wishing you’d packed some oxygen while climbing steadily along a forest road and then a rough woods road. Fortunately, there are still downhills in this densely wooded section of Mount Rogers National Recreation Area to make you forget the exertion by the time you finish at Hurricane Creek Campground. Riders should have at least an average degree of fitness. Those looking for a longer ride can combine Barton Gap and Rowlands Creek Falls Circuit to create an immense physical challenge.
Southern Traverse Epic | Harrisonburg | (540) 434-2319
Skill Level –
Ride into history on the Southern Traverse Epic trail located in Virginia’s George Washington National Forest. The trailhead is near the Confederate Breastworks, an army camp created to stop Union troops from reaching Shenandoah Mountain.
With 3,000 feet of climbing over 32 epic miles, this ride promises to test your courage and endurance. The backbone of the Southern Traverse is the south end of the Shenandoah Mountain Trail, a 11-mile single track ridge-ride. The ridge is accessed by a double track climb that ascends 1,800 feet through a picturesque hardwood hollow. The snaking trail follows the ridge south and is an amazing melody of smooth and fast downhills and technical rock gardens.
Cumberland Gap National Park
50 miles of trails over 20,000 acres of wilderness.
Guest River Gorge Trail
Short but sweet at 5.8 miles.
Catawba Road in Blacksburg
Passes through pastoral landscapes and is part of the great TransAmerica Bikeway.
Deer Trail Park and Campground | Wytheville
Features more than 50 acres of nature trails and is located on a scenic byway.
Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail | Abingdon
330 miles. The trail commemorates and preserves the route of march of patriot militia who fought and defeated a force of 1,000 British soldiers at the Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina.
Mountain Bike Park | Radford
12 trails that cover 8 miles of serene habitat. Easy to Advanced
Mount Rogers Loop | Mount Rogers National Recreation Area |Damascus
115,000-acre wilderness region with more than 400 miles of trails, some of them exceedingly difficult and some climbing to Mount Rogers at 5,729 feet. The loop system has 8 miles of trails, winding over creeks, through valley meadows and across some of southwest Virginia’s most impressive mountain peaks.
Burke’s Garden | Tazewell County
Tazewell to the Guest River Gorge in Wise County -128 miles of breathtaking scenery!
Breaks Interstate Park
The “Grand Canyon of the South” – has 13 trails along the largest gorge east of the Mississippi.
Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail
One of the nation’s most historic routes and was the route for settlers of the western frontier!
Guest River Gorge Trail | Jefferson National Forest
A Rails to Trails project that follows an old railroad right of way paralleling the Guest River.
Sugar Hill Loop Trail
An excellent biking challenge for five miles.
Trans-America Bike Route | Big Stone Gap
Follows Rt. 80 through Dickenson and Russell counties.