May is National Bike Month and we’re happy to tell you all about casual, relaxed biking in Virginia.
Arguably Virginia’s most well-known bicycling destination is the Virginia Creeper Trail. This rails-to-trails initiative runs 34.3 miles from Abingdon to Whitetop Mountain (the second highest summit in Virginia). Avoid the mountain climb by taking a shuttle from Damascus to Whitetop and coasting all the way down. Bike Rentals
Just re-opened last spring is the 31-mile High Bridge Trail State Park trail. Touching four counties and five towns, the trail is wide and mostly flat with the amazing 2,400-foot-long 1853 High Bridge as its centerpiece.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a bike path for the ages. The altitude ranges from 600 to 6,000 feet and the views are second to none. Choose a common entry point and ride for a while (out and back) to avoid drastic elevation changes. We suggest biking between mileposts 24 and 0 where the total elevation change heading north is 1,450 feet. Avoid the first major up Note that bicyclists should expect significant distances between developed areas, so use caution regarding wildlife and be sure to bring plenty of water and high energy foods. More Tips
Virginia’s most extensive bicycle network is found in Northern Virginia. Primarily used for transportation, the trails and paths also lend themselves to recreation and relaxation. Most noted in this network is the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park’s 45-mile paved shared-use path that connects Shirlington in Alexandria to Purcellville in Loudoun County.
The Virginia Capital Trail will one day connect Virginia’s first settlement (Jamestown) to its first Colonial Capital (Williamsburg) to the current Capital in Richmond. At 54 miles long, the trail follows the Route 5 Virginia Byway, so cyclists can take in the beauty of the James River plantations as well as Revolutionary War and Civil War battlefields. Currently there are four sections of the trail complete – seven miles between the Chickahominy Riverfront and Greensprings, seven and one-half-mile Charles City courthouse section, and one mile of the Richmond Riverfront.
Those looking for a more challenging ride will love the Liberty Mountain Trail System in Lynchburg. It includes more than 65 miles of single and double track trails and logging roads spanning about 5,000 acres. Liberty Mountain rises over 1,360 feet offering cross country and gravity-fed trails. More Mountain Biking
Learn more about Cycling the Commonwealth:
- Tobacco Heritage Trail
- US Bicycle Route 76
- Heart of Appalachia Route
- New River Trail
- Bicycling the Commonwealth Map (full map side | trails side)