10 Virginia Bicycle Routes for Any Season

by Casey Higgins | Posted: Nov 2, 2015 | Updated: Mar 9, 2017

Comments: 20 Comments

Any season is the perfect season if you’re an avid cyclist. Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet … you get the picture. Roll on along Virginia’s most popular bicycle routes and enjoy the beauty of now.

 

HIGH BRIDGE TRAIL | BURKEVILLE TO PAMPLIN CITY —

At 31 miles long, this rail-to-trail is a beautiful stroll through small communities with the namesake High Bridge being the cherry on top. Finely crushed limestone makes for an easy, pretty level ride.

TIP: Stop for lunch in Farmville. The Bakery, an “as seen on TV” diner, and a waterfront eatery are all steps from the trail.

High Bridge Trail State Park

High Bridge Trail State Park

 

VIRGINIA CAPITAL TRAIL | RICHMOND TO WILLIAMSBURG —

Connecting the Commonwealth’s past and present capitals is the 52-mile Virginia Capital Trail. You’ll love its paved surface, the bridges, fences, cornfields, and other nice details along the route.

TIP: Check out the interactive Trail Map to pin down parking and restrooms. For lunch, consider Cul’s Courthouse Grille. It’s a mid-way point offering delicious specials.

Virginia Capital Trail

Virginia Capital Trail

 

NEW RIVER TRAIL | PULASKI TO GALAX —

A rail trail, New River Trail meanders 57 miles through four counties while paralleling the river for which it’s named for 39 miles. It’s a multi-use trail, welcoming to hikers, cyclists, and equestrians.

TIP: Download the Trail Guide to identify parking, camping, restrooms, and points of interest. Get sidetracked for a little while to enjoy lunch in Wytheville. We hear there are “world famous hot dogs” there.

New River Trail State Park

New River Trail State Park

 

VIRGINIA CREEPER TRAIL | ABINGDON TO WHITETOP —

If you want to, the Virginia Creeper Trail can be all down hill. Now that is my kind of cycling. The 34.3-mile rail trail is beautiful in every season, and is a multi-use trail open for horseback riding, cycling, and hiking.

TIP: Connect with a bike service to ride the route backwards. Whitetop Station to Alvardo Station is down hill (*wink*). GPS Directions for Parking

Virginia Creeper Trail

Virginia Creeper Trail

 

HEART OF APPALACHIA BIKE ROUTE | BURKES GARDEN TO COEBURN —

Serious cyclists will love this 128-mile route comprised of roads, rail trails, single-track trails, and more. Make it a “bucket list” item and backpack your way through it, from Burkes Garden to Guest River Gorge in Coeburn. Take a little more time and explore the additional 40 miles of side trails, which lead to beautiful places like Russell Creek Falls and The Pinnacle at Big Cedar Falls.

TIP: Be prepared. This is a fairly self-sufficient adventure. RideWithGPS.com Route Map

Scenic Burkes Garden

Scenic Burkes Garden

 

COLONIAL PARKWAY | JAMESTOWN TO YORKTOWN —

This historic 23-mile drive is beautiful as fall colors appear in early November. It’s a fantastic route for leaf peepers and history lovers alike, as the 17th century comes into view with connected destinations like Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown.

TIP: Be aware that motorists share the Parkway. Bicycles and pedestrians are not allowed through the Williamsburg tunnel. More Information

Colonial Parkway

Colonial Parkway

 

MOUNT VERNON TRAIL | ARLINGTON TO MOUNT VERNON —

Winding from George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island, this 18-mile paved multi-use trail connects to four other trails, including the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail. Presidential pedaling indeed.

TIP: Pop into The Chart House in Old Town Alexandria for a diverse menu of lunch options. It’s also a great place from which to people watch. Trail Map

Mount Vernon Bike Trail

Mount Vernon Bike Trail

 

WASHINGTON & OLD DOMINION TRAIL | ARLINGTON TO PURCELLVILLE —

At 45 miles long, the paved W&OD Trail is a popular route of transportation for residents commuting on bicycles. From Purcellville in Loudoun County into the Shirlington neighborhood of Arlington, it’s a gem of a rail trail with plenty of Civil War history for those who care to learn a bit more.

TIP: This trail can get pretty busy, so if you are coming on a weekend be prepared to face the crowds.

Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park

Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park

 

TOBACCO HERITAGE TRAIL | BROADNAX TO SOUTH HILL —

The Tobacco Heritage Trail is a regional endeavor to create a multi-use trail system for hikers and cyclists. Various segments are already open for your exploration and enjoyment.

TIP: The web map displays trailheads, parking, and towns. Know before you go.

Tobacco Heritage Trail

Tobacco Heritage Trail

 

U.S. BICYCLE ROUTE 76 ON THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY | AFTON TO MONTEBELLO —

Who has the most miles of the U.S. Bicycle Route System? Virginia, of course, with 838 miles. Bike a section of it when you enjoy 25 miles USBR 76 as it shares the road with the Blue Ridge Parkway in Nelson County.

TIP: Hit a triple when you hike part of the Appalachian Trail. It parallels and criss-crosses this same segment of road for about 10 or more miles.

Cycling the Blue Ridge Parkway

Cycling the Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Download the Virginia Bicycle Map: Side One | Side Two

 

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20 Comments

Betsy Ballowe says:

It would be helpful to have info about the grade of the trails…how hilly, completely flat, mild climbs, etc.

Boo says:

Please make maps with these great lists!!!! Thanks!!!

Dave says:

Boo, Hi! Thanks for the compliment and we do try and add maps to the articles when we can. In the mean time, check out http://www.virginia.org/bicycling/ for more information on some of the trails mentioned in this article with online and downloadable maps for each.

Reggie says:

Wow, wow, wow! Cannot wait to try some of them!

Will you add The Jackson River Scenic Trail to the list? It is a gorgeous trail for leisure biking up to 14 miles round trip (up/back) so it’s great to take children. Thanks!

Dave says:

Sandra, Hi! We will look into adding the Jackson Scenic Trail with our next update. Thanks for the mention.

Debbie says:

Wow! These look like great traps! Makes me want to go tomorrow?

Andrea says:

There is no longer a “Waterfront Market ” in Old Town Alexandria. Many other dining alternatives are available

GP says:

Many of these have a geocache trail along them. Examples I know of are the Virginia Creeper, the Tobacco Trail and the Virginia Capital Trail.

Kia says:

You forgot Orlean to flint hill va!

W&OD is 50 yards from my house. Great trail, which connects to so many others. Happy riding.