Get your heart pumping without exerting a maximum amount of effort when you try these 20 easy mountain biking trails in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
While we have plenty of challenging trails like Rattlin’ Run at Carvins Cove and Dragon’s Back on North Mountain, here are some of our favorite options for a more relaxing ride.
Before You Ride: Familiarize yourself with the Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics for Mountain Biking - a set of guidelines to help you enjoy the trails responsibly and minimize your impact on the natural environment.
Greenfield Trail System | Daleville
At 125 acres, Greenfield Recreation Park is the home of the Botetourt Sports Complex and several trails fit for a variety of activities. For your mountain biking pleasure, we recommend these:
1. Greenfield Recreation Trail is grass and encircles the park in its entirety. Watch for pedestrians and horses, as this is a multi-use trail.
2. Cherry Blossom Trail is a short ride (less than a mile) and ADA accessible, and the only thing you’ll encounter on this one is other bikers or walkers. No horses allowed.
Waid Recreation Park | Rocky Mount
In total, there are seven miles of trails inside Wade Recreation Park, and they’re all scenic. You’ll want to try one, two, or all three of these when you go:
3. “What a Day” Trail is just a shade over a half-mile long and is open to hikers. Actually, all three trails are open to hikers, so be mindful as you pedal. This trail meanders through the woods from one parking lot to another. Hop on, hop off, and go to the next.
4. The Fitness Trail is 2.4 miles of loops around ballfields, wooded areas, and parking lots. It connects to the “What a Day” Trail near the baseball fields.
5. River Rambler Loop Trail is not quite a half-mile, but is accessed from the Fitness Trail and is a lovely extension that shoots you over the river and through the woods. (You’re singing now, aren’t you?)
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Carvins Cove Natural Reserve | Roanoke
Fast becoming the premier mountain biking destination on the East Coast, Carvins Cove Natural Area is 12,500 acres with close to 60 miles of trails. Some are quite challenging, so for the easy rider we suggest the following trails:
6. Happy Valley Fire Road … the name says it all. The trailhead for this fire road is at the north end of the boat landing parking area. Follow the trail for 6.7 miles around the cove (you’ll love the views!), then head back to the boat landing. There are other short shoots off the trail that you might enjoy, like Riley Circle, a quick little .3-mile loop by the water’s edge. Don’t worry, it’s also rated “Easy.” Happy Valley also connects to 7. Schoolhouse, a 1.5 mile singletrack trail that winds through the forest and offers some great views of the reservoir. There's also a picnic table at "Vista Point" that makes for a nice spot for a break.
8. Bennett Springs Loop is just under a mile long and loops from the Bennett Springs parking lot on the west side of the reserve on Route 740. There is no view of the reservoir from this trail.
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Claytor Lake State Park | Dublin
One of a healthy collection of 37 Virginia State Parks, Claytor Lake State Park encompasses 472 acres and offers 7.5 miles of trails. In the warmer months you’ll be drawn to the lake itself for on-the-water fun. The cabins are fantastic in any season! For less strenuous mountain biking (also in any season), head out on one or more of these:
9. The Claytor Lake Trail is 1.65 miles long, blazed blue, and connects with our next contender, Bent Tree Trail.
10. Bent Tree Trail just over a mile long and blazed white, Bent Tree can be extended to the next trail, Lakeview, by way of Poplar Leaf, an easy .95-mile trail.
11. Lakeview Trail is also .95-mile and is blazed yellow.
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Falling Creek Park | Bedford
There are ten miles of trails at Falling Creek Park, a venue that hosts several cycling events each year. We recommend these two trails for easy mountain biking:
12. Bluebird Path begins just off the paved path at Trailhead 1 and loops along one side of the creek and then down the other. Near the midway point, you can pick up the next trail = Bikepark – for a traverse along the hill.
13. Bikepark Trail is accessible from the upper parking lot and is a fun series of loops that causes the trail to turn back onto itself.
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Montvale Park | Montvale
More than seven miles of singletrack zig-zag through Montvale Park. The two easiest are Creekside and the aptly named Easy Street. Who wouldn’t want to try a ride on Easy Street?
14. Easy Street is accessible from the parking lot on Quarterwood Road and doesn’t veer far from it as it snakes its way along that side of the park.
15. Creekside hangs along Goose Creek from the Pavilion side of the park. You’ll want to take in the wildlife viewing and sounds of nature as you go about.
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Smith Mountain Lake State Park | Huddleston
Thirteen trails route through the woods and along Smith Mountain Lake at its namesake state park. These three recommended trails range in length from .3 to .9 of a mile, so they’re easy and short.
16. Beechwood is a loop near a camping area and parking lot at Overnight Road. It’s almost a mile long, but you won’t want to pick up the connecting trail – Buck Run – if you’re not up for a more difficult ride.
17. Tobacco Run is a short little loop on a peninsula of the park. At a half-mile in length, you’ll want to connect this one with Beaver Den, another “easy” at .4 of a mile. Both trails stay near Interpretive Trail Road.
18. Lakeview is another peninsula trail and just .3 of a mile in length. You’ll find it at the end of Interpretive Trail Road at the parking area. Follow the road for a short stretch to pick up Tobacco Run to add some time and distance to your ride. Be sure to also take the time to enjoy the nearby dock.
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Pandapas Pond Day Use Area | Blacksburg
The eight acre pond itself is the centerpiece of the Pandapas Pond Day Use Area managed by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
19. The Poverty Creek Trail is 7.2 miles long and stretches nearly the entire length of the area. Watch for the three creek crossings. You’ll especially love this little ride if you enjoy birding and wildlife watching.
Roanoke Valley Greenway | Roanoke County & Salem
20. The Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail is a narrow, interpretive greenway trail that includes historical context for the Battle of Hanging Rock. Perhaps you’ll bike one way and then take your time to read on the way back. If you're looking for more of a challenge, take the Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail north to the Hinchee Trail, which eventually connects to the network of trails at Carvins Cove.
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It's easy to get on the trails, and it's just as easy to rent bikes in Virginia's Blue Ridge! Roanoke Mountain Adventures is a great resource to get you on your way to a two-wheeled adventure and can provide expertise on nearby trail systems.
For more cycling adventure, see 10 Easy Bike Routes in Virginia’s Blue Ridge and more Mountain Biking opportunities.