Get connected with guides and resources that highlight our passionate local biking community.
Want to go biking when you visit Virginia's Blue Ridge but you're not sure where to start?
We've put together some sample itineraries to help get you on your way to enjoying the great roadways and trails in the region!
The following itineraries offer ideas based on mountain biking or road biking to suite your preference, though they can be combined if you have a bike that can handle either surface.
There are also three different options based on the skill level of the rider to help accommodate you and anyone riding with you.
Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the over 60 miles of mountain biking trails at Carvins Cove. From the Bennett Springs parking area that is accessible via Route 311 & Route 740, you get easy access to the trails.
The Cove features some of the best mountain biking on the East Coast, including cross country singletrack, free ride downhill trails, and extensive fire roads. The trails offer varying levels of difficulty, ranging from easy to challenging.
Enjoy leisurely rides like the Happy Valley fire road or the rolling fun on the Buck or Hi-Dee-Ho trails. For a tougher challenge, take on the elevation changes of The Trough or The Gauntlet.
Located at Milepost 115 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Explore Park offers over 9 miles of moderately difficult hiking and biking trails.
Get more familiar with the region with a visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center, which is located inside the park. The proximity to the Roanoke River also makes the park a popular spot for fishing and paddling.
Many of the biking trails are loop trails that range from .5 miles to 3.0 miles. When combining the various trails that are conveniently located near each other, you can create a great day of mountain biking that can test your skills while not taking you too far from your comfort zone as a rider.
Mill Mountain Park is one of the most accessible mountain biking areas in the region, located only 10 minutes from Downtown Roanoke.
Along with over 10 miles of impressive trails, Mill Mountain is also home to the Discovery Center, Mill Mountain Zoo, and the iconic Roanoke Star, which overlooks the valley and offers a stunning view.
There are also many great picnic locations in the park.
In terms of trails, there are a variety of multi-use trails that will give you a challenging ride. Between the 1.9 miles on the Wood Thrush Trail, 1.4 miles on the Star Trail, 1.5 miles on the Ridgeline Trail, and the 0.7 miles of the Big Sunny Trail, you'll get the total experience of riding around the mountain.
Spend the day enjoying the Roanoke River Greenway. This scenic section of the Greenway system winds along the Roanoke River and is an easy, enjoyable ride.
The Roanoke River Greenway is approximately 9 miles in length and it also links with the Mill Mountain Greenway and Tinker Creek Greenway. Download map.
The Springwood Loop is a 33.2 mile paved, loop-trail course in Botetourt County that provides the opportunity to enjoy rural farmland, charming small towns, and the beautiful James River.
Begin the loop on Main Street in Historic Fincastle. Travel northeast on Route 630 as it becomes Springwood Road. After approximately 9.5 miles, Route 630 will cross over the James River and then you will reach Route 43.
Turn right on Route 43 and travel south until you enter the Town of Buchanan. This is roughly halfway through the loop and is good place to rest and enjoy a meal, whether it's a picnic by the river or a visit to Roanoke Bagel Company on the James or Brink of the James Bistro.
Take Main Street/Route 11 south out of Buchanan and travel approximately 2.4 miles. Then, turn left on Route 640.
Continue on Route 640 as it winds through Botetourt County for approximately 10 miles. Then, turn right onto Route 11 South/Lee Highway and travel less than 1/2 mile before turning left to re-connect with Route 640/Brughs Mill Road.
Head north on Route 640 for 3.5 miles and turn right on Route 602/Muse Road.
Travel north on Route 602 for 1.3 miles until it comes to an end at US 220. Turn right on US 220 and then take the first right on Route 1202/S Church Street.
Go 1/2 mile and you'll reach your starting point at Main Street in Fincastle.
Make the most of the incredible ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway with a day trip from Roanoke to the Peaks of Otter Lodge. This out-and-back ride would be approximately 70 miles and feature numerous scenic overlooks and challenging changes in elevation.
Connect with the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 120, where the road connects with the Mill Mountain Parkway. Travel north for approximately 35 miles on the Parkway until you reach the Peaks of Otter at Milepost 86.
Popular overlooks along the way include the N&W Railroad Overlook at Milepost 106.9, Quarry Overlook at 100.9, Great Valley Overlook at 99.6, Iron Mine Hollow at 96.2, Harvey's Knob at 95.3, and Headforemost Mountain at 81.9.
Looking for more riding options in Virginia's Blue Ridge? Check out our pages on Mountain Biking and Road Biking. You can also see our page with guides and additional resources to help you plan your adventure.