Find an adventure that fits your speed when you visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, the only IMBA Silver-Level Ride Center on the East Coast. With over 400 miles of mountain biking trails, riders of all abilities can experience America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital.
Start off at Mill Mountain Park in Roanoke’s city limits, one of the best urban parks in the country. Make sure to view the iconic Roanoke Star while you’re at the top before riding ten miles of intermediate and advanced trails down the mountain. Beginners will enjoy exploring Franklin County’s Waid Recreation Park, including several ADA accessible trails, winding paths along the Pigg River, and a jump line trail. Take your riding to the next level at Falling Creek Park with a skills loop and pump track to hone your technique.
You could spend a few days riding the multi-use, singletrack trails at Carvins Cove. Less than ten miles from Downtown Salem, there are more than 60 miles of fire roads, cross county singletrack, and downhill trails to keep you entertained. For some backcountry riding, head to North Mountain in the Jefferson National Forest. Known locally as “Dragon’s Back,” ride the ridge of the mountain on challenging singletrack.
After a full day of riding, visit Downtown Salem to kick back, relax, and try some local craft brews. Located just off Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail, Parkway Brewing Company offers a rotating selection of beers brewed and bottled right in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. There’s a little bit of history in every glass at Olde Salem Brewing Company and something for every beer drinker to enjoy, particularly those with a penchant for sours.
Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, discover nine miles of trails by the Roanoke River at Explore Park. While you’re there, check out additional paddling, camping, and ziplining opportunities for a full day of adventure. If you’re looking to explore the whole area, the Roanoke Valley Greenways offer more than 30 miles of paved trails connecting public parks, the river, and downtown destinations.
No matter what kind of terrain you’re looking to ride, stop by Roanoke Mountain Adventures for bike rentals while you are in town. Or rent a kayak, tube, standup paddleboard, or crash pad for a different mountain adventure. Downshift Bikes & Brews is your one stop shop for all things bikes, coffee, and beer in Downtown Roanoke. They recently started offering e-bike rentals for those looking to get around the city.
Cover photo: Carvins Cove, photo by Sam Dean, courtesy of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge