If you haven’t visited your favorite Virginia State Park in the winter, then it’s like you haven’t visited at all.
Winter weather in much of Virginia can range from inches of snow, to spring-like conditions, sometimes in the same week. When the weather is mild, load up the bike and head out to a nearby Virginia State Park and see the trails in a whole new way.
When deciduous trees lose their leaves, the views from the trails take on a different perspective.
“You can see things in winter that you don’t usually see in other seasons,” says a Roanoke-based mountain biker. “It’s a lot of fun to see birds and squirrels searching for food in the woods. People may not realize that wildlife is active in the winter, too, and they are easier to spot from the trails.”
Winter riding has the benefit of:
- Fewer people on trails
- Cooler weather
- Not as many bugs
- Easier parking
No one at the park contact station? No problem. Just use a self-service envelope to pay for parking and you can stay all day.
In Virginia State Parks, you’ll find:
- More than 55 miles of biking and mountain biking trails.
- About 138 miles of hiking and biking trails.
- Around 256 miles of multiuse trails for bikers, hikers and horseback riders.
The single track Clyburn Ridge Loop trail at Hungry Mother State Park offers natural berms, high speed rollers, and plenty of speed. The 3.8 mile trail reaches a height of: 2,626′ and a breath-taking view of Hungry Mother Lake.
Douthat State Park offers around 40 miles of trails, including the 4.6 mile-long Middle Mountain Trail. This point to point, singletrack intermediate trail offers a different experience when there aren’t leaves on the hardwood trees. Bikers have to share the trail with hikers, but in the winter, this is seldom a problem.
Look for long forgotten gravestones when you’re biking the 12 miles of multi-use trails at Powhatan State Park. The mix of evergreens and deciduous trees keeps the ride interesting, and keep your eye out for wildlife – you’ll probably see more animals than people during your winter ride.
Follow this link, https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/biking to learn more about biking in Virginia State Parks.
For more on everything else Virginia State Parks has to offer, visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.