Mountain bikers and road racers alike can find riding nirvana in the mountains and valleys of Patrick County, Virginia, and the best of both will travel there in May and June for top-tier races.
Perched at the point where the Blue Ridge Mountains crash into the rolling hills of Piedmont Virginia, the county is home to a wide variety of biking options, from 15 miles of epic trail at I.C. DeHart Park in Woolwine to the sweeping panoramas of ridgetop runs on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I.C. DeHart Park will host the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Virginia State Championships on May 19. Known as the Bootlegger’s Blitz, the roughly 15-mile race showcases the park’s numerous features, including rock gardens, drops, screaming descents, mountains, creek crossings, and more. The race is part of the Southern Classic Mountain Bike Series and Virginia Off-Road Series, with prizes for different age groups and skill levels.
Two weeks later, the Big Ivy Grand Fondo Charity Bike Event at Primland on June 3 gives a completely different look at cycling in Patrick County. The event, which benefits local EMS services, offers challenging 14, 33, 52 and 75-mile routes on paved roads through hills and mountains, with great support, a post-ride meal, and performance awards—all based at Primland, a luxury Blue Ridge resort that offers ATV tours, disc golf, golf, hunting, fishing, and all sorts of adventures at its 12,000-acre property.
The race events signify the quality of bicycling in Patrick County, which offers plenty of additional options for hiking, golfing, camping, fishing, hunting, and kayaking.
I.C. DeHart Park is a great ride no matter the season, with two loops that offer a multitude of ride options. The route used for Shiner’s Revenge XXC and Bootlegger’s Blitz XC offers a taste of everything, and 90 percent of the route is singletrack. The park is located on the former estate of Isaac C. DeHart, who operated a roller and grist mill and legal distillery. The park has a picnic shelter, children’s playground, two tennis courts, a walking trail, baseball field and horseshoe pitching area. Admission is free.
Road cyclists will want to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway, which offers stunning views and a variety of loop options with paved backroads that descend and climb the Blue Ridge Plateau. Consider the 64-mile Mabry Mill Challenge, or a 41-mile ride from Meadows of Dan to Willis Gap to Squirrel Spur.
Unwind after your ride with a visit to one of the county’s wineries, Stanburn Winery, and Villa Appalaccia Winery. Enjoy a meal at one of Patrick County’s numerous restaurants, a cup of coffee from Honduras Coffee Shop, or a local-made treat at Nancy’s Candy Company. Listen to old-time mountain music along the Crooked Road Music Heritage Trail, and explore the county’s deep arts scene.
Patrick County, Virginia: Experience the simple life.