Mountain Biking Heaven
The Blue Ridge Mountains have produced the best mountain biking trails in the East Coast.
Whether you are into single speed, downhill, or cross country you will be spent after a day on these trails.
These areas contains multiple ride options that can give you a short half-hour ride or occupy you all day long. Add each of these areas to your bucket list, check them off one at a time, and you'll quickly see why Roanoke is one of the best mountain bike towns around.
Mill Mountain Park
Less than 5 minutes from downtown Roanoke, Mill Mountain Park offers incredible mountain biking within 5 minutes of downtown Roanoke. The trails encompass Roanoke's highest point - the summit of Mill Mountain (1703 ft.) and the Roanoke Star. This area offers 500 acres of parkland atop Mill Mountain, picnic areas, two overlooks that provide 20-60 mile vistas, access to additional hiking trails, the Mill Mountain Zoo and the Mill Mountain Discovery Center.
- Where is Mill Mountain Park located (on a map)?
- See a live shot from the StarCam
- Download a Mill Mountain Park Map
- Mapped ride at Mill Mountain Park
Explore Park Trail System, located adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway, is a 1,100-acre preserve, situated along the Roanoke River Gorge, offering both IMBA certified mountain bike trails and access to hundreds of miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Mountain bike trail options (6+) ranging from <0.5 miles to >10 miles. Many of the trails are loop trails, and are easy to moderately difficult.
- Where is Explore Park located (on a map)?
- Download an Explore Park Map
- Explore Park is home to several trail running events created by Mountain Junkies
Carvins Cove is the second largest municipal park in the nation and a mountain biking paradise. With more than 40 miles of trails, Carvins Cove is chock full of both relatively flat, low-lying trails and steep climbs with awesome descents. If you don't like single-track, there's a seven-mile fire road around it.
- Where is Carvins Cove located (on a map)?
- Learn more about Carvins Cove (maps, directions, history, etc.)
- Carvins Cove is home to the Roanoke Mountain Bike Challenge
- Mapped ride at Carvins Cove
Douthat State Park
Douthat State Park was named one of the nation's 10 best state parks by the Outside Family Vacation Guide and has quickly become a premier mountain biking destination. Some people refer to it as the Disneyland of mountain biking. There are more than 43 miles of wooded hiking trails and mountain biking trails to choose from, ranging from easy to difficult. Many park trails climb up the side of the surrounding mountains for several miles and reward mountain bikers with grand views and long flowing decents.
- Where is Douthat State Park located (on a map)?
- On the regional trail map you can zoom in on Douthat State Park and check out three highlighted (and mapped) rides
- Visit the Douthat State Park website where you can learn more about extending your mountain bike vaction by adding an overnight stay in one of their cabins
- Download a Douthat State Park Map
Poverty Creek (also known as Pandapas Pond) is one of the area's premier destinations for single-track mountain biking. More than 20 miles of trail options, with steep climbs and fast down hills will keep your heart pounding.
- Where is Poverty Creek located (on a map)?
- Check out this mountain bike video of Poverty Creek
- Download a general Poverty Creek Map
Mountain Lake Conservancy
The Mountain Lake Conservancy manages 2,600 acres of mountainous terrain that encompasses a very unique ecosystem due to an average elevation of over 4,000'. More than 20 miles of fern-lined trails on the property are now open to the public for biking year-round.
South Pedlar ATV Trail System
The South Pedlar ATV Trail System (Terrapin and Rattlesnake Trails) is a looping network of approximately 19 miles of trails. Riders will find challenges in the narrow and twisting trails, while others will find trails that are wide and inviting. Be aware that this area is also open to ATV and motorbikes. Visitors to the area enjoy panoramic vistas, groves of large trees, spectacular mountain laurel blooms in season, and relief from the hot summer sun under the shady forest canopy.
- Where is South Pedlar located (on a map)?
- There is a $5 per vehicle fee
- Download a South Pedlar Mountain Bike Map
Falling Creek Park
The trail network in the park is designed for hiking, mountain biking and trail running and at present totals 8.5 miles. The trails vary in difficulty from easy to advanced. In addition to the trails there is an 18-hole disc golf course.
- Where is Falling Creek Park located (on a map)?
- Learn more about Falling Creek Park
- Falling Creek Park is home to the Fat Tire Frenzy & Bike Festival
- Take a video tour of Falling Creek via a moutain bike
At Montvale you will find 6.5 miles of entirely wooded single-track trails that highlight this emerging park in Montvale, Va. Most stream crossings have foot bridges or easily forded. Wildlife in this area include deer, turkey, squirrels and the occasional coyote. While the rest of the park is still in the development stage the trail system is complete and ideal for mountain biking, trail running and hiking.
- Where is Montvale Park located (on a map)?
- Take a video tour of the trails via a moutain bike
- Download a Montvale Park Map
Waid Recreation Park
Waid Recreation Park is located in Rocky Mount. The park offers a variety of biking and hiking trails, along with a playground and picnic shelter. The Park is nestled near the Pigg River which is home of the "Mighty Pigg River Ramble." Over 400 acres of rolling terrain and creek crossings make this area great for beginners and the more experienced.
- Where is Waid Recreation Park located (on a map)?
- Learn more about Waid Recreation Park
- Download a Waid Recreation Park Map
Fairy Stone State Park
Nine of the park's 14 miles of trails, which are open year-round, are multi-use. That section is open to hiking, bicycling (mountain bikes only) and horseback riding. The remainder is hiking only. Visit the Fairy Stone State Park website.
These are classic Virginia mountain bike rides. Some are one-way rides, so consider a shuttle. Add each of these trails to your bucket list, check them off one at a time, and you'll quickly see why Roanoke is one of the best mountain bike towns around.
Arcadia Up and Over
Arcadia Up and Over is an epic 21-mile ride that takes you through the most scenic terrain. This trail uses portions of Apple Orchard Falls trail and Cornelius Creek trail as it conquers Thunder Ridge. You pass through Hemlock forests, open fields, and numerous creek crossings and amazing waterfalls. This is a must for any serious rider.
North Mountain Trail - Dragon's Back
Dragon's Back is the sister trail to Dragon's Tooth. This spiny ridge trail is very technical and often requires some hiking with your bike, but the rewards are well worth your effort. It is an 11-mile single-track loop with technical climbs and descents. Did we mention it is rocky?
Pott's Mountain Jeep Road
Great spot to combine mountain biking with camping, trout fishing, and hiking. Potts Mountain Jeep Road is near The Pines Campground, Barbours Creek, and Lipes Branch Trail. Consider having someone drop you off at the top of FS 176 to avoid a long and arduous forest service road climb. The loop uses paved road, gravel Forest Service Roads, and a rough jeep road that takes you along a gorgeous ridge line. Well worth the journey.
North Mountain Trail - Longdale Furnace
It's a long climb to the top of North Mountain, but the ridgetop single-track trail that awaits is well worth it. Get ready for awesome cliff-top views and a sometimes technical but mostly smooth trail. At the high point you'll ascend a stone staircase between house-sized boulders to a craggy pinnacle. The ride back down is fast and furious. This trail is not the North Mountain Trail near Dragon's Tooth. Combine this ride with the Whiterock Tower ride.
Whiterock Tower Trail
Whiterock Tower is a series of switchbacks on an old forest service road bordering the Rich Hole Wilderness. It takes you up to the remains of Whiterock Tower. On this knife-like spine of a ridge you'll enjoy good views as you ride past house-sized boulders. Combine this ride with the North Mountain Trail - Longdale Furnace.
Dody Ridge is a great alternative to Carvins Cove. This 12-mile loop trail incorporates single-track riding, great views, the Blue Rige Parkway, and more.