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Where Are Biking Trails In Virginia


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Hyacinthia Lockhart



Welcome to the beautiful state of Virginia, where adventure awaits around every corner. One of the best ways to explore the natural wonders and historic sites of this diverse state is through biking. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or just looking for a fun outdoor activity, Virginia offers a plethora of biking trails that cater to all skill levels and interests.


From the rugged mountains of the Appalachians to the rolling hills of the Piedmont region and the picturesque coastline along the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia’s diverse landscape provides a stunning backdrop for cycling enthusiasts. With its mild climate and scenic beauty, it’s no wonder that biking has become a popular recreational activity in the state.


But with so many options to choose from, how do you decide which trails to explore? In this article, we will delve into the various biking trails in Virginia, categorized by region and theme, to help you plan your next biking adventure. Whether you prefer winding through urban streets, conquering challenging mountain trails, or immersing yourself in history, Virginia has something for everyone.


So dust off your bike, put on your helmet, and get ready to discover the biking trails that await you in the captivating state of Virginia.


Biking Trails in Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia, also known as NOVA, is a vibrant and bustling region that offers a wide range of biking trails for outdoor enthusiasts. From scenic paved paths to challenging mountain bike trails, this area has something for every cyclist.


One popular destination for biking in Northern Virginia is the Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&OD Trail). This 45-mile long paved trail stretches from Arlington to Purcellville, passing through picturesque towns, scenic countryside, and urban areas. With its gentle gradients and well-maintained surface, the W&OD Trail is ideal for cyclists of all ages and skill levels.


For those seeking a more off-road adventure, the Fountainhead Regional Park in Fairfax Station offers a thrilling mountain biking experience. With over 10 miles of single-track trails winding through the woods, cyclists can enjoy a challenging ride with varying levels of difficulty. The park also features scenic views and opportunities for picnicking, making it a great destination for a day trip.


If you’re looking for a trail with a mix of urban and natural scenery, the Mount Vernon Trail is a must-visit. Stretching for 18 miles along the Potomac River, this paved trail connects Arlington with Mount Vernon, the historic home of George Washington. Cyclists can enjoy waterfront views, pass by iconic landmarks such as the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, and explore the tranquil beauty of the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve.


For mountain bikers looking for a challenge, the Freedom Center Loop Trail in Leesburg should be on your list. This 5-mile loop trail offers technical sections, tight turns, and steep climbs, providing an exhilarating ride for experienced riders. The trail winds through dense woods and offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.


These are just a few examples of the biking trails that await you in Northern Virginia. Whether you prefer leisurely rides along paved paths or heart-pumping adventures on mountain trails, you’ll find a wide variety of options to suit your preferences in this vibrant region.


Biking Trails in Central Virginia

Central Virginia is a region known for its rolling hills, charming small towns, and rich history. When it comes to biking trails, this area offers a mix of scenic countryside routes and trails that take you through historical landmarks.


One of the most popular biking trails in Central Virginia is the Virginia Capital Trail. Stretching for 51.7 miles from Richmond to Williamsburg, this paved trail takes cyclists on a journey through history. Along the way, you’ll pass by significant sites such as the State Capitol, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Jamestown Settlement. The Virginia Capital Trail offers a safe and enjoyable biking experience for all skill levels, with stunning views of the James River and beautiful rural landscapes.


If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path experience, the High Bridge Trail State Park is worth exploring. This 31-mile long rail-trail features a picturesque bridge that spans the Appomattox River and provides stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The trail is relatively flat and offers a peaceful ride through farmlands, forests, and wetlands, making it perfect for a leisurely outing.


For mountain biking enthusiasts, the James River Park System in Richmond is a popular destination. With over 20 miles of trails, ranging from beginner-friendly to advanced, the park offers a thrilling and challenging biking experience. The Buttermilk Trail and the North Bank Trail are two favorites among mountain bikers, offering technical sections, rocks, and elevation changes.


Another notable biking trail in Central Virginia is the Rivanna Trail Loop in Charlottesville. This 20-mile loop trail encircles the city, offering a mix of paved and natural surface trails. Cyclists can enjoy beautiful views of the Rivanna River, pass through parks and green spaces, and even make a pit stop at the scenic Rivanna Reservoir.


Central Virginia’s biking trails offer a perfect combination of natural beauty and historical significance. Whether you’re interested in exploring the region’s rich history or simply enjoying a peaceful ride through scenic countryside, Central Virginia has plenty to offer for all types of cyclists.


Biking Trails in Southern Virginia

Southern Virginia is a region blessed with picturesque landscapes, charming small towns, and a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities. When it comes to biking trails, this area offers a diverse range of options, from scenic rural routes to trails that highlight the region’s natural beauty.


One of the standout biking trails in Southern Virginia is the Virginia Creeper Trail. With a length of 34 miles, this former railroad bed turned rail-trail stretches from Abingdon to Whitetop Station, near the North Carolina border. The trail takes cyclists through lush forests, over trestle bridges, and along the pristine Whitetop Laurel River. With a gentle downhill slope, it’s an enjoyable ride for cyclists of all ages and skill levels.


If you’re seeking a challenging mountain biking experience, the New River Trail State Park should be on your radar. This 57-mile long rail-trail follows the course of the New River, offering breathtaking mountain views and opportunities for wildlife spotting. The park has multiple access points, and cyclists can choose from various sections of the trail depending on their desired length and difficulty level.


For those looking to combine biking with history, the Tobacco Heritage Trail in South Boston is a great option. This 17-mile rail-trail follows the path of a historic railroad that once transported tobacco from the surrounding farms. Cyclists can pedal through charming rural landscapes, pass by historic sites, and learn about the region’s agricultural heritage.


If you’re in the Danville area, don’t miss the Anglers Ridge Mountain Bike Trail. With over 35 miles of interconnected trails, this system offers a thrilling mountain biking experience. The trails cater to all skill levels, from beginners to advanced riders, and feature a variety of terrain, including wooded areas, rocky sections, and fast descents.


Southern Virginia’s biking trails offer a perfect blend of natural beauty, history, and outdoor adventure. Whether you prefer a leisurely ride along a scenic rail-trail or an adrenaline-pumping mountain biking experience, Southern Virginia has something to offer for every cyclist.


Mountain Biking Trails in Virginia

Virginia is a paradise for mountain biking enthusiasts, with its diverse terrain and abundance of trails that cater to all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a fun and scenic ride or an experienced rider seeking adrenaline-pumping challenges, the mountain biking trails in Virginia have something for everyone.


If you’re in the Shenandoah Valley region, the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests offer a plethora of mountain biking trails. The Massanutten Western Slope Trail System is a popular choice, offering over 30 miles of trails that traverse through wooded areas, rocky sections, and challenging climbs. The trails provide stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.


If you’re up for a cross-country adventure, the Southern Traverse Loop in Douthat State Park is a must-ride. This 18-mile loop trail showcases the natural beauty of the Allegheny Mountains and takes riders through technical rocky sections, fast descents, and exhilarating climbs. The challenging terrain and scenic vistas make it a memorable experience for advanced riders.


In the Richmond area, Pocahontas State Park is a mountain biking haven. With over 30 miles of trails, the park offers a variety of options for riders of all skill levels. From smooth-flowing singletracks to technical sections with rock features, Pocahontas State Park has it all. The park also hosts events and races throughout the year, adding to the excitement for mountain biking enthusiasts.


If you find yourself in Southwest Virginia, the New River Trail State Park is a must-visit for mountain bikers. The park’s mountain biking trails, such as the New River Ramble, offer a mix of challenging climbs, flowy descents, and stunning views of the New River. With its peaceful surroundings and well-maintained trails, it’s an ideal destination for riders looking to immerse themselves in nature.


These are just a few examples of the mountain biking trails that Virginia has to offer. With its diverse landscapes ranging from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the coastal plains, there is no shortage of thrilling and scenic trails for mountain biking enthusiasts to explore and enjoy in the beautiful state of Virginia.


Urban Biking Trails in Virginia

While Virginia is known for its vast natural landscapes, it also offers numerous urban biking trails that allow cyclists to explore the vibrant cityscapes and bustling neighborhoods. These trails provide a unique opportunity to experience the culture, history, and charm of Virginia’s cities while enjoying a leisurely or invigorating bike ride.


One standout urban biking trail is the Virginia Capital Trail in Richmond. This 51.7-mile paved trail takes riders on a journey through the city, passing by iconic landmarks such as the State Capitol, Shockoe Bottom, and the Edgar Allan Poe Museum. Cyclists can enjoy the vibrant street art, explore the local shops and restaurants, and soak in the rich history of Virginia’s capital city.


In Alexandria, the Mount Vernon Trail offers a scenic and seamless connection between the city and the picturesque Mount Vernon Estate. This 18-mile trail follows the Potomac River and provides stunning views of the Washington, D.C. skyline, as well as the chance to glimpse various landmarks such as the Washington Monument and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial along the way.


The James River Park System in Richmond is not only known for its mountain biking trails but also offers urban cycling opportunities. The Canal Walk and the North Bank Trail provide cyclists with a chance to explore the city’s riverfront, pass through parks, and enjoy the views of the James River. The trail system offers a unique blend of nature and urbanity, perfect for those seeking a diverse biking experience.


In Norfolk, the Elizabeth River Trail is a popular choice for urban cycling. This 10.5-mile trail winds along the waterfront, connecting neighborhoods, parks, and cultural sites. Cyclists can enjoy the scenic views of the Elizabeth River, visit the Nauticus maritime museum, and explore the charming Ghent district.


Urban biking trails in Virginia offer cyclists the opportunity to immerse themselves in the vibrant energy and unique character of the state’s cities. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical sites, enjoying waterfront views, or indulging in local cuisine, these urban trails provide an exciting and memorable biking experience.


Coastal Biking Trails in Virginia

For those seeking a scenic coastal biking experience, Virginia offers a variety of trails that showcase the beauty of its coastline. With miles of pristine beaches, charming coastal towns, and breathtaking views, the coastal biking trails in Virginia are a treat for both leisurely riders and avid cyclists.


One of the iconic coastal biking trails in Virginia is the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Stretching for three miles along the Atlantic Ocean, this paved path takes cyclists past the bustling beachfront, offering stunning views of the sea, beachgoers, and the iconic Neptune statue. The boardwalk is also dotted with shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, making it a vibrant and enjoyable biking destination.


In the Eastern Shore region, the Cape Charles Trail is a hidden gem. This 2.6-mile trail offers a tranquil and scenic ride along the Chesapeake Bay, with panoramic views of the water and marshlands. The trail is relatively flat and suitable for all ages and skill levels, providing a peaceful coastal biking experience.


If you find yourself in the Hampton Roads area, the Elizabeth River Trail is a must-visit for coastal biking enthusiasts. This 10.5-mile trail follows the scenic waterfront, connecting various neighborhoods, parks, and cultural sites. Cyclists can enjoy views of the Elizabeth River, pass by historic landmarks, and soak in the coastal charm of the region.


For a more adventurous coastal biking experience, the Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge Bike Tour is a fantastic choice. This self-guided tour takes cyclists through the pristine landscapes of the Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge, offering opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting along the way. The tour covers approximately 18 miles and provides a unique insight into the natural beauty and biodiversity of Virginia’s coastal region.


Coastal biking trails in Virginia allow cyclists to enjoy the refreshing sea breeze, soak in the coastal views, and experience the unique charm of the beachfront communities. Whether you prefer a leisurely ride along a bustling boardwalk or a scenic coastal route, Virginia’s coastal biking trails offer a delightful and rejuvenating biking experience.


Historic Biking Trails in Virginia

Virginia is a state rich in history, and what better way to explore its storied past than through historic biking trails? These trails offer a unique opportunity to pedal through time, immersing yourself in the intriguing stories and landmarks that shaped Virginia’s heritage.


One iconic historic biking trail is the Colonial Parkway. Stretching for 23 miles between Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, this scenic route takes cyclists on a journey through America’s colonial history. Along the way, you’ll pass by historic sites such as Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, and the Yorktown Battlefield. The Colonial Parkway offers a mix of picturesque countryside and views of the James and York Rivers, providing a memorable and educational biking experience.


The Virginia Capital Trail, mentioned earlier, is not only a fantastic urban biking trail but also a historic one. Following the path of Virginia’s early colonies, this trail connects the current and former capitals of Williamsburg and Richmond. Along the way, cyclists can explore historical landmarks, soak in the colonial charm, and gain insight into Virginia’s significant role in shaping the United States.


In Fredericksburg, the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park offers historic biking trails that take riders through the battlefields of the Civil War. Cyclists can pedal along the Sunken Road, Chancellorsville Battlefield, and other sites that witnessed significant events during the war. The trails provide an opportunity to reflect on the nation’s history while enjoying a scenic ride.


For those interested in African American history, the Richmond Slave Trail offers a poignant biking experience. This trail follows the path that enslaved Africans were forced to walk from the city to the docks, where they were sold and transported. It is a powerful journey that highlights the struggles and resilience of African Americans throughout history.


Exploring historic biking trails in Virginia allows cyclists to connect with the past, gain a deeper understanding of the state’s heritage, and appreciate the significant events and individuals who shaped the course of history. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about Virginia’s past, these trails provide a fascinating and educational biking experience.


Biking Trails in Virginia State Parks

Virginia is home to a diverse array of state parks that offer fantastic opportunities for outdoor recreation, including biking. These parks boast well-maintained trails that wind through scenic landscapes, allowing cyclists to explore the natural beauty and wildlife of the state. Here are a few notable biking trails in Virginia state parks:


First on the list is Douthat State Park in Millboro. This park features a network of mountain biking trails that cater to all skill levels. From flowing singletracks to technical descents, there’s something for every mountain biking enthusiast. The trails offer stunning views of the Allegheny Mountains and provide an exhilarating biking experience in a serene setting.


Another must-visit for biking enthusiasts is Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson. This park is renowned for its open meadows, rocky peaks, and unique wild ponies. The biking trails in Grayson Highlands State Park take riders through beautiful mountain vistas and offer a chance to spot the majestic ponies along the way.


If you’re looking for coastal biking, First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach is the perfect destination. The park offers a variety of biking trails that wind through maritime forests, dunes, and along the Chesapeake Bay. Bicyclists can enjoy the tranquil surroundings, spot wildlife, and even access the beach for a refreshing dip in the ocean.


For a mix of mountain and lake views, Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield is worth exploring. The park boasts over 25 miles of trails that traverse through forests, around Swift Creek Lake, and along the banks of the Appomattox River. From leisurely lakeside rides to more challenging mountain biking routes, Pocahontas State Park has options for riders of all levels.


Other state parks in Virginia, such as Chippokes Plantation State Park, James River State Park, and New River Trail State Park, also offer biking trails that highlight the natural beauty and diverse landscapes of the state.


Biking in Virginia state parks allows cyclists to connect with nature, enjoy the great outdoors, and experience the unique offerings of each park. Whether you prefer mountain biking through rugged terrain, exploring lakeside paths, or taking in coastal vistas, Virginia state parks provide a wealth of biking opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.



Virginia is a paradise for adventure lovers, and its abundance of biking trails is a testament to that. From the majestic mountains of the Appalachians to the tranquil coastal landscapes, the state offers a diverse range of biking experiences for riders of all skill levels and interests.


Whether you’re seeking a leisurely ride through urban streets, a thrilling mountain biking adventure, a scenic coastal route, or a journey through history, Virginia has it all. The biking trails in Northern Virginia, Central Virginia, Southern Virginia, and even the state parks offer a wide variety of options for cyclists to explore.


As you traverse the biking trails of Virginia, you’ll encounter stunning natural beauty, encounter charming towns and cities, and uncover the rich history that shaped the state and the nation. From the colonial landmarks in Williamsburg to the battlefields of Fredericksburg, Virginia’s history is embedded in its biking trails, offering a blend of education and outdoor adventure.


As you embark on your biking adventures, remember to respect the environment, adhere to trail regulations, and prioritize safety. Wear appropriate protective gear, stay hydrated, and be mindful of other trail users.


Whether you’re a local Virginian or a visitor exploring the state’s wonders, biking in Virginia is an unforgettable experience. So, hop on your bike, embrace the beauty around you, and let the trails of Virginia take you on a journey of adventure, discovery, and enjoyment.