Ride the mountain biking trails in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia.
When planning a trip, it can be difficult to find a destination that is suitable for everyone in your party. The Charlottesville and Albemarle County mountain bike trails offer something for all skill levels.
Whether you are looking for a relaxing ride on a paved greenway or some super technical descents, you will find something to keep you busy while surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia. Check out these trail recommendations for your next ATV getaway.
Cruise along Schenk Greenway and the John Warner Parkway Trail, a paved path perfect for a relaxed and family stroll. As you cycle up rolling hills and descend into the meadows near the creek, keep your eyes peeled for the public art sculptures that line the trail.
For those who are new to mountain biking, go to Preddy Creek Park for 10 miles of multi-use trails. Hard, fluid, rocky, technical, you will experience it all as you travel through this magnificent reserve.
Are you looking to improve your skills? Hit the loop around Ragged mountain reservoir as you weave your way through the forest on smooth switchbacks and singletracks. Connect with the all new trails influenced by mountain biking in the Heyward Community Forest for even more kilometers in the saddle.
Walnut Creek Park is another great option, with 15 miles of trails to suit all ability levels. Connect the loops for water views and leg-searing climbs, including more advanced sections for experienced riders. You can even spend some time on the 45-acre lake for a paddle after the ride, or try one of the area’s best 18-hole disc golf courses.
Not far from the University of Virginia, Observatory Hill offers excellent singletrack and climbing technique close to town. Known locally as O-Hill, several trails intersect to give you a number of options for a quick walk or day trip. The steep and rocky terrain allows for a more aggressive ride in places.
For a quick excursion, go to Mint Springs Valley Park in Crozet for another eight miles of riding. These technical climbs and rapid descents filled with rocks and roots are not for beginners. When you’re done on the trails, spend some time paddling, fishing, or swimming in the lake.
Looking for some of the steepest and most technical trails in the area? Patricia Ann Byrom Forest Reserve Park is the perfect place for experienced riders. Starting from the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you will head straight to the border of Shenandoah National Park. Prepare for a bit of a bike ride on the way up, as well as a steep, rocky, rooted singletrack on the way back down.
Experience it all
Want to see the whole city? The Rivanna Trail makes it easy to enjoy the view from the saddle. As the trail winds its way throughout the city of Charlottesville, you will come across a wide range of trail surfaces and difficulty levels. From the kid-friendly paved sections around Riverview Park to the steep, technical singletracks, this one will keep you on your toes. Along the way, take time to enjoy excellent scenic spots by the river while enjoying a snack.
When you’re done on the trails, head to Charlottesville for a night on the town. With countless restaurants in a wide range of cooking styles, you are sure to find something new and delicious to try. Explore craft breweries, an eclectic music scene, and more before settling in for a night at one of the region’s many inns, guesthouses, resorts or hotel chains.
Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia invite you to explore the trails on two wheels.
All photos courtesy of Visit Charlottesville