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Disclaimer:  Trail activities are physically demanding and may result in injury due to falls, cuts, bites, burns, over exertion, weather conditions, etc.  You should not undertake this activity unless you are in proper physical condition and have the necessary skills, equipment, etc.  You assume all the risks, including those not foreseeable, involved in participation in this activity.

Trail ratings assume one is in reasonable physical shape! Moderate easily becomes difficult to strenuous if one is not in shape, and conversely, a harder rating becomes much easier if one exercises a great deal.

These directions were accurate at the time they were recorded.  However, trail conditions change, signs are vandalized, droughts cause water sources to dry up, etc. Be prepared for the unexpected.

Trail users can never be over prepared and it is recommended that you always carry water, food, flashlight, rain gear, appropriate clothing, first aid kit, map, compass, and matches.  Also recommended are a cell phone, toilet paper, and alcohol wipes.

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Other Virginia Trails

Crabtree Falls - outside of Raphine off of I-81 at exit 205 - Hiking - Take Route 606 to Route 11, rake a left and then an almost immediate right onto Route 56.  You will be on this for quite awhile, through Vesuvius, Montebello and then to the signed entrance of Crabtree Falls. 

This is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi.  The top has a 400ft straight waterfall and then the falls cascade down the rest of the mountain.  The trail climbs up along the creek occasionally switching back as you climb up to the top.  Before you make the final push to the top of the falls there are a number of great spots for viewing the largest section of the falls. 

We have enjoyed coming here in the winter when the water has begun to freeze as it is sprayed off of the cascading creek.  In winter you don't have to deal with the large numbers of people who come here during the warmer months and there is almost always an abundance of water coming down from the mountain.   

Southern Traverse - outside of Staunton VA - Multi-use - 34 mile IMBA Epic Ride on the Shenendoah Mtn. Trail. 

I'd recommend the Trails Illustrated Map #791.  This was an interesting ride.  It was a 4 mile climb to the Shenandoah Trail.  Once on the trail I was surprised at how well it was taken care of considering how off the beaten path it was.  There were two sections of rock gardens surrounded by stinging nettle (be careful not to touch).  Once you hit the clearing at the Jerkemtight Road option you have an almost all downhill ride to the next road that intersects the Shenandoah trail (great downhill that would be even better in a group ride. I'm sure there would be countless hoots and hollers.  We hit the road at mile 20, took a left onto the dirt road, and then started the 12 mile slog back to the car.  It seemed like the road would  never end and we would get back to the car.

Walnut Creek - Map - This park is just outside of Charlottesville VA.  Multi-use - Take HWY 29 south out of Charlottesville for about 7 miles.  Look for a brown state park sign for the turn off for to the park. 

This park has a couple different races at it during the year.  Gina and I have been out here to trail run and bike a number of times.  It is a nice park with about 12 miles of trail, a lake, frisbee golf, and some boat rentals.   

James River Park - Just outside of Downtown Richmond VA.  Multi-use - Richmond MORE takes care of a significant amount of maintenance and new construction of trails in Richmond.  For detailed trail information and maps visit the above link. 

These are some of my favorite trails.  I've participated in the Urban Assault mtb race that is held the same weekend as the James River Games and Richmond Xterra triathlon.  This race is 13.5 miles long and takes you along Belle Island, Maymont Park, Forest Hill Park, and the North Shore Trails.  These are some fast twisty trails and it is hard to believe you are within a mile or so of the city center. 

Sherando Lake - South of Waynesboro VA.  Multi-use - This place reminds me of Douthat but with a lot more rocks. 

I'd rate the trails as intermediate to advanced.  There are a number of loops that you can create.  I'd recommend the Trails Illustrated Map #789.  Most of the trails leading to the ridge are rocky and steep.  The Bel Monte 25k and 50k trail races are held here in mid March. 

Waid Park - Rocky Mount VA - Multi-use - This park is where they hold the MW Windows mtb race.  

It has about 5-6 miles of wide trail with two river crossings (so be ready to get wet).  There have been talks about adding some more single track.

Anglers Ridge Trail System - Danville VA - Multi-use - 12+ miles of single track trails. 

I got introduced to these trails as part of the Virginia Derailer Mtn. Bike Series.  This is a great area managed by the Southern Virginia Mountain Biking Association  They are also working on developing a trail system at Philpot lake (upwards of 40+ mile of trail potential).  This is a great place to ride.  The trails are fast, rolling, winding, sweet single track.  They hold a number of events there each year.  It's a great place to race.  

Chris Tompkins - SVMBA Founder -  shared the following info - www.MTBR.com ranks Anglers is the fifth-ranked trail system in the

state for trails with at least 20 reviews and Singletracks.com ranks Anglers as the sixth best trail system in the state.  We’re proud that our hard work over the past 7 years is being recognized and enjoyed by so many. 

Check out this helmet cam video - http://www.svmba.org/Videos/Anglers%20Helmetcam%20Video.WMV

Fairy Stone Park - Outside of Stuart VA - A mix of Foot Travel and Multi-use - MAP - This is a very scenic park with a lake that gets little activity.  There is a $4 park fee if you enter the main entrance of the park.  You can access some trails off of route 623 (Union Point Road) without having to pay a fee.  The park has a 16 occupancy lodge and 25 cabins (most of which seemed to be full on our visit).  This looks like a great park for a weekend retreat from the city.

It has about 13-14 miles of mostly wide trail, old access and logging roads.   We parked at the Amphitheater parking lot, crossed the road and did two different loops; Little Mountain Falls Trail and the Turkey Ridge Trail, and then returned to our car by the Lake Shore Trail. 

 

West Virginia Trails

Visit www.spokejunkies.com for more information on these places.  This site has a lot of information on Ohio, West Virginia, and Michigan trails.  This site is what started my desire to make a site with Roanoke area trail information. 

Mountwood - MAP - Parkersburg WV - This is a nice park with 15 miles of Multi-use intermediate trail. 

They have an interesting trials area with ladder bridges and a teeter totter.  I wasn't brave enough to try it all, but I played around for a little while.

Tomlinson Run State Park - West of Pittsburg - MAP - Multi-use

We got to this place and it was raining hard, so we decided to run instead of  bike.  The park had a nice selection of trails and from what I remember it had some hills.

Cooper's Rock State Park - East of Morgantown - MAP - Multi-use

Guess what, when we got to this park it was raining like crazy.  The trails held up really well to the rain even when they started to look like creek beds.  Man the water was flowing.  We liked this park even with the rain.  Lots of rocks though.  I thought it was a really scenic park.  Lots of cascading creeks, boulders, and crevasses that made us feel really small.

 

North Carolina Trails

Wilkesboro - 21 Miles west of I-77 (exit 73)

We've been down here twice for the Annual 6hours of Warrior Creek mountain bike race and a number of other Roanokers rave about the 24hours of burn that takes place on the Dark Mountain trails.  These are some great trails that are fast and loaded with burms that can have you going at high speeds into the turns.  Fast and Flowy is the best description.  Get directions along with trail and race information at www.bmcc.us

Kitsuma - 20 Miles east of Asheville at the Ridgecrest Exit - Multi-use

If you are headed to Asheville, I would hit this trail on the way.  It is in Ridgecrest just outside of Asheville.  This is one crazy trail.  It has 14 rideable switchbacks in the first 1.25 miles.  This leads into some ridge riding and then a nice fast downhill into a park.  In the back of the park there is an old abandoned road leading back up to the top of the mountain and where you parked.  Got directions from the trail reviews on www.mtbr.com

Dupont State Forest - South of Asheville between Brevard and Hendersonville. Multi-use

I took the info off the IMBA epic rides link.  I hit a bike shop in Hendersonville to get the official trail map.  Once there we hooked up with some locals for a great ride. 

Montreat NC - MAP just north of Black Mountain and 15 miles east of Asheville.  Hiking-Running

This place is a must see.  What a beautiful community.  This is home of Montreat College est. 1897.  The scenery here is amazing.  Old growth forest with houses and trails nestled throughout.  When we were here there was no-one around due to the Christmas holiday.  I would have liked to do the Greybeard trails up to Greybeard mtn. had we had enough time before nightfall.  We ran around a couple of the trails and walked around the Convention Center and Lake. 

Trace Ridge Trail - 20 minutes south of Asheville - 8-9 mile loop with 1550ft of elevation gain/loss.  Multi-use

I took along the Trails Illustrated Map #780.  This is billed as one of the best rides in Asheville on the Bike NC website and also check out the Hike NC website This was a 9 mile or so loop.  We hike/ran up Trace Ridge and came down on Spencer Branch to the intersection with the Fletcher Creek Trail and then took a left on Fletcher Creek (we could have stayed straight on Spencer Branch but wasn't sure where it was going to come out. It ends up coming out at the reservoir where we were headed anyway).  At the road we took a right to check out the old reservoir (good place for a picture).  From the reservoir it was about a 1.25 mile run back to the car. 

Hiking or running - in either direction to make a loop would be fine.

Biking - I'd prefer to go counter clockwise and end by going down Trace Ridge.  The top of the Spencer Branch trail is hike-a-bike whether you are going up or down.  The last 1/3-1/2 mile gains 400ft of elevation and is full of stairs/waterbars.  The Trace Ridge Trail looses elevation more gradually but has some steeps that would be a blast going down. 

Bent Creek - This is just outside of the Asheville City Center.  MAP - Multi-use

This park has 20+ miles of trail ranging from beginner to intermediate.  It also connects up with the foot travel only shut in ridge trail that heads to Mt. Pisgah for another 16 miles of trail.  It is a popular place due to being so close to the city.     

Mills River Area - 25 minutes southwest of Asheville Multi-use

This area and campground has tons of trails to choose from with trails ranging from intermediate to advanced.  We  have done the Laurel Mountain Loop a couple of times.  I took along the Trails Illustrated Map #780.  You can also get info on this ride at the Bike NC website  This is a fun ride that climbs up the mountain (couple of hike-a-bike sections) and then takes you down on some of the rockiest terrain around.  It is rideable though.  I like rocks, so this downhill was a blast.  You end up riding down rocks and rock slabs with a couple of switchbacks in them.  Tough, but a great challenge to ride without dabbing or dropping a load in your pants.  Casualty factor is high, but you can always get off and walk.  You end with a gravel road climb back to the car.  

Shut-In Ridge - This is a 16 (one-way) trail from Bent Creek (by the arboretum) to Mount Pisgah Hiking-Running

The trail climbs 3,000 feet. It’s one of the steepest hikes and runs in the Asheville area, but tackle the first three miles of the trail and you’ll be rewarded with a view of the mountains skirting Asheville from the Walnut Cove Overlook.  They hold a trail race here every year.  The winner usually finished in 2 hours 20 minutes.

Turkey Pen Trailhead - This is an access point for a number of trails southwest of Asheville.  Multi-use

This is listed as one of the popular trailheads south of Asheville.  It was a crazy rough drive in on the Forest Service road.  We've done a loop hike here.  We started on Vineyard Gap Trail and finished on Riverside Trail.  Riverside wandered back and forth across the south fork of the mills river 6 or 7 times.  This was a fun challenge and a nice way to cool off. 

Stone Mountain - Hiking-Running

This is a cool park with a granite mountain at it's center.  This is off of I-77 headed to Charlotte.  Get off on Zephr Road and head west.  Follow the signs to the park.  It is a popular place for rock climbers.  We've stopped here a number of times to get in a 4-5 mile run on the Stone Mountain Loop including Cedar Rock and Wolf Rock Trail.  Once you start climbing on the mountain you will start to see divots in rock where lightning has struck it.  Pretty cool.  We always make a loop by hiking up the huge granite mountain, running along the top, and back.

 

South Carolina & Georgia Trails

Paris Mountain - Greenville SC - Multi-use

This is a pretty decent park just north of Greenville.  Started at the mtn. and then rode all the trails.

Dahlonega - North of Atlanta GA - Multi-use

I took the info off the IMBA epic rides link.  We hit this place after a hard rain.  The terrain held up pretty well wet, but the overcast skies took a lot of the end of the day riding away.  We'd like to get back here for some more riding.

Bottom Creek - West of Alpharetta - Multi-use

Different trails that gradually increase in difficulty.  Nice easy riding.  Well maintained park.

Carter Lake - Southeast of Dalton - Multi-use

Nice 5-6 mile loop.  This loop is part of a local mtn. bike race course.  It was a really fast and loop with some short steeps.

 

Tennessee Trails

Warriors Path State Park - Outside of Colonial Heights - Multi-use - Map - This park is off of I-81 at exit 63.  See map for directions to the park.

There are trails at the State Park proper and then where we went was a group of about 10 miles of mountain bike trails.  We opted for a 6 mile loop consisting on Darwin's Revenge, Boneyard, Rock City, and then headed back on the Lake Valley Road (access road).  This would be a really nice trail system for both running and biking with rolling to mild hilly terrain with rocks, rock drop offs, and views of the river.   

Tanasi - Ocoee Whitewater Center outside of Chatanooga/Cleveland.  Multi-use - I took the info off the IMBA epic rides link. 

This is a network of 3 single track loops joined together by jeep roads.  Fun ride.  We saw a black bear from about 15 feet away (we waved, took a picture, and were on our way).  Ran into a couple at the parking lot that ran into two bears eating blackberries.  One was laying on it's back sprawled out pulling the berries down toward it's mouth and the other was laying down on it's stomach. 

Racoon Mountain - Chatanooga - Multi-use - MAP - This is a SORBA built gem. 

There has been a ton of work done around this reservoir.  Lots of great rolling single track.  1000's of hours have been put into this area.  SORBA plans to add another 7.5 miles of trail up here. Highly recommended.  This place has been mentioned quite a few times on the IMBA site and in their quarterly publications.

Prentice Cooper State Forest and Wildlife Management Area Chattanooga - Foot Travel Only

This area hosts a 9.75 mile  loop of the Stump Jump 50k and a 22 mile figure eight loop as part of the 3 day stage race that is scheduled in June.  This is a scenic primitive  trail.  Not a lot of foot traffic out here.  We parked at the first Cumberland Trail Parking Lot off of Tower Road.  

Sewanee Domain - Sewanee - MAP - Multi-use

We came to the University of the South to bike the 20 mile perimeter trail.  You can park at the entrance gate off of HWY 41 or a number of places within the school property.  The perimeter trail  meandered around the  property perimeter, on the edge of rock cliffs, the occasional overlook, sometimes smooth trail, and sometimes rocky trail.  I really enjoyed  the look and feel of the trail but there were a lot of places where we got off our bikes to get over or through an obstacle (usually rock(s)).   This place was really scenic and had a feel of Montreat outside of Asheville, NC.  I'd love to come back when I'm better prepared for the  terrain.  There are a lot of side trails and service roads.  You could be here all day.  Afterwards we hit the Blue Chair Coffee House for a  coffee and muffin/scone. 

Booker T Washington State Park - Chattanooga - MAP - Multi-use

This was a 5.4 mile loop.  It was a well maintained, well worn trail that turn and twisted through the park and around the lake.  They have a number of trail running and mtn biking races here  throughout the year.  We ran in a counter clockwise direction (The mountain bike races travel clockwise).  It was a nice loop and a nice  choice for an easier low mileage day.   

Smokemont Loop Trail to Chasteen Creek Cascades (Hiking Only)- Great Smokey Mtn. National Park - Hiking-Running -

6.5 mile loop with 1660ft of elevation gain/loss. 

This was on the way from Asheville to Gatlinburg off of 441N at the Smokemont Campground.  We parked at the exit of the campgound in front of the gate where there is an old bridge over the creek.  The first 3 miles, of the 4.9 mile Smokemont Loop Trail starts with a pretty good climb.  From here the trail drops just as fast as it rose.  After you cross the log bridge the trail splits where you will want to head to the right on the Bradley Fork Trail.  You will be on this for .5 miles to the intersection with the Chasteen Creek Trail.  From here you will want to head to the left for .7 miles on the trail to view the Chasteen Creek Cascades.  This trail (a rocky old road) gently climbs.  At the .7 mile mark there will be a trail heading off to the left.  There is a hitching area for horses and at the back there is a small trail that continues to the cascades.  Once you've had your fill of cascading water you will want to head back down to the Smokemont Campground (1.9 miles from the cascades; .7 miles on the Chasteen Creek Trail and 1.2 miles on the Bradley Fork Trail).

Haw Ridge - Oak Ridge north of Knoxville - MAP 1 - MAP 2 - Multi-use

It started to pour rain on us as we left Chattanooga but  we continued on to Haw Ridge to get in a run (it is posted to not ride on the trails if wet).  We parked at the pull off/boat launch just before  the entrance to Haw Ridge Park off of Route 170.  This place was really rocky and rooty.  Most of the trails were short and you could piece  together a lot of different loops here.  We did a 5.5 mile run.  We choose some of the trails around the shore line and then headed up and over the ridge to end the run. 

 

Ohio Trails

Visit www.spokejunkies.com for more information on these places.  This site has a lot of information on Ohio, West Virginia, and Michigan trails.  This site is what started my desire to make a site with Roanoke area trail information. 

Lake Hope - West of Athens - Multi-use

This place could have used some trail work.  There was a lot of new growth that smacked us in the face.  Once we got out on some of the more well used trails, things were better.  I enjoyed the ride.  It was similar to the cove.

Alum Creek Phase I and II - North of Columbus - Multi-use

This place was located just north of Columbus OH.  I really enjoyed this trail.  It was very well planned out.   Throughout the ride there were places where the trail split, with an advanced option one way and an easy option the other.  There were a bunch of ladder bridges and log climbs.  Not much elevation gain either.  Easy on the aerobic system unless you ride it super fast.

Vulture's Knob - Wooster - THIS PLACE IS A MUST Multi-use

There aren't many places that are as unique as Vulture's Knob.  Recently I tried to visit their webpage and nothing came up.  I can't imagine that this placed has closed.  I'd do a search or talk to a local before I made an attempt to  go here.  Check out some of the reviews on www.mtbr.com or do a Google search.  Also there are a few www.youtube.com videos of the park.  You have to see it to believe it.  FUN, FUN, FUN.  Great place for taking pictures.  I do give a poison ivy alert!

Mohican State Park - West of Loudenville - Multi-use

One of the only places I've ridden in OH with real climbs.  This area has some nice trails that travel through old growth forest.  As of 2006 they were working on some new trail in the area.  Locals talked about a potential 30+ miles. 

West Branch - East of Ravenna - Multi-use

This is one of my favorite places to ride.  There are a couple different types of terrain in this park.  One section hugs the lake and meanders back and forth around the water and in out of coves.  Then there are the moderate and advanced trails.  These trails require some real skill.  There are tons of rocks in this area and they will keep you on your toes.  You have to have balance and the ability to put your bike where you want it.  There are logs to ride and some small planks to ride across.  If your in the area, you have to stop by this place.  It is well mapped and marked.

 

Pennsylvania Trails

Gina and I traveled to Harrisburg PA for our 2008 4th of July Trip.  I found a lot of info about the area trails by visiting the Susquehanna Area Mountain Bike Association (SAMBA).

Swatara State Park - Harrisburg - Multi-use

Nicely groomed trails.  A good 6.5-7 mile ride.  Not too challenging.  It would be a fast mtb. xc course.  Similar to Explore Park.

Weiser State Park - North of Harrisburg - Multi-use

Rocky single track, jeep roads, and snowmobile trails.  Would be a good place to ride if you had a suggested route.  Reminded me of the Dragon's back minus the lung busting climbs. 

Govenor Dick - South of Lebanon - Multi-use

We ran and biked here.  These are some rocky trails.  Trail 15 is one crazy ride.  Lots of big rocks to maneuver over.  I really like the ride on trail 15.  It was pretty technical.   Lots of black raspberries here for a mid ride snack!

Michaux - South of Shippensburg - Multi-use

Supposed to have some of the toughest trails in the east.  Lots of rocks here.  Reminded me of the Glenwood Horse Trail near Roanoke.  We stopped by the Pine Grove Furnace Park office to get some maps and recommendations.  We ended up riding off of Ridge Road.  We also had some old race maps from http://www.racemichaux.com  I would suggest getting a local to give you a suggested route.  We spent a lot of time looking at our map.  This place was loaded with blueberries.  They were everywhere.  Nice treat. 

Rocky Ridge County Park - York - Multi-use

For a county park this place has it all from beginner to advanced trail.  Lots of fun.