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.