Carvin's Cove Trail system

   
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30
miles

Intermediate

Singletrack
↑ 4,900 ft
↓ 5,600 ft
5.4
avg mph
87
ridden
112
wishlist
1:57
avg time

Network
AVERAGE RATING
4.65 out of 5
About This Trail
added by Guest on December 31, 2002
 
Expert trails include Hi-De-Ho, the Gauntlet, the Trough, the Comet,Clownshead and Stickman. Intermediate trails include the Thousand Foot Climb (a fire road), the Hoe Trail, Mad Cow,the Girlscout trail and Funhouse. Beginner trails are Kit and Kaboodle, the Skillet,Easy Street and the Enchanted Forest. Trails are in a 13,000 acre watershed owned by the City of Roanoke and maintained by various mountain bikers, equestrians and hikers.Expect to see deer, wild turkeys, even black bear and rattle snakes. Very sweet technical rides, as well as family oriented rides.
Rider Questions
 

0

Q: are there any guided tours? Bikes to rent or do I have to bring my own? -Guest

A: No, it's just a trail system. You might want to check out Bryce Resort or Snowshoe Resort. Bike parks like those will have rentals and guided trails, as well as lift access.

Guest answered on June 24, 2014. Did you find this helpful? Yes | No

Answer

 
System Trails (20)
Happy Valley
Buck
Hotel
Four Gorge
The Trough
Hi-Dee-Hoe
Brushy Mtn
The Gauntlet
Four Gorge Ext
Jacob's Drop
Kerncliff
Hemlock Tunnel
Araminta
Comet
Tuck-A-Way
Songbird
Enchanted Forest
Arrowhead
School House
Little Bell
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Trail Activity
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Recent Trail Check-ins
19 check-ins
 
5 days ago
  idk
1 week ago
3 weeks ago
on Jul 12, 2014
on Jul 4, 2014
 
Jesse Patton on August 10, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Hands down my favorite trail system I've ever been on.

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tboke on June 19, 2014
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: Awesome place. Very well maintained. Four gulches to enchanted forest to songbird to schoolhouse back to comet than home on four gulches. 17 miles. Lots more to see. Left the steep climbs to youngsters. A photo of the huge map at the trail head was all I needed.

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Guest on September 12, 2013
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: Easy access to I-85 as I passed by on my way back from DC; large parking lot ($2 fee pay in box, or $20 yearly), friendly folks, and well built trails, which had nice shale armor on creek/runoff crossings. Loop that I did ended up at 18 miles in just over 2 hours, trying to cover as many trails as possible without doing the couple out-and-back down from the ridge to the river (Gauntlet and Trough). I rode my singlespeed and had a great time, through challenging roots.... So here's how I hooked it together with the help of Kyle, a local:
1. Four Gorge
2. Four Gorge Extension
3. turn right, then left on Tuck-A-Way
4. Enchanted Forest
5. Little Bell
6. left on Happy Valley
7. Arrowhead
8. right on Happy Valley
9. right on Songbird
10. r on HV to left on Comet
11. back up Tuck-A-Way
12. back Four Gorge Extension
13. back Four Gorge

Helpful Hints:
1. Brushy Mtn is two-track road that runs the ridge
2. Happy Valley is a two-track road that runs the altitude of the parking lot (Bennett Spgs)

hitarock, decatur, GA
Labor Day 2013

Similar Trail: 5 Points (Cloudland Canyon GA)

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grahamt on September 3, 2013
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: If I'm writing a review, it should be helpful but may not always please the locals. I didn't have as much fun as I'd hoped. I was first to arrive at trailhead at 7am and rode by myself (these trails would be more fun with someone riding with you.) Rode from trailhead to Four Gorges and rode out and back as warmup...non-spectacular but intermediate trail as advertised. Next went up Hi-dee-hoe where I swear there wasn't a switchback for the 1st half of the trail! ( A bit of an exaggeration, but the climb seemed endless to the top of the ridge.) I needed to walk my bike a bit which is a bummer because I had previously considered myself a decent climber. I guess that re-assessment is good! I expected a fun/fast ride down the Gauntlet Trail and the fast part was true...rocky, lots of roots and on my 29er hardtail I got bounced around a bit. Not a smooth section to be found! Even the connecting fire roads were bumpy (Now I'm just whining) Rode up The Trough Trail and connected to Buck and descended back to parking lot via The Hotel Trail. All-in-all, a great cardio and mental workout for almost 3 hours. I think the trails I rode might have provided more flow and enjoyment if I had rode in the opposite direction out of the parking lot, and rode a full-suspension bike. Others that I met on the trail met these criteria...I have learned that it is usually the right way when you "do what the locals do." If you go to the Blue Ridge Mountains, expect to climb, and no whining allowed. Great bunch of advanced trails and will ride again on my next visit...just in the opposite direction! Truly real mountain biking.

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rmoon on April 18, 2013
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: The reviews are spot on. I travel in business and take a bike with me. This trail system is very convienent to Interstate 81, right off exit 140. I will ride it everytime I pass through the area. It ranks among the best in the southeast.

Similar Trail: Oak Mt Al, Coldwater Mt Al, Racoon Mt Tn, Bent Creek NC, Dupont NC

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Greg Heil on November 20, 2012
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Awesome trail system with a great variety of trails! Fun, flowy, pretty non-technical trails down low, and fast, steep descents up high (some more technical than others). All in all, this is an excellent trail system! No wonder it's the go-to ride for Roanoke locals!

Similar Trail: Bent Creek

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mtberik on August 4, 2012
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Review: Carvin's Cove is a real nice biking park with 30+ miles of singletrack ranging from real easy to some double black dimonds. They recently made a new trail called Four Gorges Extention, it han some real fun banked corners and rolling bumps. I also recently saw a black bear on Songbird and some sort of snake about two feet long on Schoolhouse. the trails there are really fun and well built. Carvin's Cove is the best in the greater Roanoke Area.

* Review edited 8/4/2012

Similar Trail: explore park

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mtberik on June 20, 2012
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: i really like carvins cove for a lots of reasons. the well built trails, the good senery, and the funess. i especially like the new 4 gorges extension. its really fast and fun with alot of bumps and jumps.

* Review edited 6/21/2012

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xcguitarman on May 18, 2011
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: I learned to ride here and even though I've moved away will return again many times to ride. Everything from beginner to advanced is here so it makes for a perfect area to learn especially if you live in the area. Out of towners can buy a 10 dollar pass for a day at just the right gear on rt 311, or locals can buy a season pass for i believe around 50 bucks. The thousand foot climb on the fireroad will test your stamina but you'll be rewarded with your choice of about 6 sweet downhills. All in all this is a great ride and if you get the chance definitly check it out.

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papawhiskey99 on October 20, 2010
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: One of the greatest stops during my MTB tour of the mid atlantic states. Great variety and miles of sticky singletrack. Stop in at the "just the right gear bike shop" along the way and Dennis will provide you with some great advice on how to get around.

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paubay on May 22, 2010
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Great all around mt. biking trails from easy to difficult.

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HanBozo on May 12, 2010
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Review: I moved away and still dream about Carvin's. This place is unbelievably fun. Beats everything in the area in my opinion.

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aabiking on June 20, 2009
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Review: This trail system has just about everything. From beginner to expert. Tough climbs screaming downhills to a gentle pedal through the Enchanted Forest Trail.

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xcguitarman on May 22, 2009
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: great overall area for riding. I learned to ride here and plan on coming here very often for it's wide variety of beginner, intermediate and expert trails. If you love mountain biking you'll have a lot of fun here.

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ScubaSchaef on December 26, 2008
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Review: Epic ride, great place to train because it has all sorts of different style. The Thousand Foot Climb takes a toll, but your rewarded with some sweet trails on the way down

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wiretapstudios on June 12, 2008
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Different trails for all levels of riding. Main trail is wide fire road, but there are singletracks in various other sections. This is like a huge playground for mountain biking. I have seen it called 'a mountain bikers Disneyland.' I will be back multiple times. Seeing the lake while hauling down a nice hill is a good touch. Very scenic. Excellent maps available at the main office.

Similar Trail: Explore park

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wooddh on February 3, 2008
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Took my girlfriend here for her first "real" trail ride on her new Cannondale. We bought passes at Just The Right Gear and parked in the Bennett Springs lot. Rode down Carvin's Cove Rd to the fireroad and went up the left fork. Hit Songbird, Little Bell, Schoolhouse, Enchanted Forest (sweet stream crossing and some gnarly obstacles for the taking), and a few others. Walked up the fireroad on the right fork (brutal climb) and took the Four (more like 10) Gorges trail back to the parking lot. There was an awesome place for lunch on the northwest side of the reservoir with a picnic table overlooking the water. Four Gorges will work you after 5 hours of riding. We were both covered in mud at the end. Awesome trail system.

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aabiking on August 24, 2007
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: My route for a great workout is to start going up Hi De Ho. Once at the top take a left on the fire road until you get to The Gauntlet its a fast downhill with a few drops that you can hit a speed. Once at the bottom take a right and follow trail until you see the sign for the Trough. Now you head back up the mountain. At the top take a left on the fire road and take a right onto Bucks. Bucks is fun going down but watch the first switchback it comes up quick. It does have a straight shoot to stop on when you forget about the switchback which will save you. Take this trail to hotel then go right and follow back to the parking area. Man what a workout.

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stephgus on August 5, 2007
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Review: This is a fantastic trail. If you are looking for a long, heart-in-your mouth ride, take the Ho (or hotel, depending on the map) up to buck's rutt. Bucks will take you to the top of the mountain. Follow the fireroad (left off trail) and shoot down clowns head. Has to be the best trail in the system. Brakes are useless at one point, you'll be in a free slide - hold on, it's manageable, but you'll have to swallow your heart back down when you get to the bottom. It's a long ride, and don't go without a printed map the first time!

Similar Trail: Pandapas Pond - Blacksburg (Jacob's ladder and the snake)

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AntmanNC on June 2, 2007
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Rode Skillet a while back and loved it as a begginer. Have not been back to visit tougher trails. But this is a must ride for new bikers in the area.

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ockham on August 21, 2005
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Review: Great to be able to jump in the lake if you get too sweaty. Of course, since it is a water source for Roanoke, they don't like you to jump in in sight of the ranger station. Go about 5 miles on the weenie fire trail and there is the Tinker Creek inflow into the reservoir. I asked and they said "just don't tell anybody we gave you permission!" Great trails, a lot of fun. Not marked very well, but they give you maps at the ranger stations.

Similar Trail: Explore park has good switchbacks if you're looking for heart rate elevation exercises. Damn near killed me and I'm in good shape.

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getonthetrail on August 7, 2005
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Review: I stopped at Just the Right Gear bike shop on Hwy 311 to purchase a permit and a free map (the shop opens @ 9AM on Sat.). I started at the parking lot where the Hoe Trail and Hi-Dee-Hoe Trail heads begin. I decided to climb the Hi-Dee-Hoe Trail, about 2 miles. The climb begins simple enough but as you climb the trail becomes steep, narrow and technical. Once you reach the top of the mountain you're on dirt jeep trails until you reach the gravel fire road. I tried to find the Clown Head and Stickman trails that would lead me to the Comet trail but could never find them. The trails are not marked at all once you leave the parking lot. After spending a good hour bombing downhillís and climbing back up them I gave up and concluded my ride by bombing down the fire road most people climb. It was fun but next time I'd like to hit the other singletrack I hear is soooo sweet! Maybe next time the trails will be marked. Overall good technical climbs with fast technical downhill in spots.

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jeff on June 20, 2005
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Review: Had a hard time finding the trails using the directions above. We hit the dam area (#1) to purchase a permit but didn't realize that this isn't the best trailhead to start from for biking (you can start here but you'll be riding fire roads for miles before you hit the singletrack, plus they don't have any maps). Your best bet is to use #2 in the directions above, but first stop off at Just the Right Gear bike shop on Hwy 311 to buy a permit and pick up a free map. Tons of trails out here, although we ran into a fair number of downed trees along Clown Head and Comet trails. Only saw one other group on the trails on a Saturday, weird...

Similar Trail: Similar to some of the Pisgah trails but also similar to trails in Colorado.

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mudhunny on June 20, 2005
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Review: The fireroad climb was more fun than the downhill... sick, I know, but it was fun to climb more than 100 ft at a time like I've been doing for months in the flatlands of north carolina. The climb was pretty easy on a gentle grade, but I'll be back with a FS which I'm sure will make the downhill more enjoyable. Scenery and wildlife was great, too, everything about the trails were characteristic of real "mountain" biking in the mountains.

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Carvin's Cove Trail system MTB Trail 4.65 out of 5 based on 24 ratings. 24 user reviews.
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Trail Features
 
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
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Feature Article
Trail Tuesday: Carvin's Cove, Roanoke, Virginia
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