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Park at the Discovery Center. There are 2 nice overlooks into the Roanoke Valley just uphill on a paved greenway from the Discovery Center. Just beyond the entrance to the Discovery Center is a walkway to the zoo. Start down the walkway and Ridgeline Trail veers off to the left in the grass paralleling the road you came in on. All the other trails here can be accessed from Ridgeline. A mile or so down Ridgeline trail, Riser Trail is to your right and Monument Trail is to the left. A nice loop can be made going onto Monument Trail for a killer downhill. When you get to the paved Mill Mountain Greenway go left and up. At the first next switchback take Big Sunny trail back to Riser Trail and finish the loop.
If you go further out Ridgeline Trail it becomes more of an old logging road with some steep stuff. Look for the rock pier on the left. There is a cut across the Fishburn Parkway to Wood Thrush trail. At the present this is an out and back, but still a nice one. Eventually I think the plan is to connect Wood Thrush with Monument Trail forming a totally singletrack loop. Now, Wood Thrush eventually joins the Star Trail and comes out in the Star Trail parking lot on Riverland Road (Rt 116). It’s pretty easy to access the Roanoke River Greenway here (Take a right on Riverland and circle around the power company facility and you are on the Greenway. A new trail called Virgina Pine was recently built off of Wood Thrush. It’s only a half a mile but is oh so sweet and worth the out and back. Star Trail is closed to bicycles. Otherwise a loop to Monument Trail would already exist. The trailhead for Wood Thrush has not been formalized either making these trails a little difficult to figure out the first time, but not too bad. These trails are really well built, drain wonderfully, and are very fast to ride. Hopefully they will add more to make some better loops in the future. The Mill Mountain Park director is a mountain biker himself so I think things will only get better over time. They could easily double the 8-10 miles there now. When my riding buddy first showed me these trails I thought wow, these are here in town and I didn’t even know about them. Most locals still don’t know about them.
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