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Level: Beginner
Length: 5 mi (8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +107/ -89 ft
Total: 171 riders

Mountain Biking Harwood's Mill

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#38 of 300 mountain bike trails in Virginia
#1,220 in the world

The trail has two loops, novice and advanced. The novice trail is a nice twisty, rooty, small humped single-track. The advanced trail picks up where the novice trail ends, there are signs. The advanced trail is not much more difficult that the first, a few more roots, a couple of very small hills and log crossings. The track is a very fast single-track. I would ride this trail again! I recommend ridding both loops twice at decent speed and you'll have some fun! This is the best trail I've ridden so far in and around the VA beach, Newport News area.

First added by getonthetrail on Dec 26, 2003. Last updated May 2, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From VA Beach, I-64 west to exit 258. Follow U.S. Route 17 north for about 4 miles, then turn left on Oriana Rd. (Route 620). Cross over Harwood's Mill Reservoir and immediately turn left into the parking area for Harwood's Mill. The bike trail starts across Route 620 from the parking lot.
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Harwood's Mill Trail map

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Local Info

Trail checkins

Saboshua (on Apr 29, 2020)
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Trail conditions

Wet (on Apr 29, 2020)
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Harwood's Mill videos

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Harwood Mill Bike Trail (through tree)
Harwood's Mill no music.wmv
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Newport News, Virginia

Intermediate | 10 mi
Easiest | 3 mi
Beginner | 9 mi

Rider questions

Q: Which side of the water are the trails on? Are they on the sports complex side, or on the other side across the reservoir?

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  • Bendyprissy

    We just rode Trail A. There were more mtb's there this time than have been since we started coming here about 6 mths or so. It was nice.

    So they have cut through the 2 trees that were down from Tropical Storm Isiasis (probably not spelled right) which were blocking the trail so that's nice and was quick.

    It had rained at some point but was not muddy. The dirt was a little softer which gave my tires good grip. We were able to complete the trail in 11 minutes which was record time for us noobs. Great workout! Very rooty as usual, plenty of sharp turns. Great place for us to build our skills. This trail is maintained quite well. Definitely prepare for the skeeters though. Those suckers are viscous!

    All in all we love this trail system and are working our way up to trails A& B. We have ridden them once each. Trail B is the longest and it needs to be cooler for me as I just cannot tolerate that trail in the heat/humidity here in summer. And I had to bypass a couple obstacles on trail C because I'm just not there yet and need more practice. It is definitely the most technical of the 3.

    So just waiting for it to start cooling off so we can venture to the other trails! Hope this review helped.

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  • jat2172

    I am new to MTB since about April or so & Trail A is the first MTB trail I ever rode. I had ridden streets before. I am in my 40s & out of shape but working on it. I say all of this to let you know my skill level.

    So I loved this trail & am totally hooked! The trail markers say trail A is beginner, B is moderate, & C is advanced. I read a couple reviews saying they are all beginner. Well I have ridden all 3 & coming from a noob, I can definitely tell the difference between all 3 & can see how they build in endurance & skill. But I have watched videos of different level trails & can see how all 3 of these trails could be considered beginner by an experienced rider. I did have to go around a couple obstacles on trail C as I am not ready for them yet. If I were to label the trails I would probably say A & B are beginner & C is moderate.

    All of the trails are single track, one way. I have seen joggers on trail A before & I am very embarrassed to admit I got passed by a jogger on trail A. In my defense, that was my second time ever on a MTB trail & I was on a cheap Walmart Mongoose Excursion girls bike as I am short. I have since upgraded to a slightly better bike from Bikes Direct, Galaxy FSX 1.0 full suspension, adult bike. The difference between this bike & the Mongoose is astonishing. So I cannot wait to save up for a high end bike in the future. Now that I have been doing it a little bit, no one will be passing me jogging! :)

    Trail A is extremely rooty, which has helped me gain skills for that. There are many climbs with some descents. You can get some speed in a couple places. It is definitely a cardio experience. It is about 1.4 miles. The entrance is directly off of Oriana Rd, just down from the Trail Head at the Harwoods Mill Park parking lot. The exit is onto a fire road in the middle of the woods. The entrance to trail B is just across the fire road from the trail A exit. You can take the fire road back to the street by the parking lot which is about a mile away. The trail is all forested & shaded.

    Since tropical storm Isaias hit here beginning of August, there is a tree down that can be ridden around & then one more that you must get off your bike & either go under or over. The trail is well kept so I do not think the downed trees will be an issue for long.

    I have only ridden trails B & C once. Trail B is the longest at about 3 or so miles & I am waiting for it to get colder as my endurance is not quite there yet in this heat. Trail C is out of my league just yet but working on it. All in all I would definitely recommend these trails. They do get other riders so you will not be the only ones out there.

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  • 123654789

    Just getting back into mountain biking. Picked up my bike and decided to take it for a little ride. The trail was very well taken care of and set up great for little area they actually have. This is a trail that the local MTB association maintains and they seem to have done a great job. For a true beginner (I BMX raced about 18 years ago and have been out of the bike game since) the trail was not too difficult but provided some challenges with the narrow width and sharp turns.

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  • greengianttalon

    The trail was dry. Maintained. The access road have worked on. Lot better than they were last year.

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  • Lorimo07

    Fun and fast, enough hills for me to practice timing and shifting as a beginner.

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  • greengianttalon

    Nice trails. Not too hard. Beware of ticks in the tall grass. The access roads are rough, but the trails are nice and marked. Not too hard or rooty.

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  • sgniwder99

    Just rode this trail while in town for a wedding. I had low expectations for coastal VA mountain biking, to say the least. You have to keep in mind that this area is dead flat, so the ratings are relative. Still, this is an undeniably fun place to ride. Don't know if the trails have been built up since previous posters claimed 5mi of trail if you connect all 3 sections, but my Garmin was saying that linking trails A, B, and C and then looping back to A on the gravel access road made for a 10mi loop. It's fast, swoopy, and rooty in places. You won't be congratulating yourself for cresting any epic climbs here, but then, without any downhills there's pretty much no free speed either, making this a good place to put the pedal down and hammer for a couple of hours.

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  • 9EyedWolf

    Fun, rooted, sweeping trails. Lots of mild ups and downs, and switchbacks. Three sections A, B, and C adjoined by dirt road. Most sections good for beginners, but enough curves and drops to keep it interesting for experienced MTB'ers.

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  • PedalWheezer

    Been riding this trail for the last couple of years and think it's great. It's beginner level from a technical aspect but is a complete blast when pushing hard. The new trail A (as of a couple months ago) is fantastic! It's not long but the flow and layout may now be my absolute favorite section on the peninsula. Hat's off to EVMA on the mods! Nice work!

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  • RoTTn

    Fun area, not a tough trail, but enough hills and little jumps to make it fun. Nice loops to push yourself for conditioning. I'm just getting back into riding so I'm not to technically skilled and this area works well. I will go back. I've been to First Landing and that's pretty boring, and to Lake Maury which is a little tougher due to the amount of roots. Like this trail best so far.

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  • craigasaurus

    Almost all of the fun of freedom park, with only half the drive. A few tight turns, some logs, and a few bridges make this a fun trail. Pay attention for the signs your first time there. Watch for dogs and horses. No air bridges but definitely some 8" tall rocks/logs.

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  • jw_german

    I just got back into mountain biking after many years away from it. After reading the previous reviews, I decided to try to tackle this trail first. I only did the novice trail, which was a workout for the first time back on a bike. The ride was very fun. I would recommend it to anyone, especially those just starting. I thought it was quite challenging without being too difficult as to deter me from wanting to continue. It left me wanting to train more to be able to tackle more difficult trails.

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  • jimmy812

    Have ridden all three trails 3 times now. None are very technical. Lots of fun and a great workout. I used MapMyRide and from the parking lot through all 3 trails it showed 6.59 miles.

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  • ajc_1988

    Rode this last weekend...I was a little confused at first trying to find the entrances, but if you follow the park ranger roads the trail entrances are easy to find. The novice is a nice warm up, the intermediate wasn't really all that bad, and the expert was a nice way to finish them all off. I'll be headed back there tomorrow. Cheers.

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  • DanAllen

    I just got back from riding this trail. Its not bad at all. I was hoping it would be a bit more technical. I only rode the novice and the advanced trails today. I'll have to hit the expert next time. If you have any singletrack experience at all then this will be an easy ride. Im very out of shape coming off of an ankle injury(havent ridden in almost a year)so it was just about right for me. I was huffing and puffing pretty good.

    The two trails took me about 40min to ride.

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  • scarruth2

    It was my first trail and I had an absolute blast

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  • wakum6

    This was my first time actually mountain biking and I have to say it was a blast. The trail was very well up kept. It was easy to follow and once you finished the novice trail the signs pointed you right to the advanced trail, very easy to follow. However I didn't even know there was an expert trail and when I exited the advanced trail I didn't see any immediate signs for it. Be forewarned the trail has tons of roots. I rode t on an older bike without suspension and it was very rough on me and the bike. I suggest gloves too, my shifting mechanism tore my thumb skin all up because my thumb kept smacki-g it. Overall great for beginners and a lot of fun.

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  • kleppe   ✓ supporter

    Good little trail. It's tight, and fast if you want it to be. I'm down TDY at JPME Phase 2. It's easy to get to the trail as we're out of class early enough to beat traffic. You can nail this trail over a 2 hour break easy. From what I've gathered it's the best trail down here.

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  • RappAttack

    what it lacks in elevation change it makes up for in technical obstacles. over all good ride for those in the hampton roads area. GO ODU!!!

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  • RoadWarrior

    Great in city trail. The best description of this trail would be "Fun". A couple of features in the advanced section with bypass's/return loops to ride again. Trail is one way, with the loops connected by a central road/ double track/ Forest Track. This is also the return route. Full loop, appx. 6.5 mi. 30-40 min. for a good rider.
    As stated by others rooty, and the only thing advanced on the expert trail is it's a little narrower and partly under water as of 4-4-10.* Review edited 4/4/2010

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