- COL Index: 87.1
- Median Home Price: $144,900
- Population: 100,000; 312,000 metro area
- Miles of Singletrack: ~200
With the Blue Ridge Mountains rising up sharply to the west of town, not only is there some 200 miles of bike-legal singletrack near Roanoke, but those miles offer true mountain biking. “North Mountain Trail is a must-do for any serious mountain biker,” says Dan Lucas, Lead MTB Guide and Shop Manager for Roanoke Mountain Adventures. “It’s got a little bit of everything you would want in a backcountry trail: lung-busting climbs, skin-peeling descents, chunky tech rock gardens that will test the best trials riders, and classic East Coast rooty fun.”
While North Mountain (aka Dragon’s Back) is one of the best backcountry rides in the area, Mill Mountain is one of the most accessible, with some 8 miles of singletrack located right in the town of Roanoke. But the largest and most popular trail system in the area is Carvin’s Cove, located just outside of town, but still on city land. Carvin’s contains some 30 miles of singletrack ranging from flat, beginner-friendly trails to steep, black diamond plunges.
Roanoke offers great food, beer, plenty of bike shop options, and with a median home price of $144,900, the COL is very attractive. House prices are on the rise in Roanoke, but not as quickly as some others on this list: the median price of houses listed for sale is currently $169,900. If you’re looking to relocate, the time could be perfect to move to Roanoke.