I’m planning a trip this fall halfway between our home in PA and friends in NC. On the map, Charlottesville looks to be midway. Any recommendations for great trails in the Charlottesville area, or somewhere else if +/- and hour or so if epic?
I’m from Virginia even though I live in Georgia now. The following were regular rides for me when I was living up there last. Sherando Lake has the most fun trails in the C’ville region IMHO. It’s a solid work out and plenty technical too. Big climbs and hell raising descents. Real mountain riding. Closer to C’ville is Walnut Creek Park which is nice and has some tough sections in it albeit shorter. These are my suggestions if you are coming down 81 with Sherando being the closest.
However, if you are heading east on 64 to pick up 85/95 in RVA, stop in town and ride the JRPS . These are the most badass of urban trails anywhere in the US and while they are hardcore intermediate to advanced riding you can hop off nearly anywhere on the route and be at a cool bar, restaurant, brewery, coffee shop within a mile or less.
All suggestions already made are good ones. Walnut Creek Park is fun and closest to cville, and can be ridden easily if you’ve never been with no chance of getting lost. Next closest to cville is the Sherando Lake area, which takes it up a notch with long steep climbs, rocky descents, muddy 4wd roads and the possibility of getting lost. I don’t remember it being well marked and there several different loops and ways to connect trails. If you’re good with a map or gps, it’s worth it.
Other options that haven’t been mentioned are the trails west of Staunton and Harrisonburg in the George Washington National Forest about an hour west of cville. Look up Narrowback mountain and Lookout mountain trails.
If you’re not familiar with mtbproject.com it’s a great resource and you can find all these trails on that site.