Harrisonburg, Virginia has won acclaim in recent years as a Bronze-level IMBA ride center, one of only 11 such ride centers world-wide. Located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg has a wealth of characteristically-gnarly East Coast singletrack, with a few sections of beginner-friendly trail thrown in here and there. The community features excellent in-town singletrack, with several certified IMBA Epics just outside of town. The racing scene is alive and well in Harrisonburg, with local races of various distances all the way up to the Shenandoah 100, part of the NUE series.
The Southern Traverse is a 32-mile IMBA Epic route that “is as close to riding in the wilderness as you can get on a bike,” according to Singletracks member RoadWarrior. Complete with uber-narrow trail tread, plenty of chunky rocks, massive climbs, and massive descents, the Southern Traverse packs a whallup!
If you’re looking for easy beginner trails, look no further than the Rocktown Trails at Hillandale Park. Conveniently located right on the edge of town, these short loops are great for an after work ride, after dinner jaunt if you just haven’t had enough already, or for introducing someone new to the sport.
If flow is what you’re after, Massanutten Resort to the east of Harrisonburg has you covered, with berms and jumps aplenty! These trails require a pass, and they are essentially XC trails. That means that there’s no chairlift access, except during the annual Massanutten Yee-Ha! downhill race. Still, despite the lack of chairlift access the rest of the year, the flow of these trails is legendary.
Back in 2011, several Virginia locals announced the pioneering of the Virginia Mountain Bike Trail. Well, this long-distance mountain bike route across Virginia is alive and well, and runs through the mountains near Harrisonburg. The route was pioneered in part by Chris Scott of Shenandoah Mountain Touring, near Harrisonburg.
Harrisonburg abounds with plenty of great food and drink options.
Corgan’s Publick House is an excellent Irish pub, with all of the amazing food and beer you’d expect an Irish pub to deliver.
Billy Jack’s Wing and Draft Shack offers “fresh chicken wings and “leghorns,” chili cheese fries with Wagyu beef, chicken sandwiches, (a) unique doughnut dessert, craft beers from all over the world, 12 rotating drafts, and the state’s largest selection of craft beers in the can.”
If you just want good beer and good burgers, check out Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint with over 100 beers and 3 revolving taps.
If you want to ride right from your hotel door, Massanutten Resort offers lodging at the resort to compliment their mountain bike trails.
Finally, if you’re looking for an all-inclusive mountain bike getaway, complete with lodging, food, and guided rides, Shenandoah Mountain Touring and Stokesville Lodge are your go-to resource in Harrisonburg. They do rides all over the Harrisonburg region, including trails as far away as Douthat State Park.
Unlike the Rocky Mountain states where it seems like every town you roll into is a bona fide mountain biking destination, in the Appalachians the true destination locations sometimes seem few and far between. Harrisonburg scoffs at that eastern stereotype, with a wide range of awesome singletrack riding, great amenities, and a thriving local bike scene. The next time you’re searching for an eastern mountain biking destination, make sure Harrisonburg, Virginia is on your short list!