Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley offers bucolic pastures, rolling green hills, and charming small towns all nestled between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. With both flat and rolling hill topography in the Valley, and significant vertical challenge in the mountains, the Shenandoah Valley offers challenges for every age and ability level.
Harrisonburg was recently named “One of America’s Top Ten Mountain Biking Towns” by National Geographic magazine. With plenty of roads, trails, and open space Harrisonburg is the perfect destination for road and mountain bikers alike.
About 20 minutes southeast of Harrisonburg is Massanutten Resort’s lift-served Mountain Bike Park. It offers downhill trails that begin near the top of Massanutten Peak (2,922 feet) and are divided into five skill levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Advanced plus jumping skills, and Expert. There is a fully stocked bike shop on the premises, and if downhill isn’t for you, try about 30 miles of wooded trails on the western slope of the mountain, best suited for intermediate to advanced riders.
Further west, in Basye, Bryce Mountain Resort also offers lift-accessible trails for all levels of riders, plus the pretty 2.5 mile Lake Laura Trail.
A little further south, Staunton has an established seat in the cycling world, too. It is part of the long-running Bike Virginia Tour, which goes from Buena Vista to Staunton. Staunton is also the hub of the Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival, normally held in October and hailed as “One of America’s Best Fall Rides” by USA Today.
For those looking for higher altitude biking, bicycling is permitted along Skyline Drive and on paved areas in the Shenandoah National Park. However, bicycling is not permitted on trails, unpaved roads or in grassy areas in the park. Because Skyline Drive is a two-lane road with steep hills and numerous blind curves, bicyclers are urged to use extreme caution.
The back roads of Page County, Rockbridge County, Warren County, and Fort Valley offer additional opportunities for cyclists, as do the communities of Martinsburg and Harper’s Ferry in West Virginia.
If you are ready to gear up for a more active vacation, learn more about what to see and where to stay at VisitShenandoah.org.