Blacksburg, VA Atv Trails and Maps

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Recent Trail Reviews

Greenbrier River Trail

The Most Scenic Section

September, 2019 by tedmcgarry

I am a section cyclist who over time has completed all sections of the 77 mile Trail. The Trail has no bad sections. Traillink’s Greenbrier River Trail description and reviews give complete and accurate information on the Trail. I will not repeat. I share three observations.

First, if you have time to do only one section, this is the one. It is in the Northern Section between Clover Lick southward to Sharp’s Tunnel and bridge. This Trail section has the most scenic and remote mountains. It is a ‘gorge’ with the mountains sloping down to each side of the River with a mountain sharing the Trail on one side. No roads or houses for 5 miles. Two of the greatest landmarks on the trail are in this section. They are Sharp’s Tunnel and the adjacent curved bridge over the Greenbrier River. Hey, it’s the reason they are shown on the cover of the State Parks’ brochure.

Second, the fastest trip to Clover Lick, Cass and the Northern trailheads is from the East side of the River. From Marlinton the trip uses some combination of WV routes: 39, 28, 92, 66 depending on the trailhead. Note: The Clawson/Thorny Creek trailhead is on the end of a painful and s-l-o-w drive on a rough steep gravel road for 5 miles which takes 15 minutes. I have a front wheel drive minivan, but I made it out. Instead, I recommend access to this fine Trail portion by taking the Trail from Marlinton or Clover Lick.

The Northern trailheads can also be reached from Marlinton on the West side of the River using US 219 to County Road 1 immediately north of Marlinton. Know that this route is scenic but slower as it is a rural, paved and one lane shared road in many places.

Finally, the Greenbrier River Trail State Park reviews can be found on two web sites. You found one. The other is Trip Advisor which is free. You have to query ‘West Virginia’ and run through the menus to find the Trail listing. In Sept. 2019 there were 120 reviews. Trip Advisor rates the Trail as # 11 of 169 Outdoor Activities in WV. I have cross posted this review.

Potts Valley Rail Trail

Such potential, so poorly maintained

September, 2019 by earleirwin

Rode from NE trailhead, finding the first mile plus nearly impossible to bike. Treacherous descent / ascent through area of former trestle (pushed / pulled bike, cannot imagine riding it). Many downed trees and branches at intervals the entire length. Although we pulled smaller ones that we could manage, off the trail, significant more remain, most will require tools. Good signage, including reflective markers through the first section where the trail is nearly indiscernible; mileage designations would be helpful. Recommend riding from SW trailhead 3 miles to trestle site, then turn around and ride back. Those 3 miles scenic, with the trail elevated through woodlands. No mountain views while trees in leaf. Consider that elevation rises from NE to SW.

Greenbrier River Trail

60th Birthday trip

August, 2019 by cathiwells

My husband surprised me with a trip to this trail for my birthday! We started at the south end and did the first 11 miles (in and back out) and then rode the northern section from Cass down to Marlinton on the 2nd day and the 3rd day went from Marlinton to Beard. It was honestly the best surface on a Rail Trail that I’ve seen... The terrain is pretty well flat (I think it descends 740 feet over 78 miles) and is an easy ride for any level of rider. Not a lot of places to stop to get water, snacks or food so carry all that with you. We didn’t get to finish all the trail but will be going back. My favorite part was from Marlinton to Beard though.

Accordion

Greenbrier River Trail

Great ride over three days

August, 2019 by sherpa2trees

My husband, 7 year old son, and I rode this trail over three days on our hybrid bicycles. Cass to Marlinton (about 25 miles), Marlinton to Renick (almost 32 miles) and Renick to Caldwell (about 21 miles). There is a slight downhill slope if you begin at Cass and end at Caldwell. The only exception was around mile 13 where it appears that there was a rockslide and the best way for the trail maintainers to fix the trail was to build a short, moderately steep incline and equally short and moderate decline on the other side.
We arranged a shuttle with Chuck at Appalachian Sports in Marlinton for the first 2 days and a shuttle with Bobby and Cyndi at Free Spirit Adventures in Caldwell for the 3rd day. All of them were very helpful and friendly.
The trail itself was fairly well maintained, with occasional brush sticking out into the pathway and only one blowdown for which we had to dismount and push our bicycles over the branches. The surface is mainly crushed gravel with a few miles of pavement approaching and leaving Marlinton.
The trail is generally 15-30 feet above the river, sometimes veering away from it, and has river access at various points, the best access was in the final section between Renick and Caldwell. We saw multiple people swimming in the relatively shallow Greenbrier River in this section.
There are outhouses, water pumps, and campsites or shelters scattered along the way, but you definitely want to pack your own water. If you wanted to bike camp and had the map, it would easily be doable. We plan to do this in a future trip.
We thoroughly enjoyed our ride, despite the temperatures being in the high 80s/low90s and took advantage of the river access and water pumps to stay cool.

New River Trail State Park

Beautiful mountain trail

June, 2019 by smithc061309

My husband and I rode the New River Trail in two days / segments. We started both days at the New River Trail State Park - Foster Falls, as it is essentially the mid-point of the trail. On day 1, we rode from Foster Falls north to Pulaski. This was an easy ride with views of the river for most of the trip. We crossed several bridges and trestles on this trip including a large one near Hiwassee. Soon after crossing under I-81, we came to the split for the Dora Trail. If taking the Dora, be aware there is a somewhat steep grade with a few washout channels in it, so watch your speed. We arrived at Heritage Park in Pulaski right on time for a picnic lunch. The ride back was also pleasant and we encountered several trail users, bicycles and walkers. On day 2, we again began at Foster Falls and rode to the Galax / Fries junction. Since we had done our sightseeing in Galax earlier on our trip, we rode to and through the tunnel on the way to Galax, then turned around and continued on the Fries (pronounced 'freeze') trail spur. The trail ends in a very nice little park with a small café. We ate here with a group of other bicyclists and exchanged stories and trail recommendations. The park is right on the New River and has a beautiful view of waterfalls.

The southern half of the New River Trail is much more scenic than the northern half, in my opinion. The New River is possibly the most scenic river we have ridden to date, especially near Buck Dam and Buck Reservoir. We rode past several historical markers like the rock crusher at Ivanhoe, and a large concrete wall structure we determined to be the lead mine. We also encountered several horses on the southern half of the trail – a first for us on our biking adventures (we have our own horses at home, so dodging the ‘horse piles’ was nothing new). There is trail access to the historic Shot Tower as well, roughly 2 miles from Foster Falls (with tower tours on select dates). The entire trail was very well maintained, and we encountered maintenance crews in several places. For reference, we ride Trek bikes (his is a Merlin mountain bike and mine is a Verve2 hybrid). It was a nine-hour drive for us to get to this trail, but the mountain views and scenery were well worth it to this ‘flatlander’. We highly recommend this trail.

New River Trail State Park

Really nice trail

May, 2019 by jstratakes

Two and a half day bike packing round trip from Pulaski to Galax (via Fries) and back to Pulaski (May 17-19).
Friday afternoon - Loaded up the bikes at the start of the Dora Trail in Pulaski. After a quick visit to the Pulaski Bike shop headed down the Dora Trail 1 1/2 miles to the junction with the New River Trail and off we went. Dora Trail was a bit of a mess. Lots of candy stretches, not much fun on loaded up bikes. Once we got on the New River Trail though it was smooth sailing.
We stopped at Draper for a late lunch at the Mercantile (recommended), then finished our 24 mile day at the Millrace Campground at Foster Falls. Great facility, we had a site right on the river. There's a camp store and a park store for little things, but there's nothing else in the immediate area, so if you overnight, bring your own food for camp. You can buy firewood there.
Saturday - Packed up and hit the trail early for a 40 mile day to Galax via Fries. The section from Foster Falls to Fries was my favorite of the trip. Very scenic and relaxing. Stopped for lunch at the Café in Fries. While the trail was worth the miles in its own right, lunch at the café was icing on the cake. Hearty helping sizes hit the spot, friendly staff and a great view of the river. Then back down the Fries spur trail to the main trail and on to Galax. At the junction, the main trail actually leaves the New River and follows Chestnut Creek into Galax. While we had been riding "uphill" most of the way so far, it had been a very gentle uphill until Fries Junction. The rest of the way into Galax was a noticeable uphill, not hard, but definitely going uphill. The state park campground was full that night so we camped at the Old Cranks RV park in Galax. The good - nice relatively clean bath house with hot showers, and within walking distance of downtown Galax (hello Creek Bottom Brewery). The bad - that was the only amenity. No trees, no fire pits, no tables (I mean come on, a picnic table is kind of a given for a campground, but not here).
Sunday - A quick bite and we were off for 52 miles back to Pulaski. Pretty much downhill until the very end. The Dora Trail conditions were much more aggravating at the end of 50+ miles, but it was a short aggravation at least, and was partially offset by a great late lunch at Al's On First in Pulaski.
Overall a great trip. The New River Trail was in fantastic shape. Way more scenic bridges and trestles than I expected. Great scenery throughout, especially between Foster Falls and Fries. Other than Pulaski, Draper, Fries and Galax, there are no towns along the way, and be sure to check the hours for the Mercantile and Fries Café if you plan to stop at either to make sure they'll be open. There are plenty of sheltered tables (some with chemical toilets nearby) along the route.
Overall a worthwhile and very enjoyable trail. It worked out well as a bike packing route and would be just as nice doing sections as day rides. Might skip the Dora Trail next time though.

Greenbrier River Trail

A 5-star ride

April, 2019 by bruceamiller@comcast.net

In early April two of us rode the Trail north to south, from Cass to North Caldwell, 77 miles. We really enjoyed the ride.
The Trail is double track or road, level or gentle grades. The surface is mostly small crushed limestone, with coarse gravel periodically. Pavement occurs around Marlinton. We rode 35mm wide tires, which were fine.
Several trees were down from a recent storm. The state trail crew removed them and cleared a small rock slide. Numerous small branches and sticks littered the trail, so we had to watch as we rode.
The two tunnels (511 and 402 feet) have rideable surfaces. It was helpful to have a light, as the tunnels bend.
The Trail follows the river, which is mostly placid with occasional riffles. Hills are on both sides.
We saw blue heron, woodpeckers, teal, wood ducks, Canada geese and deer.
The ride is very rural, passing occasional cabins and a few farms. Marlinton is the only town with services. We enjoyed red pepper soup at its Dirt Bean Cafe, which doubles as a bike shop. It’s important to carry hydration and food.
We did a layover day in Watoga State Park, which offers numerous hiking trails. Park cabins 1 and 2 (Riverside) are close to the trail. Unfortunately they were not open yet, so we stayed in cabin 3, up the hill but well worth the climb. By prior arrangement a cabin can be left unlocked, to avoid riding 5 miles from the trail to the Park office.
There is no lodging at North Caldwell, the south trail end. Lewisburg is 3 miles away and has motels, but requires riding on US 60 (a 2-foot shoulder and busy traffic).
We used Appalachian Sport to shuttle us back to Cass, about a 2-hour drive with a local who filled us in on picking ramps and ginseng.
Bottom line: if you like multi-day rural trail riding, the Greenbrier is an excellent choice, especially with a layover day in Watoga State Park.

Lick Run Greenway

In progress

January, 2019 by heidijrc

They are working in it. Has a lot of potential. Great to run on. I would wait to bike until they finish.

Jackson River Scenic Trail

Wide Flat Lonely

November, 2018 by finedesignny

Let's say I lived nearby. I'd be on that trail often for biking and running. In the summer it was nice and firm, flat and wide. On a hot August Monday I saw nearly no one else except a humongous shaggy white free-range dog that chased me a 1/4 mile. The good news is: He didn't bite either me or my tire.

Greenbrier River Trail

A Secluded Ride

September, 2018 by rgrosholz

My brother and I rode the length of greenbrier, out and back, between 9/13 - 9/15 2018. We chose to start in Marlinton due to remoteness of the trail and lack opportunities to replenish supplies. Following this itinerary we would have the opportunity to either begin or end our day here and have access to most anything that we needed. I also had full cell service here on the AT&T network allowing us to check the weather forecast, check messages and check in with family. Heading south from MM 55 toward Caldwell on the first day, we were quickly away from civilization and passed the only trail side convenience store at Seebert (~MM46). The trail was well maintained in this section and easy to ride with our hybrids. I was pulling a Bob trailer with camping gear. The scenery is beautiful including the Droop Mountain tunnel and there are many very nice cabins/summer homes here. There is ample river access for fishing or refreshing with a swim. After hearing from some locals that the water fountain at the 3.1 MM was broken, we decided that our time would be better spent finding a clean water source. We slightly shortened our trip and set up camp at the 9.5 MM camp site. I would advise bringing some method for filtering water if you plan to ride for a length of time. There are few opportunities to fill water bottles. The site here was very nice with a brand new camping shelter. The only downside was lack of water. We had to ride 5 miles round trip to find a spring. Day 2, heading north back toward Marlinton we had the motivation of knowing that we could get some prepared food and cold drinks in Seebert. When in Marlinton, we returned to our vehicles to charge our phones and drove across the bridge to the IGA grocery store for water and food for our last day. We camped at MM 64, this site was similar to the others with fire ring/cooking grate, level crushed limestone tent pad, outhouse, shelter and even had a water pump. Day 3 we began heading north to Cass (16 mi) where we planned to turn around and finish in Marlinton. This section had some muck which made it difficult to maintain a good roll. This was also the only section that had a noticeable grade. After learning this, it may be worth considering starting out in this section as opposed to making the climb on tired legs. The river looked very favorable for fishing here as well and I regret not stoping to make a few casts. The second of two tunnels is on this stretch so be sure to bring a light. Overall, a very well maintained trail, more than sufficient camping facilities and remarkable scenery. I would recommend this ride to anyone who has the desire go off of the grid for a few days. I plan to return and spend some time on the river.

Lick Run Greenway

poorly maintained and dangerous

September, 2018 by sprinkhaan_1

I had a very bad (like, emergency room kind of bad) crash on this greenway near washington park. they have allowed roots to push up the asphalt in a section that is shaded and has poor visibility; none of the damaged area is marked. the city of roanoke should be ashamed of the lack of maintenance. it's a hazard and I would avoid any trail maintained by the city.

Greenbrier River Trail

Good Ride

September, 2018 by jstratakes

A friend and I bike-packed the trail (Caldwell to Cass and back) 10-12 Sep 2018, Trail was in good shape. Keep in mind this is a long 77 mile trail (yes 77 miles, trail starts at mile marker 3, goes to mile marker 80) mostly through wilderness. Yet the upkeep of the trail was very good. Despite getting rain at least once a day (and locals indicated that the summer has been very wet), the trail was in great shape. There were some muddy/greasy spots - spots being the operative word here - (note; this is before Florence) but not many.

The trail surface was good, some isolated spots were more gravelly where recent repairs or maintenance had been done. I rode a full suspension mountain bike (definitely overkill - rode with suspension locked out). My friend rode a no suspension Trek Crossrip. Both of us were fully loaded with camping gear and clothes and neither of us had any issue with the trail. Any hybrid with decent off road tires will do fine here.

The trail is typically dual track with both "lanes" rideable. While there ar every short lengths where the tracks get narrow (mostly in open grassy sections), they are few and far between and not real problems at all.

We rode three days, 55 mi Caldwell to Marlinton (camped at Stillwell park) on day 1, then 65 miles up to Cass and then down to a cabin at Watuga St Park on day 2 before finishing 43 miles back to Caldwell on day three.

Note to bikers, if you rent a cabin at Watuga, know that the park office is 5 miles off the trail (uphill), not what you want to deal with if you've had a long day in the saddle already. We called and switched o one of the two cabins on the river and had them leave the key in the cabin for us - avoiding the trek to the office.

Note also that Marlinton is in the National Radio Quiet Zone and has very limited cell coverage. However, both the visitor's center and the Dirtbean Café have free wifi and you can make phonecalls over wifi from either location.

Only negative is the lack of towns and amenities along the route, especially between Caldwell and Marlinton. Once we hit Marlinton, the Dirtbean Café (Café, bar (wine/beer), Pizza joint, Coffe Shop, and bike shop) became our lodestone. Good food, good local craft beer, friendly staff. Hit it three times in our up and back journey (really good craft brews).

Bottom line, good trail for a multi day trip (have to plan it right though). An contrary to an earlier review, WV can be proud of this trail.


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