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Find the top rated atv trails in Staunton, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
For a couple of years now the Friends Of The Chessie Trail have been installing pedestrian/bike gates next to the large farm gates that were often difficult or impossible to open. The last pedestrian gate was recently installed on the Buena Vista end of the trail, and now you can bike from one end to the other without having to lift your bike over a gate.
There are still a couple of places where you will have to exercise care or dismount to go around one of the large gates. Those gates are at the Buena Vista trailhead and and at the South River. VMI has plans to replace those gates with bollards which will allow easy passage by pedestrians and cyclists. Hopefully we'll see action on this soon.
Today I rode from Cass to Seebert, and back. The trail is well kept, with few ruts and no downfall blocking my path;. Most important, the trail was smooth enough I wasn't jostled and could maintain a steady pace. Near Marlinton, there is a section of asphalt, some of which is being buckled by roots growing underneath. Noticeable, but far from dangerous and un-fun as is sections of the Erie Canal Towpath trail.
I ran across a state maintenance worker who was driving it. He stopped, was friendly and we had a short, nice conversation.
On a beautiful bike ride along the Jackson River, we encountered walkers, bikers, fishermen, runners, and folks on horses decked in pink riding for The Cure. We clocked 27.1 miles out and back starting at the Intervale parking lot; riding on a wide, hard packed crushed stone tread way. And, we saw a Bald Eagle! Thanks to Alleghany County and The Alleghany Foundation for implementing and maintaining this trail. It's a gem!
I had a very good ride on the "new" section (from the Smith Bridge Trailhead northward) and my GPS read it as 6.5 miles. It's 3.5 miles from Smith Bridge to the Natural Well trailhead, and then another 3 miles to the terminus. I get 7.2 miles for the old section, so I make the total length as 13.7 miles. Some report it as longer. The confusion may be due to the old railroad mileposts, which don't correspond to the miles on the trail.
The new section has the same smooth surface as the old section. I think it's the best surface of any of the rail-trails in Virginia. The average grade on the new section is about 0.3%, so it's barely noticeable. The scenery is excellent. The trail follows the Jackson up until the last half mile or so, where the Jackson curves west to the dam and the trail continues north along Cedar Creek.
There are two picnic tables at the northern terminus, which is a nice spot although there are better views along the way. These are the only picnic tables or benches on the new section at present. There are some surfaced areas near the small trestles that suggest that tables or benches may be added later. There's a porta-potty at the Natural Well trailhead.
I did encounter an obnoxious beagle a couple of miles north of the Smith Bridge trailhead. I need some James Bond style accessories on my bike for these situations. Other than that, it was a great ride. Allegheny County has done a great job on the trail. I hope they add some tables and benches on the new section, and perhaps come up with a better trail map and mile markers.
Labor Day weekend - my wife and I rode the trail on Sunday and loved it. We met some friendly folks from Covington along the way. The trail now extends a few miles north of Natural Well. Even though it had rained the night before, the trail was dry and the crushed gravel provided a smooth, consistent surface. All the parking lots, including Natural Well, have at least a porta-potty & picnic table. The distance from Intervale to just beyond Natural Well is approximately 12.5 miles.
We were very happy with this ride! Great trail for families with young children. Our 12-year old had fun and we were able to easily pull our daughter along in a bicycle trailer since the path is a nice smooth surface the entire way. Very scenic, saw lots of wildlife, and was able to stop and let the kids play in the river at the end!
We rode the trail today starting in Buena Vista. There was one locked gate that required us to hand our bikes over the cattle fence and several farm gates that were passable. At one location, there were about a dozen cows and a donkey that were "on" the trail, making passage difficult. Along this stretch of the trail, cattle are grazed and there were multiple places with fresh cow dung.
My wife and I rode this trail on June 25, 2017. We started in Marlinton and rode north for about 10 miles before turning back. What we liked about the trail:
Lots of wildlife. Deer, rabbits, groundhogs
Sharp's Tunnel is impressively creepy to ride through
What we didn't like:
The trail is becoming overgrown. In many places, it looked like a rutted country road, with weeds growing in the middle and encroaching on the narrow path. There was only about 16 inches per path. There was a fallen tree across the trail near the tunnel. You had to get off your bike to squeeze under. It looked as if maintenance is seldom done on the trail. It could use a good mowing and new layer of crushed grave.
I started in Lexington, first of all parking is very limited at this end and I didn't see any signs for parking. The first few miles are very nice with scenic views of the Maury River. Then I came upon a gate which you had to go through because the trail extends on private property. There was a cow lying next to the gate on the other side which made it impossible to open. On top of that there were other cows or steers lying on the trail and it was full of manure so I headed back. Doubt if I would do this trail again.
They have just completed another 10 miles of trail this spring. The best I can tell, it's now a bit over 17 miles long. It a quite wide and seems to be a very well-maintained trail. There is no more than a 1% grade on any part of the trail so it's suitable for families. Much of it follows the Jackson Rive and it's it has cool breezes of air coming off the water on a hot days. It appears they are still currently expanding the trail into the city of Covington. They have added bathrooms and a nice picnic shelter near the Intervale Trail Head in the city. However the upper end of the trail beyond the Smith Bridge Trail head has recently been completed and lacks facilities. Although there are plans to add them in the future. Most of the trail is well shaded by the trees in the summer and appears to drain nicely following rain. It's worth the trip to for the scenery alone!
Tried to ride this trail on 5/31/17 starting in Durbin. Had a nice chat with a local while gearing up. First quarter mile was good, then the overgrowth started. Further I rode, the worse it got. At around mile 7 it really was out of control, but I rode on. Around mile 8 there was a blowdown to climb over. The growth was seat high at this point. About mile 9 it was a single track ride and could not see the trail, just a path in the "grass". I turned around as I like to see what I'm riding into, and could not. A big disappointment. It was not worth the drive to get there. Don't bother. Ride the Allegheny Highlands Trail in Elkins instead!
My son and I rode this trail over 5 days in July 2001 from Caldwell to Cass. He was 9 at the time. We packed most everything on my bike and camped when we were tired, dished when we felt like it and took side trips along the way to Watoga SP and Marlonton. We ultimately rode over 1100 miles an made memories to last a lifetime. Great trail! We got to see deer, bear and one rattlesnake lying on the trail so please remember: this is truly wilderness. Plan accordingly.