Railroad Grade Road

North Carolina

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Railroad Grade Road Facts

States: North Carolina
Counties: Ashe
Length: 10.8 miles
Trail end points: Railroad Grade Rd/US 221 (Fleetwood) and Todd Railroad Grade Rd (Todd)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 8413427
Trail activities: Bike, Fishing, Mountain Biking, Walking

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Railroad Grade Road Description

The Railroad Grade Road is a 10-mile road built on an old railroad grade that was once part of the Virginia-Carolina Railroad (Virginia Creeper).  This part of the Virginia Creeper line was abandoned due to the railroad company losing money running a line down to Todd, NC. In addition to walking and biking, travelers can enjoy some relaxing tubing downriver as the south fork of the New River runs parallel to the trail. Another attraction is the old Todd General Store, listed on historic landmark registers and located on the Railroad Grade Road. Patron can grab drinks, food, as well as rent bikes. The road is very narrow so some caution will need to be used. 

Parking and Trail Access

Parking available at Todd Store

Take 221 South towards West Jefferson and turn on NC 194 to go to Todd Railroad Grade Rd on left.

Railroad Grade Road Reviews

Beautiful , scenery with cooler mountain temperatures and rail road grade along a mountain river. A must ride if your in the Boone area and want a joy ride in the mountains.

This trail is a secondary road that travels alongside the New River. This is the only reason I gave it 4 stars. The road is flat, which is odd for the NC mountain area. I went on a Monday and it was pretty quiet, but you will see some vehicles.

Worth the drive for this scenic ride through the.country. Ride the trail on a weekday and the traffic was fine. Don’t forget to eat the sticky buns at Todd Mercantile Store.


I really like it.

Where else can you ride 20+ miles in the mountains on a level road? I started at Green Valley Park on Big Hill road about a mile out of Todd. Very nice park and plenty of parking. It is about a mile ride into Todd from here. Then you can ride for 10+ relatively level miles on Railroad Grade Road. There is some vehicle traffic on the road. So ride on the right and signal your turns, and you will get along just fine with the vehicles.

If you want a little hill climbing exercise on the way back, turn off on Castle Ford Road at Todd Island Park. There is a one mile climb over the mountain, then back down in the New River valley up stream from Todd. Take River Road to Big Hill Road. These roads are relatively level with light vehicle traffic and continue the scenic views of the New River that you see on Railroad Grade Road.

A great ride through the Mountains.

We just biked 5 miles of this from Todd General Store. The roads are generally sparse for traffic, but traffic does pick up after 3 p.m. There is a little off-road area called Todd Island with a bridge also. Nice ride, easy and generally flat. There is a mild incline on the way back toward the store, but nothing strenuous. Peaceful trip!

This trail is an easy paved ride. Started off 221 and rode to Todd in 45 min, then on to 194 to West Jefferson. now THAT was a ride, up the mountain, then down fast. Enjoy a short ride to 221 to Todd, or start in Todd and ride out and back. General store and Bakery, as well as a park in Todd make it a good half day outing.

My girlfriend and I drove over to Todd and biked this trail over the weekend. We rented bikes from the wonderful people at River Girl Fishing Company (located in the old depot at Todd) and biked to Fleetwood and back. It took us a little over two hours, including a short stop in Fleetwood. We had a great ride. Nice cool temps and very little traffic to speak of. The South Fork of the New River was filled with paddlers and tubers.

This is a really great ride. Very scenic and pretty much flat for the entire distance. Would definitely recommend this trail, especially if you in the Boone area (only 11 miles away).

We did not know if we could make a full 20 miles, so we chose to park midpoint at I believe Brownwood?Anyway we parked at a restaurant which had recently closed down Our first jaunt was to Todd, NC Nice ride but on this particular Sunday, there seemed to be a lot more motorist than I thought there would be. Still a nice ride overall to Todd NC Once we made it back to Brownwood we rode to Fleetwood Not as many cars on this stretch. I personally enjoyed it more because of less traffic and the folks tubing on the New River. Overall a fantastic place to bike. Flat trail but will give you a workout too! I would suggest lowering the speed to 25 People would be less likely to drive fast like some were today

first time there. Started at the end opposite of Todd and had my husband drive to Todd General Store to wait for me and our teenage son. Beautiful scenery with the lazy river, people tubing, fishing, etc. Next time we will probably start at the General Store and ride out and back as others seemed to do. A little bit of cars passing by (like 10-15 cars in 10.8 miles), but quite a bit of bikers so felt like drivers were mindful and drove around with caution.

My wife and I recently purchased bikes and have been exploring trails found through the help of TrailLink.
This trail deserves 5 stars, but because we have some reservations about sharing the road with motor vehicles, I rated it with 4. The scenery on this trail at times is breath taking! If you enjoy casual biking and beautiful scenery, this one is definitely worth the trip to Todd, NC!

My husband and I drove from Boone, it took about 25 minutes. The bike trail is a flat road, Railroad Grade Road. It follows the New River, one of the oldest river systems on earth. We biked from Todd to Fleetwood. The most scenic areas were the first two thirds of the way from Todd. We saw many cyclists and there weren't many cars on the road from 10:30 to 2:00 on a Sunday.

My wife and I drove up to ride on this trail. It has amazing views and also a great work out! We started at the Todd's General store and rode all the way to Fleetwood(20mile ride). I would highly recommend coming up to ride this trail. Some parts are narrow but nothing to be concerned with at all. Enjoy!

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