The Dan River Basin is thick with mountain bike trails, with opportunities for beginners and hardcore riders both. Whether it’s technical singletrack in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains or a lazy dirt road ride in the woods along one of the many waterways that flow into the Dan, you find find your flow and mountain biking nirvana in the Dan River region.
Pick and choose from these half-dozen destinations, or string a few together for a long weekend adventure. See you out on the trails!
1. I.C. DeHart Park, Woolwine, Va
DeHart Park is a hidden gem just off the Blue Ridge Plateau in Patrick County, Virginia. The park offers great rides year-round, with two loops that offer a multitude of ride options. The route used for Shiner’s Revenge XXC and Bootlegger’s Blitz XC offers a taste of everything, and 90 percent of the route is singletrack. The park is located on the former estate of Isaac C. DeHart, who operated a roller and grist mill and legal distillery. The park has a picnic shelter, children’s playground, two tennis courts, a walking trail, baseball field and horseshoe pitching area. Admission is free.
2. Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury, NC
Four trails here offer 8.4 miles of intermediate riding on single track, with rock ledges, fast flow, stream crossings, and great views of the Sauratown Mountains. All four trails—Land of the Lost, Major Tom, Original Loop, and North Side trails—begin at the parking lot next to “The Farmhouse” located at 2700 Moore’s Springs Rd. Westfield, NC 27053. Advanced and beginner level trails are being developed now and will be constructed in the near future.
3. Staunton River Battlefield State Park, Randolph, Va
The Staunton River Battlefield Rail-Trail offers a leisurely mile-and-a-quarter ride along a gravel trail that crosses the battlefield as it follows an abandoned corridor of the old Richmond and Danville Railroad. This park itself is a 300-acre Civil War historic site where 700 Confederates held off an assault by 5,000 Union cavalry to successful hold a bridge that was of strategic importance to Gen. Lee’s army, then under siege in Petersburg. Two visitor centers feature 2,300 square feet of exhibits on the area’s Civil War heritage, Native American archaeological investigations and electric energy production.
4. Farris Memorial Park, Mayodan, NC
The town of Mayodan recently built a new 3.3-mile mountain-bike trail at Farris Memorial Park. The trail takes you through switchbacks, over rock gardens, and small streams. Most of it runs through hardwood and mixed pine forest. The MTB Project praised the trail in a recent write-up: saying that “these trails are fast and fun and stringing together a few laps is pure joy.” The 270-acre park also includes 2 baseball fields, 2 soccer fields, two fishing ponds, an amphitheater, four picnic shelters, tennis courts, walking trails and a concession stand.
5. Waid Recreation Area, Franklin County, Va
Waid Recreation Area packs a lot of trails into a relatively small space, with more than 10 miles of trail in 270 acres. The trails travel through rivers, over hills, across farm lands, and atop abandoned dirt roads. They’re easy to string into different combinations to customize for length and experience. The recreation area offers a variety of other outdoor activities for all ages including tubing, fishing, canoeing and kayaking on the Pigg River, which flows through the park.It hosts various athletic leagues and special events, and is home to the annual Ramble Weekend in May.
6. Tobacco Heritage Trail, multiple counties in Va
Mark this destination as one to watch, as it is still under development. The Tobacco Heritage Trail will use abandoned rail beds, bridges, rights of way and state roadways to eventually eventually link Brunswick, Charlotte, Halifax, Lunenburg and Mecklenburg counties with 174 miles of transportation and recreation corridors. The 70-mile phase from Lawrenceville to Clarksville is under active development. The mostly paved La Crosse Tobacco Heritage Trail stretches 3.3 miles between the small towns of La Crosse and Brodnax.