The best biking and inline skating destinations in Virginia
Biking, hiking and inline skating are a fantastic way to enjoy time in the great outdoors, a fun activity that all the family can share and a good way to keep fit. More and more people are heading to Virginia to enjoy these activities, and if you want to know why, read on.
Framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the beautiful Chesapeake Bay, Virginia has a surprising variety of beautiful landscapes. Its rich forests are teeming with wildlife and it is home to several magnificent rivers. The coastal territory also presents a wide variety of fascinating places to explore.
The Huckleberry Trail
Built where the old Cambria to Blacksburg railroad used to run, the Huckleberry Trail has long been known for the abundance of huckleberries and blueberries that can be found beside it, so cyclists and skaters might find themselves stopping off from time to time to enjoy a good snack. It is just under six miles long and paved all the way, making it well suited to beginners and family groups. Wooden mile markers help you check your progress as you go.
The Washington and Old Dominion Trail
With a full 45 miles of high quality paved or asphalt trail, the Washington and Old Dominion Trail is one of the best choices for bikers and skaters who want a long distance challenge. It is built along the path of the now abandoned Washington and Old Dominion railroad and it traverses some of the most beautiful countryside in the state, taking in woods and fields and passing by old settlements. Splitting off from it is the Bluemont Junction Trail, a pleasingly shaded place to ride on hot summer days.
The Lower Cascade Falls
There are actually two hiking trails at Cascade Falls, but the lower one is generally considered the best, running alongside the creek bed and offering some stunning views, and when you reach the end you can stand under the waterfall itself to cool off. It is great for hikers young and old at only four miles long, but the uneven terrain means it is still a comparatively tough option, so you will need appropriate hiking gear to make the most of this photographer’s paradise.
Cape Henry Trail
At 7.5 miles in length, this well tended trail takes you right across First Landing State Park, where you can spot deer, foxes and all sorts of waterfowl, including ospreys. Despite varied terrain with sand, gravel, asphalt and crushed stone underfoot, it might sound challenging, but it is actually well suited to skaters and it will also appeal to bike riders who want a relaxing ride in beautiful surroundings. There is a small fee for use.
To take on Virginia’s challenging trails, you will need good walking boots, a sturdy mountain bike or a good brand of rollerblade inline skates, capable of navigating the many bumps along the way and coping with the occasional steep incline. You should also take at least a basic survival kit: a first aid kit, a knife, a torch, a lighter, a bottle of water and some high energy rations such as dried fruit or cereal bars.
Virginia is a thrilling place to explore and these great trails make it easy to find your way around the best bits.