Cycling in the Shenandoah Valley is an ever-expanding array of choices. You can pedal a leg-searing section of Shenandoah National Park, a gentle, flat two-miler with kids on the Luray Greenway, or a gravel national forest road over any distance you can handle. City bike trails (like Rocktown Trails at Hillandale Park in Harrisonburg) are common as well. Full-service bike parks and a long calendar of bike events give you even more options. Here’s a quick look at some different ways the Shenandoah Valley welcomes its two-wheeled visitors:
The Harrisonburg area is a hotbed of cycling—it was even named by National Geographic as one of America’s Top 10 Mountain Bike Towns. And May is Bike Month! One big reason for their popularity: the Mountain Bike Park at Massanutten Resort. It is gaining a national reputation for its combination of trails, races, events, and services. The park’s downhill trails begin near the top of Massanutten Peak (2,922 feet) and are divided into Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Advanced plus jumping skills, and Expert. Use the chair lift to get up high and start a descent. There is a fully stocked bike shop on the premises, plus about 30 miles of wooded trails on the western slope of the mountain–best suited for intermediate to advanced riders. Bike rentals, shuttles and lessons are all available, too. This four-season resort is in McGaheysville, VA, about 20 minutes southeast of Harrisonburg.
In picturesque Shenandoah County, Bryce Mountain Resort boasts the Bryce Bike Park–featuring eight lift-accessed trails ranging from beginner to advanced that will take you above the park, hovering over some of the biggest jumps. You can rent bikes, helmets, etc., and if you’re new to the sport, their certified instructors are ready to help you get rolling. Races and other events are on the schedule for the coming year. Call 800-821-1444.
Shenandoah River/Andy Guest State Park, on Route 340 between Front Royal and Luray, is not a “bike park,” but every mountain biker in the region knows and loves it. More than 24 miles of scenic trails accommodate cyclists, hikers and horseback riders. Rental cabins, a zipline, easy canoe access and 1600+ acres of mountain and riverfront serenity make this spot one you will want to explore.
Here are some of the major events you can ride this season. Keep an eye on our Events Calendar for more that come up.
Shenanduro, May 11, Shenandoah River State Park
Bike to Work Day, May 18, Harrisonburg
HOO-HA! Enduro & XC Mountain Bike Race, June 1 -2, Massanutten Resort, McGaheysville
Lee Warren Queen City Century, June 15, Staunton
Bike Virginia, June 21 – 26 , Woodstock to Harrisonburg
Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge, August 3, Monterey, Highland County
Luray International/Sprint Triathlon, August 17-18, Luray
Shenandoah Mountain 100 Backcountry Mountain Bike Race, Sept. 1, Stokesville
Valley Veterans Ride for Heroes, Sept. 7, Staunton
Shenandoah Valley Century, Sept. 8, Harrisonburg
Farm to Fork Fondo, Sept. 14 – 15, Belle Grove Plantation, Middletown
Bike Shenandoah, Sept. 14, Harrisonburg
Alpine Loop Gran Fondo, September 29, Harrisonburg
Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival Oct. 18 – 20, Staunton
When it comes to two-wheeled visitors, the Shenandoah Valley has welcomed motorcyclists for decades. So much so that Virginia Tourism Corporation, the cities of Waynesboro and Staunton, and Shenandoah National Park / Peaks of Otter Lodging have all created specific itineraries for those who relish the roar of a Harley as they see the countryside. To review them, visit: VTC Scenic Motorcycle Rides, Staunton Area Motorcycle Rides, Waynesboro Two-Wheeled Touring (includes bicycling, too) and Ride & Recharge on Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Regardless of where you ride, a long day in the saddle will often result in the desire for a cold beer in a friendly pub. Plan your route to land somewhere on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail for the perfect way to end your two-wheeled tour of the Shenandoah Valley.
Photo courtesy National Park Service