Virginia Bike Routes
This page is about on-road bike routes. Scroll down for links to our weblog articles.
For off-road bike trails, paths, greenways, and rail-trails, see our Virginia Bike Trails page.
USBR 76 & USBR 1 in red. Click & drag to scroll. Map by John Bolecek.
The Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive offers a challenging, 105 mile cycling experience as this, literally, breathtaking route follows the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Front Royal to Afton, Virginia. The Skyline Drive offers pheonominal views of Virginia’s georgeous mountain scenery as you ride along this historic parkway built by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1931 and 1939.
(If you’d like to get some hiking in while in SNP, the Drive parallels the Appalachian Trail as it runs through the park. Bikes are not permitted on trails in the Park nor on the A.T.)
If you haven’t had your fill of the ups and downs cycling the Skyline Drive, continue along the Blue Ridge Parkway which rolls for 469 miles from Afton, Virginia, to Cherokee, North Carolina. Elevations range from 600 to over 6000 feet so be prepared for lots of climbing, fantastic decents and changing weather.
Both the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway limit cars to 35 – 45 mph and prohibit commercial traffic which makes for fantastic cycling. The BRP and SD have limited access for provisions, so be sure to bring plenty of food and water.
(Note: there is a entrance fee for Shenandoah National Park. There is no charge for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Riders must follow National Park regulations and ride single file on the Drive and Parkway.)
Adventure Cycling has been the steward of the Transamerica Route (US Bike Route 76) for many years. They sell maps, and provide other information for touring cyclists. They’ve developed many other routes, including, in Virginia, the Atlantic Coast Route (their version of US Bike Route 1), the popular Allegheny Mountains Route , and the Tidewater Potomac Route.
BikeArlington has some great maps of northern Virginia and DC, plus links to many others.
Bikely is an excellent resource, based on Google Maps. Search for user-submitted routes, or create and enter your own to share with others.
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