This summer is one for the books, as time spent outdoors will most likely increase as a result of the continuing global pandemic. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the NoVA region right now—and get a little workout in while you’re at it too—consider these six biking trails, three of which are great for families, whereas the other three are ideal for the adventurous type. Plus, they’re all less than three hours away from Fairfax County, making it easy for you to throw the bikes in the back of the car and hit the road.
For the Family
Newport News Park Bikeway
Distance: 5.3-mile loop of over 30 miles of trails within the park
Recognized as one of the largest municipal parks east of the Mississippi River, Newport News Park offers a plethora of activities for the family to take part in when they hop off their bikes, such as picnicking, paddle boating, canoeing and freshwater fishing. The specific biking look is made of hard gravel and starts at the Campsite Office, offering views of overhead canopies throughout the entire peaceful ride. // 13560 Jefferson Ave., Newport News
Virginia Capital Trail
Distance: 51.7 miles
The Virginia Capital Trail took over two decades to complete. And, now that it’s done, it offers a historical view of the lower James River Valley, Richmond, Williamsburg and other quaint small communities in between. The entire fully paved trail runs through four jurisdictions—Richmond, Henrico County, Charles City County and James City County—offering several paths along the way that you and your youngsters can take, with printable maps available too. // Williamsburg
Burke Lake Loop Trail
Distance: 4.7 miles
If you and the little ones are looking for a relaxing bike ride closer to home, the Burke Lake Trail is the one for you. The 4.7-mile gravel loop follows the shoreline of Burke Lake, offering pretty views throughout the ride. And, the entire park spans 888 acres of land full of carousels, picnicking, mini golf and more activities your youngsters will love post workout. // 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station
For the Mountain Biker
Massanutten Western Slope Property
Distance: over 30 miles of trails
With over 800 acres and 30 miles of trails, the Massanutten Western Slope Property, adjacent to the Massanutten Resort, is great for mountain bikers of all skill levels. Trail season continues through Sunday, Nov. 1, so now is the perfect time to zip through the wilderness-filled pathways. As the landscape is private property, you must purchase a trail pass to gain access to all of the unique trails, depicted here on this map. // 1822 Resort Drive, McGaheysville
Sugar Hill Loop Trail
Distance: 3.5 miles
The Sugar Hill Loop Trail is as well-maintained as it is challenging, as it extends around and over Sugar Hill, the large ridge north of Oxbow Lake Park in Saint Paul, Virginia. The site provides a good workout, suitable for beginner to intermediate mountain bikers, as well as historic sites like remnants of an 18th-century settlement midway through the trail. // 16348 Industrial Park Road, Saint Paul
Distance: 2.5 miles
Located within Richmond-based James River Park, the Buttermilk Trail is perfect for adrenaline junkies seeking a thrill. The 2.5-mile trail running on the south side of the river is considered the most challenging of all the on-site mountain biking trails due to its tight, twisty and fast descents. // 1200 Brander St., Richmond, entrance to trail near Manchester Bridge
Don’t see a trail that sticks out to you? The state of Virginia has plenty of other options to consider, all found on this bicycling in Virginia map.
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