Staunton Biking Adventures: Grab Your Vacation By the Handlebars
Nothing restores the body and mind like exercise, fresh air, and beautiful views from the back of your bike. Staunton offers long excursions through the surrounding Shenandoah Valley, thrilling single track, and places for short jaunts with the kids. What are you waiting for? Join us for some Staunton biking adventures and upcoming events. Grab your vacation by the handlebars!
For amazing road biking routes in the area, check out Bike the Valley, which maps and details lots of different routes at different distances, appropriate for varying skill levels. Here are some of our favorites:
Staunton Polyface Ride
Starting in the historic Wharf District near Black Dog Bikes, the 23-mile Staunton Polyface ride explores neighborhoods in Staunton as well as the surrounding rural countryside to the west. The ride has a few short hills, but is considered fairly easy. It becomes intermediate if you add the gravel section in Swoope leading to Polyface Farm, a leader in the development of “emotionally, economically, environmentally enhancing agricultural enterprises.” If you choose to continue to Polyface Farm, consider taking a self-guided tour and visiting the farm store.
Staunton Frog Pond Smoky Row
The 22-mile intermediate Staunton Frog Pond Smoky Row route travels through the scenic area west and south of Staunton. It offers sustained climbs, long, downhill glides and is entirely on paved roads. The ride begins and concludes in downtown Staunton near places to eat, drink and shop. For fuel, check out Redbeard Brewing Company and Byers Street Bistro.
Staunton Badger Road Loop
If you’re looking for a local ride that’s a little more challenging, try out the 45-mile Staunton Badger Road Loop. This figure-eight ride offers two big climbs, but views of the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains make the effort worth it. Start in Gypsy Hill Park and ride northwest of Staunton through the villages of Spring Hill and Mount Solon.
If you enjoy the heart-pounding thrills of off-road biking, these rides will spike your adrenaline!
Montgomery Hall Park
Want to stretch your mountain-biking legs in downtown Staunton? Put Montgomery Hall Park on your bucket list. Over 4 miles of well-maintained single track snake through the trees, and you can get quite a workout attacking the hills. The trails tend to be quiet, but you might occasionally encounter hikers. After your ride, head over to Newtown Baking for pastries, sandwiches or pizza.
Mountain bikers rate 19-mile Reddish Knob: Timber Ridge to Wolf Ridge as an advanced-level ride. Multiple trails climb the 2,900 feet to the ridge and they’re all challenging, including the paved road, which is your best bet. The view from the top of the Shenandoah Valley to the east and West Virginia to the west is worth the long, steep climb. And the single track descents are out of this world. Steep and technical, they require sharp eyes and strong brakes, but they have amazing places to go all out. Take Timber Ridge to where it intersects with Wolf Ridge Trail for the best downhill ride.
The Southern Traverse
The Southern Traverse is 36-mile ride through the George Washington National Forest that combines punishing ascents of over 3,000 feet, spectacular ridge riding on Shenandoah Mountain with views for miles, some technical rocky areas, and a long stretch to hurtle down the mountain. The final leg back to your car cruises along quiet country roads.
Biking with Kids
If you’re looking for a place to ride with your kids, try one of these easy, family-friendly rides.
Gypsy Hill Park
Gypsy Hill Park offers a 1.3-mile paved loop that is open to pedestrians, bikes, and cars. Traffic can be heavy at times, but drivers move slowly and know to be cautious. The duck pond and playgrounds are good post-cycling destinations. If your youngsters are just learning to ride, the park also offers a large, flat parking lot near the Gypsy Hill Gym. Used as event parking, this lot is often empty. If your family enjoys a post-ride pizza, pick up a pie at Fresco.
Augusta Springs Wetlands
Augusta Springs Wetlands, once the site of a turn-of-the-century resort, is now where Staunton nature lovers flock to walk and watch birds. The ¾-mile main loop trail is also a nice place to take beginning cyclists. The flat path meanders over wooden boardwalks and pea gravel, and it offers interpretive nature stops along the way.