Biking and craft beer are two awesome parts of the local culture in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
With over 300 miles of trails for world-class mountain biking and a selection of breweries that continues to grow, your next mountain adventure should definitely include bikes & beer!
Put your skills to the test with some epic mountain biking on these trail networks and then quench your thirst by visiting a nearby brewery to reflect on your Blue Ridge Day. Here are eight options for mountain biking and local beer.
1. Biking: Mill Mountain Park
Take in an awesome urban mountain biking experience at Roanoke’s Mill Mountain Park. Not only is the park home to the iconic Roanoke Star and stunning views of the downtown skyline, it also features nearly 10 miles of trails. Make the climb from the base of the mountain by pedaling up the Woodthrush Trail or Monument Trail. If you’re headed down the mountain, check out the Understory Trail – the newest trail in the park that offers some serious challenges and great views.
Breweries: Big Lick Brewing Company, Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers, Deschutes Brewery Tasting Room, Starr Hill Pilot Brewery & Side Stage
With Mill Mountain Park’s close proximity to Downtown Roanoke, you have multiple nearby options for delicious beer! Knock back a few Crooked Way IPAs at Soaring Ridge or enjoy a few of the specialty microbrews on tap at Big Lick Brewing Company. You can also get acquainted with two of the newest additions to the local craft beer scene – the Deschutes Brewery Tasting Room on Market Street and the Starr Hill Pilot Brewery & Side Stage at The Bridges complex at the base of Mill Mountain.
2. Biking: Waid Recreation Park
If you’re looking for a few easy trails for biking, Waid Park in Franklin County is a wonderful option as it features multiple ADA compliant trails. For something a little more difficult, take advantage of the trails that wind along the Pigg River, which is also a popular option for tubing and paddling. The park contains over 10 miles of trails for hiking & biking.
If you’re making your way back to Roanoke following a visit to Waid Park, Hammer & Forge Brewing Company in Boones Mill is perfectly situated along Route US 220 for a pit stop! Whether you’re looking for something with a kick like the Elder Mountain IPA or prefer a more mellow brew such as the Blue Lakes Blonde Ale, you’re sure to find good beer and good times on tap at Hammer & Forge. If you’re headed to Smith Mountain Lake, stop in at Sunken City Brewing Company at the Westlake Towne Center. A few pints of Dam Lager and a couple games of corn hole will make for a relaxing evening.
3. Biking: Explore Park
Bring your bikes during your next road trip on the
and spend some time exploring the trails at Explore Park, which is located at Milepost 115 on the Parkway. The park offers over 14 miles of trails that wind through lush forest and along the bank of the Roanoke River. Keep an eye out for unique species of birds and animals as the park is a designated site on the Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail.
Brewery: Twin Creeks Brewing Company
The Town of Vinton is easily accessible from Explore Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, meaning you’re only a few miles away from Twin Creeks Brewing Company, Vinton’s first microbrewery. Take the Parkway exit to Route 24 at Milepost 112 and head toward Downtown Vinton. In addition to regularly rotating what’s available on tap, Twin Creeks also frequently hosts food trucks and live music, providing an atmosphere for a full evening of fun.
4. Biking: Arcadia
Are you familiar with this extensive network of singletrack trails and fire roads in Botetourt County? The Arcadia Trail System incorporates multiple mountain ridges of the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest, the Blue Ridge Parkway, primitive camping, and some of the best views you’ll find in Virginia’s Blue Ridge in over 60 miles of trails.
Brewery: Flying Mouse Brewery
One of the goals at Flying Mouse Brewery is to incorporate enjoying craft beer into part of an active outdoor lifestyle, so you’ll fit right in after you’ve spent a Blue Ridge Day on the trails! The brewery has a great outdoor space with views of the nearby mountains and a casual indoor taproom where you’re sure to find a few friends while partaking in some quality-crafted brews.
5. Biking: Carvins Cove
Carvins Cove has a reputation of being a mountain biking paradise and is known for offering some of the finest singletrack on the East Coast. With over 60 miles of multi-use trails that range from easy fire roads to double black diamond trails like Rattlin’ Run, Carvins Cove is a spot for riders of all skill levels to spend multiple days. The park is a 12,700 acre natural preserve that is also home to a 600 acre reservoir that’s popular for fishing and paddling.
Brewery: Parkway Brewing Company
Recount your biking adventures and rest your legs at the beautiful outdoor patio and beer garden at Parkway Brewing Company. Founded in 2012, the brewery known by many locals simply as “Parkway” has become a favorite spot of many craft beer lovers in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Popular flagship brews that are great after a day of biking include the Get Bent Mountain IPA, Bridge Builder Blonde, and Majestic Mullet Krispy Kolsch.
6. Biking: Jamison Mill Park
As a new park in Franklin County, Jamison Mill Park on Philpott Lake boasts over six miles of trails that are waiting to be explored by bike! The moderately-difficult trails incorporate waterfront views of the lake, while also including interpretive stops that introduce riders to the history of the park, as well as the history of the surrounding area.
Brewery: Chaos Mountain Brewing Co.
It’s a bit of a drive from Jamison Mill Park, but Chaos Mountain Brewing is an award-winning craft brewery in Franklin County that’s a good halfway point between the park and Roanoke. The brewery is known for its flagship brews like the Cheeky Monkey Belgian Blonde and Mad Hopper IPA, as well as great seasonal options such as the Edge of the Sun Lime Lager or Legless Horseman Pumpkin Ale.
7. Biking: Price & Patterson Mountains
Ready for some thrilling backcountry rides? The Price & Patterson Mountain Trail system is a hidden gem and primitive network of trails that gets you deep into the woods. Price Mountain and Patterson Mountain have ridgelines that run parallel to each other, and you can combine the two routes with trails that make their way down the valley between the two ridges, meaning there will also be a couple “hike your bike” situations as you make the climb. You’re going to earn your beer here!
Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Company
One of the West Coast’s most iconic craft breweries is now part of the craft beer family in Virginia’s Blue Ridge! Ballast Point Brewing Company opened its Tasting Room & Kitchen in Botetourt County in June 2017 as part of its new East Coast production facility. You can find all kinds of great Ballast Point swag, including cool bike gear, plus delicious food and 128 beer taps.
8. Biking: Falling Creek Park
Falling Creek Park presents a family-friendly biking experience that every type of rider will love. Whether you want to take on the advanced singletrack trails, hit the pumptrack, take a leisurely ride, or perfect your technique and jumps in the skills area, the park has it all. Falling Creek contains over 10 miles of trails, as well as picnic areas, a disc golf course, playground, and skate park.
We hope you worked up an appetite for delicious beer and BBQ when you visit Beale’s! This awesome new spot in the Town of Bedford specializes in German-style beer and pit-smoked BBQ, including pulled pork, smoked sausage, and brisket. Beale’s also offers a great outdoor patio space that’s pet-friendly.
Written by David Aldridge for Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
Featured image provided by Courtesy of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge