Our 10 favorite cycling destinations: Roanoke
Scott K. Brown
Cyclists ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke.
Riders can explore 26 miles of paved trails on the Roanoke Valley Greenways, a network of ever-expanding trails including the Roanoke River Greenway, Lick Run Greenway, Mill Mountain Greenway, Murray Run Greenway and Tinker Creek Greenway. The city is also near the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway, which has biking trails along its twists and turns. Bikers flock to Mill Mountain Park, home to Roanoke’s highest point (1,703 feet) and the famous Roanoke Star. Cyclists, especially mountain bikers, also enjoy riding along Carvins Cove Natural Reserve, the second largest municipal park in the U. S. The park borders a stretch of the Appalachian Trail and has more than 40 miles of trails. As a bonus, the reserve is home to several species of animals including bald eagles. The Explore Park Trail System near the Roanoke River Gorge features different levels of trails for mountain bikers. The Valley is also home to the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, which hosts the Famous Tuesday Night Ride, the largest regular group ride in the state. In June, Bike Virginia, which showcases the area’s best cycling routes, comes to Botetourt County’s Greenfield Recreation Park.
Bike Shops include Cyclo+Ward in downtown Roanoke and Underdog Bikes at the base of Mill Mountain. Favorite gathering places for cyclists include Cornerstone Bar and Grill, Wasena City Tap Room and Grace’s Place Pizzeria. If you bike the greenway to Salem, check out Macado’s for some hearty sandwiches and Mac & Bob’s, a longtime local favorite. A convenient place to stay overnight is Cambria Suites, which is located close to the Greenway and offers bike rentals.
Cornerstone: (540) 527-2789
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