Northeast of US-460, there is an old gravel road that sits atop the ridge of Brush Mountain in Blacksburg, VA. Directions to the mountain bike ride that is described below: from downtown Blacksburg take US-460W, turn right onto Coal Bank Hollow Rd, turn left onto Pearman Rd (State Route 810), turn right onto Smithfield Dr (State Route 805), turn left onto Preston Forest Dr (State Route 806), and park at the intersection with Jefferson Forest Ln (State Route 818). Hiking, mountain biking, dog walking, and trail running are allowed. If the gate is open then motorized vehicles are allowed for hunters and, thus, hikers and mountain bikers may not want to recreate. Parking is free but is limited to the shoulder of the road. The day I visited there were four temporary port-o-potties but restrooms are not a permanent feature. Also, water is not available anywhere near the trail. Cell phone service was strong.
In addition to the Brush Mountain trails in the Poverty Creek Trail System, you can ride on its ridge northeast of US-460. It is a little known 5.4 mile trail that undulates at around 2,800 feet.
Park along the side of the road at the intersection of Preston Forest Drive and Jefferson Forest Lane. From the intersection, you should be able to see a US Forest Service gate that denotes the beginning of the trail.
The trail is comprised of a mix of gravel, dirt, and grass. In addition, it is fast, wide, curvy, and hilly. The hills are short and moderately sloped but provided me with an intense cardio workout. On my single speed, I was able to ride up all of them without dismounting except the one which immediately precedes the end of the trail and another at about the halfway point of my ride back to the parking area.
Riding along the top of the ridge bestows semi-obstructed views both to the north (Craig Creek Valley) and south. It is a peaceful ride because not many people recreate on this trail and those that do are likely only walking a couple of miles out and back.
The trail ends at a huge ditch with private property signs on the other side. The ride out and back totals 10.8 miles. From west to east, the Brush Mountain ridge gradually increases in elevation and, thus, the outbound ride is slower than the inbound ride. What’s more, the inbound ride includes several fast descents.