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.
In sum, mountain biking on Brush Mountain can be a peaceful way to get a cardio workout. Other mountain biking trails nearby include Mountain Lake, Poverty Creek, and Carvins Cove.
5 thoughts on “Mountain Biking on Brush Mountain – Blacksburg, Virginia”
Wanted to give you a big thanks! I’m living in blacksburg and your trail suggestions have been great. Really love that you bother to give driving directions, a map, and even some elevation charts. So concise and great. Only problem now is that I’ve pretty much cleared through your trail suggestions.
On another note, just did Brush Mtn. this morning and it was beautiful. I was in the mindset that all sw VA hikes are great in the fall, but this was an ideal winter trek. When all the leaves have fallen off the trees, there were amazing viewpoints to the left and right that followed the entire trail- that probably wouldn’t be as vast if it were any other season.
Thanks for the your blog info, definitely been using it 🙂
I’ve heard something about the Roanoke Star? Looking into that one. Did McAfee and Dragons Tooth last year, but both would be worthy of a return visit
Check out our Mill Mountain Star Trail post for info on hiking to the Roanoke Star, which is fun.
You’re welcome and thank you for your kind words. I’m happy to hear that you’re getting outside and enjoying trails. If you’ve hiked all of the trails in Blacksburg then be sure to check out the ones in Roanoke and the Appalachian Trail day hikes like McAfee Knob and Dragon’s Tooth.
When I was in school at VT in the 90’s this trail used to extend all the way to rt. 460 and I used to ride it all the time. Unfortunately, that section has been cut off as Brush Mountain has been developed. Thanks for posting this. I didn’t realize that you could still access the trail further back. I’ll have to head back up there soon!