Trails

Some of our favorite runs. Click on the name to find out more details, maps, reports and pictures below. Many of the runs have shorter options.

Where a Google map is provided, if you view the map on any device while logged into Google, you will be able to find it on your smart phone under “Your places/Maps”.  This makes for a handy real-time map you can navigate from.  Just be sure to load the map before losing cell service–many of these trails are remote.

Other Trail Resources:

Name Distance Elevation gain Est. time Tech rating (1-5)
Sugar Hollow Loop 20 mi 3,900 ft 5 hr 3
CATAss 25/50K 30.5 mi 6,500 ft 5-8 hr 3
Tour de RT (Rivanna Trail) 19.8 mi 1,163 ft 3-5 hrs 2
O-Hell 5.5 mi 1,500 ft 1.5 hrs 3
Biscuit Run 6.5 mi 770 ft 1-1.5 hr 2
Walnut Creek 10 mi 1,854 ft 2-3 hrs 2
Rockfish Gap (Afton) AT North 24 mi 5,280 ft 4.5-6 hrs 3
Rockfish Gap (Afton) AT South 18 mi   4 -5 hrs 3
Secluded Farm Trails (Carter Mountain) 6 mi 1245 ft 1 hr 2
RipRap/Wildcat Loop 19 mi ~3,788 feet 4-5 hrs 3
Fox Mountain Loop 17 or 20 mi 1500-2000′ 2.5-4 hrs 1
Western Abermarle Gravel Roads Run 24 mi ~2,400 feet 4 hrs 1
Ridge Rd/Decca Ln ~12 mi ~1,038 feet 2 hrs 1
Sugar Hollow to Loft Mountain 26 mi ~3,740 feet ~5 hrs 3
Priest/Three Ridges 24 mi ~8232ft ~7 hrs 4
Wintergreen Trails 14 mi 4050 ft 3-5 hrs 5
Humpback Area Airplane Wrecks 10 mi 2400 ft ~3 hours 4

We are currently working on this page to add some more detailed information to the trails and expand the list.

Tech rating is on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being roads or groomed railed trail, and 5 being a very rocky trail.

Times are a very rough guide, and may vary based on who reported them, but we try to keep them consistent for the middle 25-75% of runners.
 

Sugar Hollow

North Fork Moormans River Trail, Appalachian Trail

Directions to Sugar Hollow. Note: At the Piedmont Store on 810, stay straight to get on Sugar Hollow Road. When you see the reservoir, continue up the gravel road as far as you can go to parking.

Sugar Hollow Loop Trail Map

CATAss 25/50K

A club Fat Ass run held on Labor Day, starting and ending at Sugar Hollow (see directions above), running up into Shenandoah National Park.  Options for various distances.
2018 event
Trail map on google

Tour de RT (Rivanna Trail)

A 20 mile loop of mostly single track trails, connected in a few places by roads, around Charlottesville.  Jump in anywhere!
Tour de RT blog post
If you are not familiar with the trails, it is strongly recommended that you download the Official Rivanna Trail map (official RTF) from here to navigate, as it can be tricky to find some sections connected by roads.

O-Hell

A popular section of the Rivanna Trail on Observatory Hill, with many alternate trails in addition to the main RT.
Trail map OHell

Biscuit Run

The Tuesday night trail run. Meet behind Timberwood Tap House. The trail starts over the guard rail at the west end of the Wegman’s parking lot. Stay after the run for dinner and beer.

Biscuit Run Trail Map

Walnut Creek

A county park south of town with a set of twisty single track trails trails by a lake.

Walnut Creek

Official Trail map
Directions: 4250 Walnut Creek Park Road, North Garden, VA 22959. The usual meeting point is the second parking lot at the far end of the park road, by the lake pavilion.

Rockfish Gap (Afton) AT North

The AT north from Rockfish Gap going into the south end of Shenandoah National Park to Turk Gap.  Blog post: Rockfish Gap North

The normal meeting place is by the old bombed out Hojo’s diner with the orange roof, just past King’s popcorn.  Take I-64 exit 99, turn right, and take the first right again by the popcorn place and look for that orange roof.  map

Rockfish Gap (Afton) AT South

The AT going south from Rockfish Gap to Humpback Rocks.  Probably the most runnable section of the AT in our area.

Secluded Farm Trails

Monticello-Saunders Trail, Secluded Farm Trails (Carter Mountain)

Take I-64 exit #121 and go south on SR 20 for 0.6 miles.  The “usual” meeting place is to take a U-turn at the light for SR 53/TJ parkway, and take the next right to the parking lot.  Another parking place is to turn left on SR 53 and turn right into the parking lot about 300 yards up the road. 
Secluded Farm Trails blog post
TRAIL MAP

RipRap/Wildcat Loop

A great loop off the AT in the southern end of Shenandoah National Park, with a bonus swimming hole. Start at the Wildcat Ridge (MP 92) or RipRap (MP 90) parking lots off Skyline Drive in SNP.  There is a way to access from the valley north of Waynesboro but it’s not easy to find, and not clear whether parking is really allowed.
RipRap/Wildcat Loop blog post

Fox Mountain Loop

A road run, but mostly on gravel roads and the climb up Fox Mountain will challenge all! 17 and 20 mile options. 
Map on google

Western Albemarle Gravel Roads

A nice tour of some gravel roads in western Albemarle County. Smaller loops on these roads would make for a nice weeknight training run.

Western Abermarle Gravel Roads Run blog post

24 miles / 2400′ of climbing / 19.5 miles of gravel road

Map of Run

Ridge Road + Decca Lane

A Charlottesville area classic, Ridge Road is 4 miles (each way) of rolling hills on a gravel road past horse farms.  Add Decca Lane for more hills.
MAP: Garmin Data. Park
on Ridge Road immediately after turning north on it from Garth Road.

Sugar Hollow to Loft Mountain

 A trail marathon distance (one-way) on the AT. See the directions above to Sugar Hollow.

Trail map(s):Garmin data

Priest/3 Ridges

A rite of passage for area trail runners.  Start with a 4 mile, 3000′ vertical climb of The Priest.  Return to the parking lot to refuel, and cross Route 56 for 3 Ridges, a difficult loop of the Appalachian and Mau Har trails.  Alternately, especially for running only 3 Ridges, you could start at Reeds Gap.

Directions: At route 56 (middle of Priest/3R)
Reed’s Gap (north end of 3R)

Wintergreen Trails

30+ miles of nature trails, plus bike trails around the ski slopes.  The FKT for the 14 mile perimeter is 2:53, by Drew Krueger.
Wintergreen Trails blog post
Wintergreen Trails google map

Humpback Mountain Airplane Wrecks

View two airplane wrecks off the AT on Humpback Mountain.  The more intact one is a few hundred yards off trail, and is recommended only when foliage is gone, and with someone who knows how to find it.  Bob Clouston can usually be talked into a run there from late fall to early spring.
Humpback Area Airplane Wrecks blog post

3 thoughts on “Trails

  1. AvatarJeff Girard

    Hi,

    I will be in Charlottesville for Thanksgiving with my daughter and would like to run while I am there. Could you point me to a group or individual I would be compatible with? I would like to do a trail run, around 6 miles, depending on terrain I usually run a 9:15 – 9:45 pace. Male or female, age doesn’t matter, or a group would be great. I am looking to run Friday or Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.

    Thanks!
    Jeff Girard

    1. AvatarRyan Mullen

      Preddy Creek a short drive North of downtown cville. The “older” loop done with the “newer” section, across the creek ends up being about 6.5miles with about 900 ft of elevation change.

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