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. Here’s a tutorial on how to do this.

Other Trail Resources:

Name Distance Elevation gain Est. time Tech rating (1-5) Google Maps
Sugar Hollow Loop 20 mi 3,900 ft 5 hr 3  
CATAss 25/50K 30.5 mi 6,500 ft 5-8 hr 3 Map
Harry Landers Special 21 mi 4,500 ft 4-6 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  
Boar’s Head + Ragged Mountain 10 mi ~1,700 ft 2-3 hrs 2-3  
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  
Preddy Creek 6.5 mi 900 ft   2  
TWOT loop 28+ mi 8350 ft 7-9 hrs 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 rail 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.
Trail map on google
2020 event

Harry Landers Special

A Memorial Day tradition starting from Sugar Hollow.
Route description and trail map

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.


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

Boar’s Head + Ragged Mountain

Start at the Boar’s Head resort, parking in the lot on the right by the first pond.  Turn around at the top of Round Top for a 4.6 mile out-and-back, or run the loop around the reservoir at Ragged Mountain Natural Area for 10.

Boar’s Head + Ragged Mountain 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

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 the difficult AT/Mau-Har loop on the north side of Route 56. Most run it counter clockwise since the Mau-Har trail almost always has some water (should be filtered or treated). Return to the parking lot to refuel, and continue with a 4 mile, 3000′  lung-crushing, quad-busting out and back climb of The Priest.  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)

Route description and trail map

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

Preddy Creek

An Albemarle County park north of Charlottesville with some great single track trails. With that name, you shouldn’t be surprised to get your feet wet!
County park web site including address and pdf link to trail map.

TWOT loop

The Wild Oak trail, a rugged loop in the George Washington National Forest west of Harrisonburg and Staunton, with some rugged climbs.  A good part of the loop is used for the Grindstone 100.  Can be overgrown in the summer, and it’s not hard to get lost, so it may take you well over 9 hours.  We recommend you put the TWOT loop in google maps on your phone to help keep you on course or find your way back.  Park at the North River Gap lot, also noted on the map.  Not for the faint of heart, but a great training run for any mountain ultra.

Google Maps for trails tutorial

Using a Google map of a trail is a very helpful way to ensure you stay on trail, but you need to prepare in advance, especially if you are going where there is spotty cell phone reception.  It is also not totally fool proof as your phone could run out of battery, be damaged, etc, so have a backup plan.

The key is, you need to have viewed the desired trail map at some point while logged into Google, and you’ll want to pull the map up again before leaving for the trail, in case there’s no reception at the trail head.

Note that the following steps may be different for your phone or app version, but it should look similar to the following:

    1. Download the Google Maps app from Google Play or the App Store to your phone (if needed), and click on the Google Maps app
    2. Navigate to your saved maps.  This seems to be one of those things that has changed, so hopefully it will be similar to one of these methods:
      Click on the menu, usually 3 horizontal bars, then click on “Your Places”, and scroll over as needed to “Maps” and click on Maps.
      =>    =>    =>  OR, if you don’t see that menu, click on “Saved” at the bottom, and then scroll down and click on “Maps”    =>  
    3. Click on the desired map. If you have not viewed it yet, click on the map from whatever web site, facebook page or email you have for the map, then it should always show up here.


  1. Boom, there’s your map!  It should look like a familiar Google Map, with the trail highlighted on it.  You can scroll around, zoom in and out, etc, though there is no turn by turn directions as you might use for driving.  Use the GPS “my locator” icon to find your position on the map; it may be an arrow or a bulls-eye icon.  Hopefully you’ll find yourself on trail, but if not you can find it by using the GPS locator as you move toward it.
    Note:  If you don’t see a locator icon, try typing in a location in the top “Search here” box, identified with the blue arrow in the 3rd picture below. The location icon should now show up.
      =>       or   

Remember, get your map loaded while you still have a Wifi or cell signal!  You can use the GPS locator without a signal, but you have to already have a map loaded.

Want to create your own map?  A proven way is to export and save a .gpx file from a run on Strava.  In Google Maps, map your way to Your Places>Maps (see above steps), and look for “Create Map”, then “Import Map” and import your saved GPX file.  From there you can do things like drop pins for any highlights, aid stations, etc.


7 thoughts on “Trails

  1. Jeff Girard


    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.

    Jeff Girard

    1. Ryan 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.

    1. admin

      Hi Tony

      I put together a group order form for new CAT merchandise. This time we have hooded sweatshirts and hooded full-zip jackets with the CATs logo on them. The order form is open for 5 days so get your order in quickly.

      These hoodies are a higher quality than the previous hoody order and therefore a little more expensive.

      You can order the items directly with the link below and choose to ship them to yourself or save the shipping costs and pick them up at our CATs volunteer party on November 19th (more details forthcoming). Otherwise we can arrange pickup in Person.

      Just order here:

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