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:
- Furbutt’s Favorites Keith Knipling’s excellent list of trails on the VHTRC site.
- Virginia Trail Guide
- Hiking Upward
- AT Distance Calculator Make up your own run on the AT.
- Bill Sublett’s GPS tracker
|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|
|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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
A county park south of town with a set of twisty single track trails trails by a lake.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.