Ride Charlottesville’s Backyard Mountain Bike Park

Photo: Albemarle County

Plan your next bike trip to central Virginia’s Preddy Creek Park.

Put simply, Preddy Creek Park is home to some of the best mountain biking near Charlottesville. Just 30 minutes from downtown, the park contains a dense network of trails. Once the native homeland of the Monacan and Manahoac peoples, the green forests around Preddy Creek have long attracted human visitors. Today, the park encompasses 571 acres of gently rolling hills, all laced with a series of multi-use trails open to hikers, trail runners, equestrians, and, of course, mountain bikers. The layout means it’s contained enough for lunch-hour loops, but still has enough terrain to fill a whole weekend. Plus, there’s a little something for everyone: Newer riders can find miles of wide, flowy singletrack, while steep climbs and obstacles elsewhere will keep even experts entertained. [Text Wrapping Break][Text Wrapping Break]Ready to give it a try? Here’s how to make the most of your next visit. 

Recommended Trails 

Preddy Creek Park’s tightly packed trail network makes it easy to mix and match routes for endless variety. Here are a few of the best loops that are well worth the effort.

Preddy Creek Trail Loop

Ideal for beginner to intermediate riders, this smoothly graded trail encompasses nearly the entire southern half of the park. It tackles about 300 feet of vertical gain over its 3.2 miles and sports a few features—like small rollers and quick turns—that keep things interesting. 

Rooster Run Loop

One of Preddy’s newest trails, the Rooster Run loop is split into two parts: On the west side, you’ll find zigzag turns and quick climbs, while the eastern section boasts a long, flowy downhill. The whole loop is 2.3 miles and is great for intermediate riders. 

Advanced Mountain Bike Loop

You can thank the Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club for this addition to the park. The entire loop is 1.9 miles and riddled with fun obstacles, quad-burning ascents, log crossings, and tight trees. As the name suggests, this one’s reserved for experienced riders. 

A view of the trails in Virginia’s Preddy Creek Park Photo: Albemarle County

When To Go

You can ride at Preddy Creek any time of year, though temperatures tend to be milder in spring and fall (think highs in the 60s and 70s and lows around 50 degrees F). Another bonus for fall riders: You’re also less likely to encounter rain in this part of the state in October and November, which can mean drier trails.

Getting There

From Charlottesville, take U.S. Hwy 29 going north. After about 10 miles, take a right onto Burnley Station Road. You’ll see the Preddy Creek parking area on your left after about 2 miles. 

Local Tip

Work up an appetite? Be sure to stop at the Timberwood Grill (just off U.S.-29) for burgers and beers on your way home.   

More Info

Visit the park website at albermarle.org, or contact the Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club

All articles are for general informational purposes.  Each individual’s needs, preferences, goals and abilities may vary.  Be sure to obtain all appropriate training, expert supervision and/or medical advice before engaging in strenuous or potentially hazardous activity.