6 Family-Friendly Bike Trails Around Charlottesville 

Summer is a great time to break out the bikes and take a trip as a family! Biking is a wonderful way for families to both bond and get in some physical activity, and Charlottesville is lucky to have so many trails for people of all ages and levels. Many of these trails have picnic tables that are great for snacks or packed lunches before or after the ride, or bring a blanket and sit down in a grassy area. Make sure to wear helmets and bring plenty of water to hydrate especially in these 90 degree temperatures. We have compiled a list of routes perfect for families and children below, so get outdoors and have fun!

Rivanna Trail
The Rivanna Trail spans over 20 miles in Charlottesville and has different easy access points around town with ample parking too. The Riverview Park portion of the trail is paved, flat, and especially good for children with views of the Rivanna running alongside it and plenty of shade. Other parts of the trail may be gravelly and steeper, so this is a great place to start! Check out their website here, and make sure to download their app on your smartphone to find a map!

Preddy Creek
Located just north of Charlottesville and a quick drive up rt. 29, Preddy Creek spans 8.6 miles of multipurpose trail used by hikers, equestrians and bikers. The trail is suitable for bikers of all levels and ages, and the “Preddy Creek Loop” is a great and relatively smooth trail for families and kids to ride and get a feel for mountain biking. Find more information about the trail and a map here.
 

Saunders-Monticello Trail
Special to Charlottesville, the Saunders-Monticello trail leads up to Monticello and Carter’s Mountain. Although the trip up the mountain itself is steep, the trail is a perfect mix of crushed gravel and boardwalk with a gentle grade that families and kids will enjoy. The trail has different levels of strenuousness marked out and labeled on its map, too! More details here.

Pen Park
Pen Park is located in the heart of Charlottesville and is a staple for families in the city. The 1.5-mile Pen Park Nature Trail runs along the Rivanna River with a number of side trails that offer great views and is a very easy trail for beginners to get their footing and balance on a bike. There are playgrounds, volleyball courts, and tennis courts for family fun after the ride as well. You can check out more information about the park here.

Greenbrier Park
Greenbrier Park consists of 28.3 acres of undeveloped area located in the Greenbrier neighborhood of Charlottesville with walking/biking trails along Meadow Creek. You can enjoy the view of sycamore groves, a meadow and the Greenbrier Marsh while riding along this smooth section of trails. Be sure to check out the cool footbridge that goes over the creek! Read more about the area here.

Pleasant Grove Park
If you are willing to drive a little further out of the way, don’t miss Pleasant Grove Park in Palmyra. This park contains over 22 miles of trails with lots of cool wildlife to admire along the way, and can accommodate riders of all levels. Pleasant Grove also has an amphitheatre, butterfly garden, and dog parks to check out! Find more information about the park and the trails (along with a map) here.

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