We think gravel riding is the ultimate gateway to adventurous loops that are best done on a gravel bike. These loops incorporate pavement, "groomed" gravel, and short sections of rougher, more technical gravel. Our routes are created with the mindset that we would rather climb the rough stuff than descend on it, but that's a personal preference. We also don't mind long-ish sections of pavement, especially if the roads are quiet and scenic -- and most of them are. For us, it's all about fun, not suffering!
Ride #3 -- Cave Mountain Gravel
Start at the river parking lot in Buchanan for this epic adventure.
Ride #2 -- Sunset Field Loop
Start at the gravel parking lot at the intersection of North Creek Road. Warm up on the gentle climb on North Creek Rd before you take a left on gravel and climb to Sunset Field and the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's about 9 miles to the top, with one short downhill to help break things up. Take the BRP downhill to the Peaks of Otter and grab an ice cream at the camp store (open seasonally), before dropping down to Powell Gap and your next gravel section. This starts as a fairly curvy downhill, but flattens out to a straight section of beautiful gravel along the creek. Once you hit pavement, you are just a few miles from the finish.
Ride #4 -- McFalls Climb-Rt. 43 Descent
Start at the river parking lot in Buchanan. This route has a nice "approach," a cool gravel climb, and a screaming-fast paved descent that will leave you smiling. It's perfect if you want something quick, but fun.
Ride #5 -- Bobblet's Gap-Arcadia Loop
Start at the river parking lot in Buchanan for this loop that combines elements of some of the other routes, but adds the climb up to the Blue Ridge Parkway by way of Bobblet's Gap on rough, technical gravel.
Ride #1 -- Fringer Trail-Camp Bethel Loop
Start at the river parking lot in Buchanan. It's pavement for awhile before you hit some fun gravel on Bobblet's Gap Rd. After looping back to the Bike 76 route on Lithia Rd, you'll climb some groomed gravel on Fringer Trail before hitting some rougher sections of gravel on the forest service road. Take care blasting down Bethel Rd! The return journey is an easy spin on pavement back to Buchanan.