Carvins Cove is the 2nd largest municipal park in the nation and a mountain biking, hiking, and equestrian paradise. It is chock full of both relatively flay, low-lying trails and steep climbs with awesome descents. If you don't like single-track, there's a seven mile fire road around it.
There are over 40 miles of trails at Carvins Cove. This mapped trail will give you a good overview of the trail system.
A $2 parking pass is required and cannot be purchased at the Bennett Springs parking lot. You must purchase a pass from the local mountain bike shop (Just The Right Gear) which is located along your driving route to the trail head (M-F 11-6pm/Sat 9-4pm: 540.384.7800). You can also purchase a pass from East Coasters bike shop. You may purchase a day or season pass.
Directions to trailhead
- mountain biking
- long, quiet hikes
- horseback rides
- getting out with the kids
- nature exploration
- From Roanoke, take I-81 south to exit 141
- Turn left at the traffic light onto Rt. 419 (Electric Rd.) and follow 0.4 miles to next traffic light (Rt. 311)
- Turn right onto Rt. 311N
- Just The Right Gear will be on your right in less than 1 mile (buy your pass here)
- Continue on 311N for another mile and turn right onto Carvins Cove Rd.
- Continue for ~1.4 miles to three-way intersection and bear right (still on Carvins Cove Rd.)
- Continue for 3+ miles to parking lot on right
This long trail will give you plenty of time to ponder and consider the world around you. However, if you are mountain biking, be prepared for the roller coaster ride of your life! The hardest of the trek will be within the first 35 minutes of your journey. The hills are often and steep, and the terrain is rocky and loose. Set aside time for a break here and there. Carvin's Cove is full of great side trails and places to discover. Keep an eye out for outdoor works of natural art, many which have been created for visitors to add their own mark. The ride down to back to the parking lot is fast and furious. Keep your eye out for oncoming traffic. There are a few dramatic blind turns.