Mountain Bike Rules of the Trail
IMBA developed the “Rules of the Trail” to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails. Keep in mind that conventions for yielding and passing may vary in different locations, or with traffic conditions.
- Riding Wet Trails: We ask our trail users to observe the 24 hours / 1″ rain rule – meaning stay off of the trails for 24 hours for every inch of rain the falls. During freeze-thaw periods, ride while the trails are frozen or wait until they have melted and dried.
- Ride Open Trails: Respect trail and road closures — ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as required. Be aware that bicycles are not permitted in areas protected as state or federal Wilderness.
- Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don’t cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.
- Control Your Bicycle: Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits.
- Yield Appropriately: Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you’re coming — a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one.
- Never Scare Animals: Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses, use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife are serious offenses.
- Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.
Portions of the trails are designed to be technically challenging. DO NOT modify the trail or create alternate routes to bypass challenging features.
The next generation of mountain bike trail maps and trail information. In a partnership with IMBA, the MTBProject offers an international listing of 60,282 miles in 17,224 trails. An interactive site that allows you to share your rides, trails and photos.
RVA Ride Center
“Ride Center” is an official designation of the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) for a large-scale collection of mountain bike trails that offer recreational opportunities for all skill levels, from families to expert. Currently, there are less than 17 locations worldwide which have received this prestigious designation.
The Richmond Regional Ride Center (RRRC) is a collaborative effort to address the public demand for outdoor recreation areas and facilities in Central Virginia. The goal is to rehabilitate 15 miles of existing mountain bike trail at Pocahontas State Park, and construct an additional 20 miles. A combination of existing world-class trails in the James River Park System and the trails at Pocahontas State Park will provide over 70 miles of offroad cycling, making the Central Virginia area a destination-worthy resource.
Other Regional Mountain Bike Trails:
Powhite Park Trail – Richmond City Park
Poor Farm Park Trails – Hanover County Park
Freedom Park – Williamsburg – Trail Map
Sherando Lake Recreation Area – Charlottesville Area – Trail Map
Walnut Creek Park – Charlottesville – Trail Map
Preddy Creek Park – Charlottesville – Trail Map
Dutch Gap Conservation Area & Boat Landing
341 Henricus Park Road (Conservation Area)
441 Coxendale Road (Boat Landing)
Chester, VA 23836
The 810-acre Dutch Gap Conservation Area surrounds Henricus Historical Park and features diverse woodlands, wetlands, and the old meandering channel of the James River. “Dutch Gap” refers to Sir Thomas Dale’s attempt in 1611 to shorten river travel by cutting a new channel to bypass this meander. A 4.5-mile trail loop leads visitors around a tidal lagoon, where numerous species of birds and an abundance of other wildlife can be found. The area includes a blue heron rookery and a 2.5-mile Lagoon Water Trail, where paddlers can observe the “graveyard” of submerged barges and several islands. Dutch Gap also provides a boat landing on the James River.
Government Center Complex
9501 Lucy Corr Circle
Chesterfield, VA 23832
The Government Center Trail System is a mixed-use network of trails with a combination of both hard and soft walking surfaces. The system is comprised of two main loop trails (1.4 and 1.2 miles) and several connector trails. The trail provides a great opportunity for employees, residents and visitors in the area to get out and enjoy the outdoors while building regular exercise into their daily routines.
The trail is an extension of the county’s trails system and part of the “greenways” effort to preserve open space. In addition to preservation, the goal of the greenways effort also is to connect residents with parks, rivers, natural areas, cultural attractions and historic sites. Some greenways serve recreational purposes, while others serve as protected corridors along rivers, streams and wildlife habitats.
Daniel Park at Iron Bridge
6600 Whitepine Road
North Chesterfield, VA 23237
This 187-acre park is conveniently located in central Chesterfield across from the county airport off of Route 288. Numerous diamond and rectangular fields, game courts, shelters, and trails make this park a popular destination for a wide range of recreational activities. The park is also located next to The First Tee golf course.
John J. Radcliffe Conservation Area and Appomattox Canoe Launch
21501 Chesdin Rd.
South Chesterfield, VA 23803
Located just below the Brasfield Dam and Appomattox River Water Authority, the Appomattox River Canoe Launch provides a parking area and boat slide for small non-powered craft. This location also serves as the trail head for the John J. Radcliffe Conservation Area, which consists of 94 acres of woodlands and swampland along the Appomattox River. Wildlife is in abundance in this diverse environment, and 2.75 miles of trail and over 500 feet of elevated boardwalk through the property provide visitors with a unique recreational experience.
Dodd Park at Point of Rocks
201 Enon Church Road
Chester, VA 23836
This 176-acre park features several athletic facilities and a diverse natural area. Athletic and picnic areas are concentrated in the upper areas of the park, and access to the lower areas is provided by a system of trails including a floating boardwalk through a freshwater tidal marsh. This area also has historical significance, as the land was the southern end of the Union position during the Bermuda Hundred Campaign. Remnants of Union earthworks can be seen along the park road and trails.
Robious Landing Park
3800 James River Road
Midlothian, VA 23113
Robious Landing Park provides easy access to the James River for kayaking, canoeing, rowing and fishing. The 102-acre site also houses 3.4 miles of trails, playgrounds, picnic shelters, and sand volleyball. James River High School is located adjacent to the park and provides additional facility access.
3401 Courthouse Road
North Chesterfield, VA 23236
The county’s oldest, this 161-acre site features a complex of ball fields and game courts, a nature center, an archery range, Ruff House Dog Park, garden plots and an extensive system of hard and soft surface nature trails. Other features include picnic shelters, play equipment, concessions and restrooms. These facilities, along with convenient location at Courthouse and Hull Street Roads, make Rockwood Park a popular choice for numerous recreational uses.
Trail Volunteer Opportunities
Do you love the outdoors? Take an opportunity to give back to the community and give others the chance to discover all of the wonders out there in the wild! The Chesterfield County Department of Parks and Recreation is on the lookout for volunteers to help with trail building and trail maintenance. We have opportunities for group service projects as well as jobs more suited to individuals, Eagle Scout candidates, or small groups. Some of the projects our volunteers have enjoyed in the past include trimming vegetation and litter clean up along county trails, the construction of new sections of trail in unimproved forestland, erosion control, plant installation, and amenities construction. This is a great opportunity to interact with like-minded people and do something to support outdoor adventure in the region! For more information contact Robert Smet with Chesterfield County parks and Recreation at (804) 745-8360 or SmetR@chesterfield.gov.