Cycling Virginia's Tidewater Region

This weeklong bicycle tour of Virginia's Tidewater and Hampton Roads regions is filled with Southern and colonial history, scenic peninulas, and some of the best and easiest road cycling in Virginia.

Arrival: you may fly into Richmond , Newport News-Williamsburg, or Norfolk international airports.

Tidewater Potomac Heritage Route

Tidewater Heritage LoopThe Tidewater Potomac Heritage Route begins in Washington, D.C., and includes both sides of the lower Potomac River separating Maryland and Virginia until it reaches the Chesapeake Bay. A 25-mile spur leads south throughVirginia's Northern Neck and crosses the Rappahanock river near Irvington. Up river is Belle Isle State Park, and just northeast of Kilmarnock is the Hughlett Point Natural Area, a mix of wetlands, uplands, and sandy beach .

Northern Neck:

Northern Neck VirginiaRide past fishing villages and historic sites on four easy bicycle trails which represent the essence of the Northern Neck There are very nice inns in popular Irvington and Kilmarnock toward the end of the Northern Neck peninsula in Lancaster County, as well as in Tappahanock, which sits just across the bay from the northern end of the peninsula. Every September hundreds of cyclists join the Northern Neck River Ride .
Routes below are provided by the Northern Neck Cycling club

Rides from Irvington and Kilmarnock
Windmill Point
Rappahanock River Tour from Irvington (RABA)

Rides from Lancaster
Coan Ride
Lancaster Loop
3/4 century from Lancaster
Horse head, 33 miles
Lancaster east, 33 miles
Lancaster-Morattico 44 mile loop from RABA

Rides from Wicomico
Tipers Ride
Wicomico-Fleeton loop

Virginia Eastern Shore

Rides from Onancock  (Thanks to Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce)
Le Tour de Shore 75 mile
Le Tour de Shore 55 mile
Le Tour de Shore 18 mile

More Rides
Lews Loop
RABA Windmills Ride
Montross Loop
Windmill Point

Williamsburg Area:

Capital Trail mapThe Colonial Parkway is a 23-mile scenic three-lane highway which starts at the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center parking, heads west following the York River to Williamsburg, turns south to follow the James River, and ends up in Historic Jamestowne . Composed of a cobble aggregate pavement, the highway simulates an early Colonial Virginia roadway and can be a bumpy ride for bicyclists. The center lane of this three-lane roadway is for passing only. Park Site. Explore the historic triangle

York RiverYork River State Park Eleven miles west of Williamsburg, York River State Park is where freshwater and saltwater create an extraordinary estuary rich in marine and plant life. There are six bicycle trails, some of which are specifically for mountain bikes.

Jamestown Island Yorktown battlefield. There are two tour roads in Yorktown, the seven-mile Battlefield Tour Road, marked by red arrows, and the nine-mile Encampment Tour Road, marked by yellow arrows on park roads and heavily-traveled state highways. Main Street is closed to automobilesfrom spring through fall.

Jamestown Jamestown has a one-way five mile scenic loop drive open to pedestrians, bicycles and motor vehicles. Buses, motor homes and large trucks are prohibited

The Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge South and east of Williamsburg , this refuge includes dozens of miles of trails and many rural roads with light traffic available for road riding. In Smithfield, VA Nike Park has a 2 1/2 mile long loop bike trail.The Canal Trail runs along 11 miles of the canal on a now closed section of what was Route 17. Further resources for cycling in this area are found atWilliamsburg Area Cyclists

Williamsburg Rides by John Zwirner, owner of Conte's Bike Shop in Williamsburg

Fenton Mill Road Ride - 31 Mile ride around the Reservoir and Fenton Mill Rd
Jamestown Circle Ride - 25.5 Mile ride through Jamestown and Williamsburg
Jolly Pond and Carwash Hill Ride - 31 Mile scenic ride with hills and a reservoir
The South Forty Ride - 40 Mile ride with something for every taste
Governor’s Land Ride - 28 Mile ride to Governor’s Land and back
Jamestown Shorty Ride - 18 Mile ride around the parkway and Lake Powell

Williamsburg rides from BikeBeat in Williamsburg

Williamsburg Wednesday Ride

Jamestown River Velo 52 miles
Old Road Race Course, 55 miles

Dismal Swamp, 17 miles

Virginia Capital Trail

The Virginia Capital Trail is a planned 54 mile bicycle and pedestrian trail between Williamsburg, Jamestown and Richmond Virginia . The trail will be 8-10 ft wide, and entirely paved, with a bicycle lane separated from the Judith Stewart Dresser Bridge over the Chickahominy River Portions of the trail opened beginning in 2006 and most are expected to be complete by 2014. Currently there are four open sections of the Virginia Capital Trail: Richmond Riverfront - .5 miles , Charles City Courthouse, 7.5 miles, Chickahominy Riverfront, 5 miles and Greensprings, 2 miles .

Check out this excellent interactive map with photos of a six mile stretch of the Capital trail heading west from Jamestown.

Richmond, VA

Nickel bridge over James River in Richmond, VirginiaRichmond Virginia was the capital of the confederacy and is still a unique and beautiful small southern city. The boulevards and streets are wide, with several monuments to civil war generals and other famous locals. The city comes alive in the fall with jazz festivals and other events that bring the public out into its large wooded downtown parks. U.S. bicycle routes 1 and 76 pass through or near the city, although you will find the nicest cycling on quiet roads along the James River rapids and out into the countryside. TheRichmond Area Bicycling Association
is a very active cycling group, with cue sheets and a year-around calendar on their site. You'll want to spend a couple of days in Richmond to visit the botanical garden, science museum, and Cary Town

One of our favorite rides is along the James River
This version combines the James River and a scenic ride through downtown
Another popular ride is out to the Richmond Battlefield from downtown
This route combines Battlefield and James River
Scenic tour of Richmond with Riverside, Monuments and downtown parks
Some rides from RABA, Richmond Area Bicycling Association:
Rockville , northwest of Richmond , 24 miles
Barkers Mill , east of Richmond 19 miles
Glen Allen, north of Richmond 22 or 33 miles

Richmond lodging: A good inn for experiencing this city with all its charm and history is the Linden Row Inn, a fine example of Greek Revival architecture and on the National Register of Historic Places.

Log in or register to view our complete cue sheet directory

Richmond Area Bicycle Association
Capitol Trail
Charlottesville Bicycle Club
Northern Neck
Virginia's Eastern Shore
Williamsburg area
Winchester Wheelmen
C & O Canal Map
Virginia cue sheets organized by town
Allegheny Passage
North Bend Trail
Virginia Creeper Trail

Search the Bike New England site

Bike New England, Ipswich MA Email Bike New England