Virginia Trails


    To thoroughly explore Virginia's history and cultural heritage, follow a Heritage Trail. If you enjoy hiking and watching wildlife, try a Nature Trail. More than 800 miles of United States Bicycle Routes 1 and 76, as well as the Virginia Capital Trail, are included in our Biking Trails. Finally, those seeking the fruit of the vine will certainly enjoy one our Wine Trails.



    Heritage Trails

    Virginia Civil War Trails

    Virginia Civil War Trails has linked Civil War campaigns, using the bugle sign to mark more than 380 Civil War sites. Stop along the way and chat with interpreters, listen to radio messages from your car, and read an illustrated sign that explains what happened when and where.

    Enjoy several local trails pertaining to individual battles, such as Hunter's Raid and the Wilson-Kautz Raid.

    Other great side trips along the Civil War Trails include specialties such as railroading and African-American history.

    Order your free Virginia Civil War Trail Guide and plot your own itinerary! Crooked Road sign

    The Crooked Road - Virginia's Heritage Music Trail explores Virginia's mountain regions - Heart of Appalachia and Blue Ridge Highlands - and the rich heritage of the mountain people, focusing on their traditional

    Visit more than 92 attractions, 244 outdoor recreation sites and enjoy tons of music! Other highlights include Appalachian crafts and coal mining heritage.

    Early ethnic groups that settled in these regions included the Cherokee Indians, the Melungeons (Portugese, Native American and African-American), the Germans and Scots-Irish.

    Virginia's Coal Heritage Trail links the Heart of Appalachia's coalfields, communities, and the culture through seven counties on this official Virginia Byway. Just some of the points of interest along the trail include the intact coal-boom era town of Appalachia; Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine; the Dennis E. Reedy Railroad and Coal Mining Museum in Clinch; various coal miners' memorials; Breaks Interstate Park and Natural Tunnel State Park.

    Captain John Smith Trail

    The Captain John Smith Trail takes you to 35 key sites along the James River, where Captain John Smith explored from 1607 to 1609. Travel by land and water from Historic Jamestowne north to Richmond, and loop back south again to Smithfield and across the river to Newport News. Sites include Native-American villages, historical sites, plantations, wildlife refuges and parks.

    Road to Revolution

    The Jamestown Discovery Trail begins allows you to travel 39.6 miles along the Virginia Route 5 Scenic Byway through 400 years of history and see sites of Native American settlements, elegant plantations, African-American landmarks, presidential homes, Civil War battlefields and active farms. The trail ends at Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestowne with plenty of mile markers.

    The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail is a guide through the life of Patrick Henry, orator of the Revolution and Virginia's first governor. See sites like St. John's Church, famed for Henry's "give me liberty or give me death" speech, and Red Hill, Henry's last home and burial place.

    Journey Through Hallowed Ground

    The Journey Through Hallowed Ground is a beautiful trip down Route 15 through a region recognized as the most historically significant to America. Check out the Main Street communities along the way!

    The Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail is the first historic trail dedicated to commemorating the civil-rights-in-education struggles of African-Americans, Native Americans and women from the 18th through the 20th centuries. The 300-mile trail features 41 sites in the southern Central region of Virginia, each with this marker.

    CREHT sign

    For example, in 1951, students of R.R. Moton High School in Farmville, demanded equal rights in education. Their cries led to a lawsuit that became part of the famous Brown vs. Board of Education lawsuit, which began an integration process propelling the Civil Rights Movement! The school became a National Historic Landmark in 1998.

    Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail commemorates and preserves the route of patriot militia who fought and defeated a force of a thousand British soldiers at the Battle of Kings Mountain during the Revolutionary War. About 200 Virginia soldiers marched from Abingdon to fight in the South Carolina battle.

    The Wilderness Road

    Follow the trail on a parallel Commemorative Motor Route that begins in Abingdon and heads south on State Highway 75. You may also order a brochure of the complete 330-mile trail from the National Park Service, which manages the Trail from Virginia through eastern Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina, ending at Kings Mountain National Military Park.

    The Wilderness Road: Virginia's Heritage Migration Route , was the primary route taken by early settlers to the Blue Ridge Highlands and Heart of Appalacia regions of Virginia. It is an adventure through 23 Virginia localities and includes the Fincastle Turnpike and Carolina Road.

    Trail to Freedom is a walking and driving tour through Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania and surrounding counties that details the mass slave exodus in the summer of 1862. Seeing their chance for freedom, as many as 10,000 slaves crossed the Rappahannock River for cover behind the Union army lines.

    Richmond Liberty Trail is a 6.2-mile walk through historic downtown Richmond. It includes 15 national historic landmarks. Look for the blue stars painted on the sidewalks to follow the trail.


    Nature Trails

    Birding and Wildlife sign

    Virginia's Birding & Wildlife Trail is a driving trail with loops off the main trail, linking some of Virginia’s best wildlife-watching areas with walking and biking trails. It is the first statewide program of its kind in the United States and is divided into three areas:

    The Coastal Region includes 210 sites organized into 18 loops.
    The Piedmont Region includes 13 loops into forests, pineland savannahs and reservoirs.
    The Mountain Region includes 310 sites organized into 34 loops!

    Order your regional guides and Discover Virginia's Wild Side! 

    photograph of AT sign

    Virginia's portion of the Appalachian Trail encompasses 544 miles of the AT, more than any other state! And 101 of those miles lie in beautiful Shenandoah National Park, paralleling beautiful Skyline Drive.

    The AT is well-maintained and has gentle grades, making it a most enjoyable trek for hikers of all ages and abilities.

    The most remote and less-traveled portion of the AT is at the southern Virginia region. By the time you reach Damascus — known as Trail Town USA — you'll be ready for civilization again!

    aerial view of the Virginia Creeper Trail Image by John Grogan, Virginia Creeper Trail 

    The Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail can be accessed from Damascus and is 34.3 miles long. It began as a Native-American footpath. Daniel Boone even used the Trail while exploring the area. It got its name from the early steam locomotives that struggled up the railroad's steep grades.

    Order your free Trail Guide and join the Trail Club. Get a complete listing of other hiking trails in Virginia. 

    Southwest Virginia's Spearhead Trails is the exciting new family friendly OHV (off highway vehicle) system coming to Southwest Virginia. We'll open our first system, Mountain View, in June and we expect to have two more systems opening in 2014. The Mountain View Trail System in Wise, Dickenson and Russell counties, will take riders along the picturesque and mountainous landscape of Sandy Ridge, Honey Branch and Meade Creek. Phase One will include approximately 75 miles of trail offering riding experiences for all skill levels from easy green trails to our more challenging black trails.


    Cycling the Commonwealth

    Cycling the Commonwealth features various bike trails. For example, one of the trails is the Virginia Capital Trail — a bicycle and pedestrian route linking the first settlement in Jamestown, the Colonial Capital in Williamsburg, and Virginia's modern seat of government in Richmond. When complete, this 54-mile trail along Route 5 will feature interpretive sites and pedestrian amenities.

    Order your Official State Bicycling Map.


    Wine Trails

    Cluster of Grapes sign

    Look for this grape cluster sign as you travel along Virginia's Wine Trails.

Last Updated: 6/6/2014 3:25 PM
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