Harwood's Mill Bike Trail Review: Newport News, Virginia
Tucked away in Newport News, Virginia, the Harwood's Mill Bike Trail provides riders with an engaging and memorable biking experience. With trails designed for riders of all skill levels, from the novice to the more advanced, there's something here for every cyclist.
- Novice Trail:
- A single-track featuring a number of twists, roots, and small humps, perfect for beginners.
- Signs direct riders to the end, where the advanced trail begins.
- Advanced Trail:
- Starts where the novice trail ends.
- Presents a few more challenges, including more roots, small hills, and log crossings.
- Despite its name, the difficulty level isn't much higher than the novice trail.
- Also a very fast single-track.
- Expert Trail:
- Not for the faint-hearted. Although not as technical as some might expect, it's definitely the most challenging of the three.
- Features including narrow paths and occasional obstacles make it a great place for more experienced riders to test their skills.
From VA Beach, take I-64 west to exit 258. Follow U.S. Route 17 north for approximately 4 miles, then turn left onto Oriana Rd. (Route 620). After crossing the Harwood's Mill Reservoir, take an immediate left turn into the parking area. The bike trail begins just across Route 620 from this parking lot.
What Cyclists Are Saying
- The trail maintenance is commendable, especially considering obstacles caused by events like the recent Tropical Storm Isaias were promptly addressed.
- The ground can be a bit soft after rain, but not to the point of being muddy – this provides good grip for tires.
- Trail A is extremely rooty, ideal for honing skills related to this particular challenge.
- Different trails offer varied lengths and challenges. Trail A is roughly 1.4 miles, while Trail B is the longest at about 3 miles.
- The path offers a good balance of climbs and descents.
- The environment is largely forested, providing a cool, shaded ride.
- New riders have found the trail system especially welcoming and an excellent place to build their skills.
- More experienced riders also appreciate the trail, especially when aiming for a cardio-focused ride.
Tips for Visitors
- Wear protective gear, especially gloves, to handle the rooty paths and occasional challenges.
- Prepare for mosquitoes; they can be particularly aggressive.
- The trail can be busy, so riders won't be alone on their journey.
- The paths are single track and one way, so always stay alert for other cyclists.
For those in the Newport News area, or even visitors from further afield, the Harwood's Mill Bike Trail offers a unique opportunity to ride in a picturesque setting. Whether looking to improve skills, get a workout, or simply enjoy the outdoors, this trail is a must-visit. Do it once, and there's a high chance of wanting to ride it again!