Mountain Biking at Upper County Park in James City County
James City, Virginia 23168
From I-64 take Exit 227 (Toano) to Route 30 South heading towards Toano/Williamsburg. After about 1/3 mile turn right onto Old Stage Road, just before the gas station and McDonalds’s. After about 1/3 mile, turn right onto Leisure Road. Follow Leisure Road into the park.
The Upper County Park trail is a 3.7-mile loop within the 75-acre Upper County Park in James City County, Virginia. The trail begins near the end of the cul-de-sac at the end of the park entrance road. Look for the mountain bike trail signs. The trail is on the left of the chained-off gravel road that leads back into the woods. Much like other trails in the area the loop contains many quick climbs and descents through ravines that surround the creek and bottomland areas adjacent to the park. The route is somewhat technical with tight turns and off camber sections. There are, however, fast stretches that use the terrain for banked turns. One downhill contains four turns that take you from side to side in a small ravine much like a bobsled course. Although shorter than other nearby trails maintained and constructed by the Eastern Virginia Mountain Association (EVMA), the trail is no less demanding. In fact, aerobically it is one of the more challenging. Many of the climbs come one after the other with few flat areas to recover. This trail requires attention. You will find it hard to take you hands off the bar to grab a water bottle or even your hydration pack hose. The trail sees little use, so expect a few sticks and branches and a narrow tread through the will blueberry (lowbush) which covers much of the forest floor along the trail.
The trail was designed to be ridden clockwise but can be ridden in both directions. In fact, counter clockwise seems to require more climbing and it will take you a bit longer to complete a loop. You can also ride the trail in a figure eight since there is a cross over near the mid-way point. Also, if you are riding clockwise, look for a bailout near the 3-mile point. The bailout drops you in on an old gravel road that makes a loop through the woods starting near the trail entrance. The gravel road was part of the old campground that previously existed at the site. In fact, you will see electrical boxes for the old campsites along sections of the trail.
In the summer, after your ride, plan to cool off in the park pool. While there is no fee for park admission or riding, a fee is charged for use of the pool. Other amenities at the park include children’s playground equipment and an outdoor basketball court. Pavilions are also available for a fee. Next time you ride, take the family. They can enjoy the pool and playgrounds.
Trail Map: Click For Map