New River Trail (North Half)
Shot Tower Park, VA to Pulaski, VA.
24.5 Miles (49 Miles Round Trip).
Involves a 225 foot climb over 4.5 miles.
Average Grade of the climb: 0.9 Percent (Easy Climb)
Worst Grade: About 1.6 Percent.
Number of intersections: About 13.
Number of people passed on the trail: 110 (Most runners/walkers near Pulaski)
Pros: Railroad grade climbs on a mostly flat trail. Think easy riding. No litter. New River which flows to the North is nearby. A few open areas on the north end for nice views. There were restrooms and shelters along the trail which was well mowed.
Cons: You're going to have to voluntarily pay to park at any of the designated parking areas along this trail. Despite the river being nearby, it was rarely visible. Horse arena along trail means piles of horse crap on the trail and horse hoof divots making the dirt/cinder trail more bumpy than it should be.
Hindsight: Except for 10-15 miles on the north end when the trail veers away from the Greenbrier River and goes overland to Pulaski, the scenery did not change much. The Greenbrier River and sun were mostly hidden by dense bottomland forest for most of the ride. A few bridges did provide relief to the boring scenery. On the return trip and back in the dense canopy, this was one of those rides which I just wanted to be over soon.
Ratings: (1-5 scale, 5 being best)
Trail: 3 (Some smooth, some bumpy.)
Critters: 2 (Saw a couple of deer.)
Scenery: 2 (Not much variety in scenery.)