Building, Riding, and Maintaining Trails in Southeastern Virginia

Freedom Park

Freedom Park, Williamsburg VA

Location:
5537 Centerville Rd
Williamsburg, Virginia 23188

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Directions:
From Interstate 64 take exit 234A to Route 199. From Route 199 take the Longhill Road exit. Turn right onto Longhill Road (Route 612). Follow Longhill Road until it ends at the park gates. Once inside the park gates, follow road to the parking lot.

Google Map

GPSTrailSource

Description:

Freedom Park boasts over 20 miles of singletrack trail including a beginner level Bunny Loop trail, a freeride trail, and several miles of multi-use trails.  Each trail has a different feel and its own set of unique features.  All bike trails are uni-directional singletrack trails, so please pay attention to the signs.  Helmets are required.

Freedom Park is open daily from 7:00 AM to sunset.  Trails may sometimes be closed to bikes due to rain or dangerous conditions.  Call the park office for trail conditions and status.  Park Facilities currently include a park office, meeting room, museum exhibits, fireplace, restrooms, bike wash, botanical garden, the Go Ape treetop adventure, and plenty of parking.  Bring the family and make a day of it!

Check trail maps at the park for locations of all trails.  Maps are available at the park office and the black mailboxes near the parking lot and trail signs.  Trails are sometimes re-routed and may have changed since you last rode them!  Carry a map and cell phone with you, plan your route, and pay attention to all signs, especially the emergency access points: orange posts with white numbers on red stars.  Always know where you are on the trail!  You may need to refer to the trail name and last emergency access point or trail feature that you passed.

Report downed trees, trail damage, needed repairs, and any dangerous conditions to the park office or to trails@evma.org.

Bunny Loop – for beginners

The 0.71 mile Bunny Loop was built in 2013 for kids and novice riders.  The trailhead is marked with a big sign near the end of the parking lot closest to the Free Black Settlement cabins.  Though meant to be easy, there are some bumps, a few wooden bridges, and some small, easy dirt mounds that will introduce new riders to smaller versions of some of the features on Freedom Park’s intermediate-rated trails.  A short way into the trail a sign indicates options to the left or right.  Each fork takes an opposite direction but gets you back to the trail head in a total of 0.35 miles.  Ride both forks for different experiences.  Once novices have built some confidence on the Bunny Loop, try out Trails A-E.

Trails A and B

Trail A, the original mountain bike trail at Freedom Park, is 5 miles of hard-packed, fast, intermediate skill level singletrack.  The original layout was built in 2002 but has had several re-routes and improvements since then.  This is a rough-and-tumble, fun loop trail with plenty of short, moderately strenuous uphills and short, quick downhills through multiple ravines.  There are also some flat, flowy sections, several wooden bridges, and a few small dirt rollers and jumps.  There are two long downhills shortly past the halfway point.  Just past the 4 mile mark, look for the sign for a 5 foot drop (stay right for the 5′ drop, or left for a smaller, less steep 4′ drop).  Trail A ends at multi-purpose trail #2.  Turn left and continue downhill and cross the wide wooden bridge to the Trail C trailhead, or turn right and follow multi-use trail #2 and the signs back to the A trailhead and parking lot (making one left turn onto multi-use trail #1 along the way).

Route tips and variations:

  • At 2.7 miles in you can continue straight on A, or turn right at the orange post for 0.25 miles of singletrack back to emergency access #9 and the parking lot.
  • At 2.86 miles in (shortly after a long wooden bridge and up a hill) you can bear left to stay on A, or bear right at the big sign for Trail B, which winds tightly through the trees for 1.7 miles before crossing multi-use trail #1 and linking back up with Trail A right at the top of everybody’s favorite downhill.
  • At 3.8 miles in (having followed A and bypassed B), shortly after the long downhill and ensuing climb, Trail A passes within about 20 feet and clear view of multi-use trail #1.  You can hop over to the multi-use trail and either turn right to ride the long downhill again, or turn left and follow multi-use trail #1 all the way back to the parking lot.

Trail B is an extension of A.  B is 1.7 miles by itself, and ridden together with A makes the A/B loop 6.2 miles.  B is about the same intermediate skill level but slightly more technical than A, with tighter twists and a few sharp downhill turns.  B is a nice change-up to A that will test your bike handling skills maneuvering through sharp-turning flat sections through the trees.  B links back up with A just before everybody’s favorite downhill on Trail A.  By taking the B extension from A, you only miss about 0.5 miles of Trail A (and one good downhill).

Route tips and variations:

  • You can access B from the 2.86 mile mark on A, marked with a big sign.
  • You can also access B from the parking lot: just uphill from the Go Ape cabin, cross the grass field, enter the single track at emergency access #9, ride 0.25 miles to link up with A, and turn right at the orange post.  B will be about 0.15 miles ahead, well marked by a large sign.

Trail C

Originally built in 2008 but with new features occasionally added, Trail C is the EVMA’s premier freeride trail, boasting dozens of TTFs (Technical Trail Features) including dirt rollers, berms, skinnies, teeters, A-frames, table-tops, gap jumps, gravity pits, bridge drops, a log ride, a wooden half-moon, and more.  TTFs vary in skill level, are well-marked, and all have marked ride-arounds.  KNOW YOUR LIMITS and your bike’s limits before attempting TTFs. Always check out a TTF from all angles before you attempt it.

Aside from the TTFs, 4.6 mile loop Trail C is just plain fun, boasting some moderate climbs, fast flat sections, views of Colby Swamp, and rides under the Go Ape treetop adventure, including directly beneath one of the major zip-lines.  Cross-country and freeriders alike will love this trail.  Trail C is rated intermediate skill level, but some TTFs are rated more difficult.

Route tips and variations:

  • Trail C crosses multi-use trails several times and has multiple emergency access points, offering many starting, ending, and bail-out points.  Some of these accesses are good ways to quickly get to your favorite TTFs.
  • There are several forks in the trail with signs indicating one way to the TTF and one way to the BP (Bypass, or ride-around).  Both forks will keep you on the main trail.
  • The official trailhead is on multi-use trail #2 just downhill from the end of Trail A, at the end of a wide wooden bridge.  To get there from the parking lot, follow the signs toward Trail A.  Pass by the Trail A trailhead, then take your first right turn, following the sign for multi-use Trail #2 and Bike Trails C, D, and E.  At the bottom of the hill, cross the wide wooden bridge and look for the Trail C trailhead sign immediately on the left.  This will also be your ending point.  To get back to the parking lot, follow multi-use trail #2 back toward the Trail A trailhead, making one left turn onto multi-use trail #1.
  • Another good starting point is where Trail C crosses multi-use trail #3 near the edge of the grass field.  From the parking lot or paved park road near the botanical garden, cross the large grass field heading toward the wooden split rail fence.  Turn left onto the well-marked multi-use trail #3 into the woods and look for the yellow post on the left with a white “C” on a blue background.  This will also be your ending point.

Trail D

Trail D, originally completed in March 2010, has Freedom Park’s most overall technical cross-country terrain.  Many people consider D the most difficult trail at Freedom Park.  D is overall intermediate rated, but contains some tricky terrain  features described below.  D is 5 miles long, laid out in more or less a figure 8 with an inner loop and an outer loop separated by a wooden bridge.  It passes through hardwood and pine forests, often with sudden changes making for unique scenery.  D has plenty of short ups and downs, so compared to the rest of Freedom Park you won’t be on flat ground with easy pedaling for very long stretches.  Aside from having plenty of turns that require your concentration, the inner loop of D before you get to the second wooden bridge doesn’t contain the challenges that the outer loop does.  Around the 1 mile mark you’ll suddenly enter a pine forest and soon cross a wooden bridge, then suddenly cross right back to deciduous forest.  At 1.6 miles you’ll come to the second bridge.  Follow the well-marked signage to either bear right to cross the bridge on to the outer loop, or bear left to stay on the inner loop for another .7 miles back to the multi-use trail.  Over the bridge and on the outer loop be prepared for several sets of switchbacks – something that you won’t find much of this far east.  There are also several short but twisty and rooty uphill sections with sharp turns that will test your ability to simultaneously crank and maneuver your bike over uneven terrain at low speed.  Around 3.8 miles in you get a breather and chance to build some speed through a flat, flowy section.  At the 4.3 mile mark, just after a very tight, twisty downhill, you’ll return to the second bridge and back to the inner loop.  Follow the sign to the right once across the bridge to continue to the inner loop.  Another 0.7 miles to the end of the trail dumps you onto Multi-use trail #3 directly across from Trail E.  Keep riding E, or turn left and follow the multi-use trail 0.25 miles back to the D trailhead or further on toward the parking lot.

Route tips and variations:

  • Trails D and E make a great 8.7 mile loop, as Trail D finishes at the Trail E trailhead and Trail E finishes at the Trail D trailhead.
  • The inner loop has a few emergency access points in the first half mile, then none on the outer loop, and then a few once you cross the bridge back to the inner loop.
  • Trails D and E are also easily accessible from Jolly Pond Road.  Enter Freedom Park multi-use trail #3 from Jolly Pond Road just past Hornsby Middle School at the gravel drive blocked with a chain.

Trail E

Originally completed in March 2011, Trail E is a 3.7 mile loop of tearing-through-the-woods, intermediate skill level fun.  With relatively few technical requirements but several short climbs, E is a grip-it-and-rip-it kind of trail.  Just watch your speed on the turns so you don’t hit the trees – it’s easy to build speed on this trail but there are also plenty of curves to force you to moderate it.  There are a few natural dirt rollers along the way.  A section about half way in offers a chance to carry some speed for a while on a flat, flowy section.  Most of the climbing is shortly past the halfway point.  The trail finishes with a few tight, twisty sections before dumping you back onto multi-use trail #3 right at the Trail D trailhead.

Route tips and variations:

  • Trails D and E make a great 8.7 mile loop, as Trail D finishes at the Trail E trailhead and Trail E finishes at the Trail D trailhead.
  • E has only a few emergency access points.
  • Trails D and E are also easily accessible from Jolly Pond Road.  Enter Freedom Park multi-use trail #3 from Jolly Pond Road just past Hornsby Middle School at the gravel drive blocked with a chain.

 

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