Explore Virginia’s Eastern Shore by Bicycle

With miles of bike paths that meander along farm fields, through forests, alongside the Chesapeake Bay and beside the Atlantic Ocean there is plenty for cyclists to see on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

This 70-mile peninsula off the Virginia coast is also dotted with small towns to check out. It’s easy to zip through a town when you’re driving, but when you explore a town on two wheels you can truly experience the sights and sounds that make the small towns on the Eastern Shore the vibrant places they are.

Whether you’re looking for a pedal on a secluded bike trail, to challenge yourself on a bike tour or take a fun ride with the kids the Eastern Shore has it all. Bring your bike or rent one when you get here, the journey awaits.

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Bike along the water on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Photo Cred: Between the Waters Bike Tour

Bicycle Rentals

A friendly outfitter can help you put rubber to the road, whether you want to explore a historic town for the afternoon, take the kids on a beach cruising adventure or spend a week biking up and down the Eastern Shore.
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Jus’ Bikes, Chincoteague
From beach cruisers to kids bikes Jus’ Bikes has everything you need to explore the quaint island town of Chincoteague and the nearby Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on two wheels. Spend an afternoon biking between shops downtown or go for the long haul and bike from your accommodations to Assateague Island for a beach day and a glimpse at the island’s famed wild ponies.

SouthEast Expeditions, Onancock, Cape Charles, Chincoteague
With three convenient locations, SouthEast Expeditions can help you get a set of wheels whether you’re at the very southern Tip of the peninsula or up north in Chincoteague. Whether you want to immerse yourself in history by picking up a copy of Onancock’s walking tour brochure and biking between historic sites or you want to cruise around Cape Charles and catch a glimpse of the beautiful houses in town SouthEast can hook you up with wheels.

Bike Depot, Chincoteague
If you want to bike into the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, home of the island’s famed wild ponies Bike Depot can help. The shop is just a stone’s throw from the refuge and they have everything you need to stock up for a great day on the beach, including bikes.

 

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There are plenty of places to grab a bike on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

 

Fun on Wheels, Chincoteague
Cycling can be a serious workout and the thought of biking around your vacation destination can be a bit daunting. Fun on Wheels has a solution, an electric bicycle. You can pedal when you want to or you can kick on the electric power and cruise up to 20 miles an hour. If you’re a purist Fun on Wheels has standard bikes as well.

Four Brothers Crab House and Ice Cream Deck, Tangier
Tangier is a tiny island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay that is accessible only by ferry, boat or air. If you want to see the island like a local hop on a bike. There are very few cars on Tangier and most residents get around on bikes, golf carts or foot. Take a spin around town to catch a glimpse of the beach, historic sites and beautiful landscape.

DayTrippers, Wachapreague
Take in breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the wild barrier islands that protect the Eastern Shore’s Atlantic Coast and enjoy small town charm as you cruise around the tiny village of Wachapreague. It’s hard to feel closer to the Atlantic Ocean than you will in Wachapreague. This sleepy little village is also home to an internationally recognized marine research facility. Bike past the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s Eastern Shore Laboratory, a beautifully designed, state of the art facility that hosts students, scholars and local researchers.

Oyster Farm Marina, Cape Charles
Whether you want a bike for an hour or a week the Oyster Farm Marina has you covered with everything from kids bikes to tandems. Hop on a bike and take a spin around Cape Charles. This historic town was planned around a ferry terminal that carried Pennsylvanian Railroad passengers and cargo from the Eastern Shore of Virginia across the Chesapeake Bay to Hampton Roads. Grab a copy of the town’s walking tour brochure to learn more about the rich history of Cape Charles. If you’d rather explore on your own, cruise by the town’s beachfront, get a closer look at historic homes or shuttle between the shops downtown.

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Explore the natural beauty of Virginia’s Eastern Shore by bicycle. Photo Cred: Shutterstock

Bicycle Paths

Getting in touch with nature doesn’t require hiking boots and a compass. See everything from forests to wetlands and sand dunes all from the seat of your bike.
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Southern Tip Bike Trail, Kiptopeke
Catch glimpses of the Chesapeake Bay, forests and working farm fields on this 2.5-mile paved bike path near the southern end of the peninsula. The ride takes cyclists through the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, which is a hot spot for bird migration in the spring and fall.

Kiptopeke State Park
Visitors coming from outside this state park on the peninsula’s southern tip can bike their way in and then explore Kiptopeke’s more than five miles of trails or visitors and campers who don’t come equipped with their own wheels can rent a bike from the camp store and then hit the trails.

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Chincoteague
There’s plenty to explore at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge between the famed wild ponies, the historic lighthouse and the beautiful scenery. Bike your way through the seven and a half miles of bike-accessible trails in the park to see it all and end your trek with a dip in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Take a sunset ride through the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Photo Cred: VTC

Guided Bicycle Tours

With the help of a guide, you can learn about the rich history, unique ecology and distinct culture of the Eastern Shore from your bike. Get the inside scoop on what makes this place so special.
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Adrenaline High, Chincoteague
Tour the historic island town of Chincoteague during the spring and fall to learn more about it’s evolution from remote island community to bustling tourism hub. You can also take a spin through the wildlife refuge where Chincoteague’s famed wild ponies roam.

Chincoteague Bay Field Station, Wallops Island
Explore the Eastern Shore of Virginia by bike and learn along the way with Chincoteague Bay Field Station’s Road Scholar program, an educational travel program for adults. You’ll learn about everything from ecology to history on this three-day journey with a small group of fellow lifelong learners.

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Explore quaint towns like Onancock by bike. Photo Cred: Burnham Guides

Bicycling Events

Explore the small towns, country roads and beautiful sights of the Eastern Shore with fellow cyclists, then celebrate all your hard work with a celebration after you cross the finish line. The back roads of the Eastern Shore are full of twists and turns and lack shoulders so one of the safest ways to explore them is during an organized bike tour when routes are well signed and additional safety precautions are in place. Turn a bike tour into a weekend getaway and take the time to immerse yourself in some of the towns you’ve cycled through.

May
Family Bicycle Poker Ride
Cape Charles, VA
This family-friendly event gets kids off the couch and into a national wildlife refuge, with a little added fun for good measure. Cycle through the Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge and stop at five checkpoints to pick up a playing card and stop for snacks and drinks. At the end of the ride play your cards to see who has the top hand of poker. The winner will take home a prize.
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June
Le Tour de Shore
Onancock, VA
See everything from creeks along the Chesapeake Bay to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy nature’s beauty along the way during Le Tour de Shore, a bike tour that will get you off the beaten path and onto the roads less traveled on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. With five different routes, everyone from hardcore cyclists to casual riders can enjoy this event. Routes include a 100-mile trek, a 100K, a 50K, a 25K and a 15 to 18-mile fun ride on Friday night. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts with a barbecue chicken lunch in the shaded town square of the quaint harbor town of Onancock.
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October
Between the Waters Bike Tour
Cape Charles, VA
Begin your day riding on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and finish it feasting on freshly roasted oysters, then dance the night away to the sounds of bluegrass at the Between the Waters Bike Tour. A choice of four routes, 100 miles; 60 miles; 40 miles and 25 miles, offers something for every cyclist.
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Bicycle Repair Shops

Don’t let a flat tire or a broken bike chain ruin a visit to Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Let a local technician give your bike a tune-up and you’ll be back on the road in no time.
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Mid-Town Bike Store, Chincoteague
Nothing throws a wrench into your vacation like a bike breakdown. Mid-Town can get your rolling again in no time.

For biking safety tips click here.
For information about Virginia’s scenic byways click here.
To plan your visit to Virginia’s Eastern Shore click here.

You may also like: Eight Wilderness Hikes on VA’s Eastern Shore
Eight Big Outdoor Adventures on Virginia’s Eastern Shore
Ten Great Kayaking Adventures on Virginia’s Eastern Shore

3 thoughts on “Explore Virginia’s Eastern Shore by Bicycle

  1. Bicyclists are also welcome on The Nature Conservancy’s 3 1/2 mile William B. Cummings Birding & Wildlife Trail on Brownsville Preserve near Nassawadox! Mostly crushed shell with a bit of grass at the end, this trail offers the opportunity to traverse habitats from wooded uplands to open meadows to salt marsh. For more info, check out http://www.nature.org.vcr.

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