The Virginia Capital Trail (VCT) is a 52-mile trail that connects the modern state capital of Richmond with the colonial capital at Williamsburg. This accessible, paved trail is perfect for a brief biking getaway whether you’re an occasional rider or a road cycling expert. Take time to ride at an easy pace and enjoy the history and wines of Virginia. The VCT travels past urban centers, open farmland, historic plantations, and shady woodlands to provide a satisfying bike touring experience.
Welcome to the Virginia Capital Trail! Arrive at Wedmore Place, leave your vehicle, and meet your shuttle to Richmond. After a short shuttle ride to the trailhead in Richmond, you’ll spend the day biking and visiting Shirley Plantation and vineyards. A snack to fuel your ride is included.
Cycle 20 miles through the rolling Richmond and Varina sections of the VCT, then take an afternoon break to tour Shirley Plantation OR to enjoy a wine tasting at Upper Shirley Vineyards*. Both are located along the Virginia Capital Trail.
After your tour or tasting, bike an easy 10 miles to the Charles City Courthouse. There you will either meet your B&B shuttle to Gracefield Hall OR bike another few miles to North Bend B&B. Enjoy the evening and prepare for your second day of biking!
*Upper Shirley Vineyards closed TUESDAYS
Activity: Plantation house tour (Shirley Plantation) OR wine tasting (Upper Shirley Vineyards)
Meals: On own
Overnight: Charles City
After a full breakfast to start the day off right, you’ll either bike or be shuttled back to the trail. Your ride today takes you through the Sherwood Forest, Chickahominy, and Greensprings trail sections. The VCT ends at Jamestown where you’ll bike a few miles along the Colonial Parkway before reaching the shortcut to Wedmore Place, on the grounds of the Williamsburg Winery.
Your day isn’t done yet! Check into your room, then walk over to the winery tasting room and enjoy your included wine tasting. You may choose to have dinner on site at the Cafe Provencal or drive on your own to a nearby restaurant. Williamsburg offers great variety of food choices.
*Please note Cafe Provencal is closed for dinner on Mondays.
Breakfast is included the next morning at the inn. If you would like to spend more time in the area, additional hotel nights can be added to your trip. Just ask!
Activity: Classic wine tasting (Williamsburg Winery)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: Williamsburg (Wedmore Place)
Tour is not offered in 2021.
This trip includes lodging for 2 nights; 2 breakfasts and 1 lunch; daily activities; and transportation/luggage shuttle.
Shirley Plantation – house tour OR Upper Shirley Vineyards – wine tasting
Williamsburg Winery – classic wine tasting
2 breakfasts, 1 snack, and 1 lunch
For non-included meals we provide daily suggestions and will consider your dietary requests, making special arrangements as needed. Please be aware that some restaurants close one day a week, and often that will be on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, depending on the location.
Our Virginia Capital Trail tours utilize historic local B&Bs: Gracefield Hall or North Bend B&B; and Wedmore Place, a European-style country inn on the grounds of the Williamsburg Winery.
Hotel nights before and after the trip can be added.
There are a very limited number of single rooms, as well as suites, along the trail. If you require either room set up please let us know at the time of your quote request.
Those with significant dietary restrictions, please also advise us AT THE START OF YOUR QUOTE PROCESS so that we can discuss your itinerary options. Food is important!
Virginia Capital Trail tours are offered between late April and early November. This schedule is dictated by weather and trail conditions.
Tours start at Wedmore Place, where riders will meet the shuttle to the Richmond trailhead. Vehicles can be left at the hotel parking lot.
The Virginia Capitol Trail is a paved trail with some rolling elevation changes, mostly in the Varina section just past the city of Richmond.
Upper Shirley Vineyards and Shirley Plantation require a short ride on a dirt road, off of the VCT.
The Colonial Parkway is a paved but bumpy surface. This road is open to non-commercial motor traffic.
The paved surface is appropriate for all bikes. Hybrid bikes and road bikes (with wider tires for off-trail) are particularly appropriate for the VCT. Mountain bikes and fat bikes with wide, knobby tires will be quite slow, but could still be ridden. Recumbents, trikes, and trailers will find a wide cleared trail throughout the route.
NOTE: side roads to Shirley Vineyards and other plantations off of the VCT are a packed dirt surface and can be rutted; the Colonial Parkway is a paved but bumpy surface.
Bike rental can be arranged. Hybrid bikes are $50/day, elite road bikes are $100/day. Other bike rentals and ebike options are available through Richmond bike shops. These options can be found on the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation website.
If you can box and rebuild your bike on your own, and if you have good bike cases for shipping, BikeFlights.com or another shipping method can be much cheaper than renting a bike. If you need help boxing and rebuilding a shipped bike, we can direct you to bike shops along the trails which can assist you for a fee (usually $40-75/bikes).
A one-way shuttle from Williamsburg (Wedmore Place) to Richmond is included in all VCT trips. This shuttles typically leaves between 8-10 a.m.
Daily luggage shuttling is included in all VCT trips. If you prefer to carry your own luggage, please let us know and we can update your pricing.
Luggage must be ready each day by 9 a.m. and is transferred to your next overnight location by 2 p.m. We request each rider bring one carry-on sized piece (approximately) and one smaller, personal bag. Luggage should weigh no more than 40 lbs per person. Odd-sized and/or bulky pieces such as bike stands, coolers, or bike racks are not permitted.
The trip was perfect as far as the pace. It was enough to give us a bit of a challenge each day, but we never felt rushed. We felt very safe on the trail. I had a blowout the first day on the trail and numerous people offered us help and made sure we were ok. When we arrived in West Newton, the bike shop put a new tire on while we waited. Very nice people. Jim also had a slow leak in Meyersdale and the gentleman at the visitor center was very helpful.
The only time we used the daily trip notes was getting out of Pittsburgh. They are a must. After leaving Pittsburgh, the trail is so well marked that it was kind of a no-brainer the rest of the week.
We really enjoyed the trip. The first rail to trail one we have done and we definitely want to do more. You did a fabulous job and we have already recommended the trip to all of our biking [friends].
Thanks, Sara! We had a wonderful trip!
Loved the B&Bs! Each was special in its own way. Lenora met us on the porch with homemade cookies and cold drinks. We enjoyed chatting w/ her and hearing her story. Hanna’s House was very special. I felt like an old friend with Frances. And her house is just amazing. The hosts at Levi Deal were also great, and of course, their Victorian home was spectacular.
The bikes were great. Loved the panniers!
Loved the bike trail! So pleasant. Very few people using it during the week. Lots of shade and not hard at all. Really great.
All in all it was a really fun trip! Thanks so much for making it easy for us!