There are multiple cycling options in the Elizabeth City and surrounding areas, whether you’re looking to just tool around neighborhoods or take longer treks into the beautiful countryside.
Three neighborhood bike routes ranging from a couple of miles to almost six miles have been mapped out to help guide riders in and around the city. Maps for these rides can be found at the Visitors Center (located within Museum of the Albemarle). These routes are slow-paced and great for casual riders and kids. All three rides start and end at the Visitors Center, where you can borrow a bike for free if you don’t have your own.
1. Historic Route – 2.75 Miles Round-trip
The Historic Route takes you on a circular jaunt through the city’s historic commercial and residential neighborhoods loaded with Queen Anne, Eastlake, Craftsman, and Colonial Revival style homes constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
2. Knobbs Creek Route – 2.4 Miles Round-trip
The Knobbs Creek Route tracks the city’s Northside Historic District where you’ll enjoy lovely views of the Pasquotank River on nearly half of your journey. This out-and-back ride is a great choice if you want to include a family or romantic picnic as part of the plan. There’s a beautiful park at the end of Poindexter Street where you can spread a blanket, feed the ducks, and enjoy the fabulous view. The turnaround point for this ride is the Knobbs Creek Recreation Center. Take a pit stop there to play a round of par-3 golf or let the kids have some playground time.
3. River View Route – 7.2 miles Round-trip
The River View Route is exactly as its name indicates – an enjoyable winding meander along the Pasquotank River. You’ll pedal through aptly named Riverside and Rivershore neighborhoods with the water in view for the majority of the ride. The longest of the three rides at around six miles, it bypasses the famous Nell Cropsey home, as well as two parks where you can stop to rest.
4. Dismal Swamp Canal Trail – 6.0 Miles Round-trip
The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail ride is perfect if you want to get off the beaten track onto a more wilderness-oriented path. This trail is a paved pathway that parallels the eastern border of the Dismal Swamp State Park. The park also offers quite a few trail ride alternatives. Men’s, women’s and children’s bikes are available for you to borrow here, if needed.
If you’re a serious road rider and want to cycle some longer distances, the countryside offers an abundance of alternatives with amazing views of farmlands, waterways, and animal pastures. The River City Cycling Club can help guide you with cue sheets for many rides.
No matter the ride you choose, ride safe, watch traffic and always wear a helmet.
Deborah Malenfant is a former entrepreneur and business owner. She lives in and loves Elizabeth City; and also loves the mountains. She is the executive director of Elizabeth City Downtown Incorporated. Her personal motto is, “Everything is an experience.”
Liza Franco captures the moments of life that will one day be someone’s memories and links for generations to come. Her work includes, lifestyle, commercial, fine art and portrait photography.