Training Camp ideas in Eastern U.S

Hello friends,

I’m looking for suggestions on where to go do a cheeky little “training camp” this year. It wouldn’t be a camp, so much as “let’s go ride my bike somewhere new”. My work schedule gives me a week and a half off at the end of March/early April, which would be good timing for a bit of added volume in preparation for the upcoming season.

I recently moved to the North East of the US, in Western NY, so I am not extremly familiar with the cycling spots beyond 100miles of where I live. It would be great to go to AZ or CA, but this is not really a “this year” project. Here are my parameters :

  • The camp would include some road and some gravel riding.
  • I need to be able to drive to it within a day. Take Buffalo, NY as my starting point.
  • I live in pretty flat area, so hills would be great.
  • Somewhere where they don’t hate cyclists. Please.
  • Need a decent levels of amenities (think AirBnB, restaurants, grocery stores, etc.). The wife might stop by for a few days so it would be great if she could have things to do, while I live my long gone dream of becoming a professionnal cyclist.
  • Not really looking for extremely busy cities either. I love nature.

Let me know if you guys have any ideas. Any cycling paradises on this side of the U.S.?

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Off the top of my head, Brevard, NC or the surrounding area. I haven’t been there (yet) but it’s on my list.

That time of year I’d want to be a decent ways south from Buffalo.

It’s a long drive for a day, but I’ve done worse.


Greenville sc


And, in Greenville, the Hotel Domestique!


That was my first thought as well. Elevation, decently warm weather and lots of gravel and mountain biking.


We have gone to Boone, NC twice in years past and it was great…fantastic roads, plenty of climbing, etc.

With the ski resort in the area, there are plenty of excellent AirBnB options.

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Brevard will give you some great road riding and gravel right out the door. The town is pretty small, so the wife may get a bit bored after a day or so….but Asheville isnt far away and has a very happening downtown. I think the town of brevard has a cycling guide with good routes, but you can also follow (everyone hero) Dylan Johnson for some routes. You can road ride out of downtown asheville too, but it is a bit busy for the first 30 min. If you do a big ride from brevard, you can ride some of. The Greenville roads.

Outside of greenville has some good road routes, but be prepared with bigger tires as SC roads are rough. You either have to ride the greenway for many miles (15-20?) to get out of town or drive up north for 30 min if youre staying in town to get to good roads. The city is cool, so wife should be entertained. Not sure of the gravel scene close to town, but i assume it takes some driving.

Knoxville has excellent road riding that you can access from town, town is medium sized, so wife may be entertained for a day or so, but not much more. Tons of gravel that 45 min drive away. We see a number of pro teams do camps here as we have so much good road riding. Most teams get cabins south of town in Townsend close to the mountains

Chattanooga has a bunch of great road riding and a happening down town…better than knox for stuff to do. Minimal gravel near town, probably need to drive 45 min to hit the big gravel routes.

Only a little experience in Boone, good road riding, and gravel nearby, but its a tiny (college) Town

Probably your best bet is Brevard if you want out the door road and gravel riding. And if you want to mt bike, its got all you need for weeks.


Frederick MD. 6 hr from buffalo. Things to do in the city. Could drive to DC if spouse came. NC and SC sound cool, but they’re another 6 or 7 hrs away.

Frederick has plenty of full gas 10-20min climbs along the catoctin mountain ridge (camp David is up there). You could easily ride 3-4 days without much repeated roads. You can also stay in the valley and ride relatively flat routes too


Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are 20-30 mins south with endless things to do!

Imho, endless crap. Lived in knoxville last 30 years, stayed away from Gat and PF for the last 29 years. But thats just me, hella people like that stuff.


Re-directing a little bit, what’s the Hendersonville area like?

We’re trying to plan a more extended trip. I want remote and out of the way so Brevard is probably up my alley, and I’m more into MTB and Gravel. But, my better half wants a little bit more of a town, and is a marathon runner so a running shop / club would be a big plus.

Outside chance we try and buy a place in the area if we love it when we’re down there.

I’ve stayed in Brevard a bunch of times, and Hendersonville once. Hendersonville is a little bit more of a town, with more restaurants and things to do. The Appalachian Pinball Museum is fun if you’re into that kind of thing. If you stay in H-ville the drive to North Mills River rec area should be less than 30 minutes, and you can put together a huge MTB/gravel ride looping in Bent Creek as well. You’re also around 30 minutes to The Hub at the Pisgah entrance and Dupont, so it’s just a short drive to hit the highlights.

Now if your wife wants to hike and hit Looking Glass or any of the popular hikes off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, you may want to consider Brevard since you’d be looking at 1-1:30 drives from Hendersonville.


Brevard and Hotel Domestique are pretty close and could be done in one “camp.”

If NC is too far, I would definitely not overlook towns up and down western MD and VA. Tons of small towns with amazing roads and gravel. And a good mix of mountains and valley riding.

Crozet, VA
Lynchburg, VA
Harrisonburg, VA
Blacksburg, VA
Roanoke, VA

Basically lots of little towns up and down the blue ridge. Many have colleges and universities also so they have nice towns with restaurants and such to support them. That time of year make sure you know when parent’s weekends and such are so you know if it’ll be crazy busy.


Came to same the same thing. The Shenandoah Valley region in Virginia has some fantastic riding.

Harrisonburg is a pretty good home-base - stay in town for access to dining and LBS. It’s just off the interstate, so easy access.

There are plenty of well-used loops from town, both paved and gravel, some rolling valley, some heading up the mountains on either side of the city.

For a big ride, you can either start in town and roll to the top of Reddish Knob (mostly paved, with some gravel options). Or, if you want a challenging gravel ride, start near Stokesville, and do a loop on the forest roads in the area (anywhere from ~45 miles of gravel to 100+ miles mixed terrain).

Another option is Loudoun County VA. Closer to DC, plenty of gravel. Tends to be more “death by 1000 cuts” - short punchy hills vs mountain climbs. But the riding is fantastic and there are 100s of options riding out of Leesburg or Middleburg (with plenty of AirBnb in either, or in the farmland between the two towns).

Edit - TrekTours does a long weekend tour in the area - not suggesting you pay them, but their site will give you an idea of the terrain and what you’ll find in the region.


Yeah I almost mentioned these cause my parent’s live near there and where I do most of my riding when I go back. It’s truly amazing riding (both road and gravel) but there aren’t as many towns to stay in. They’re either tiny little 0-2 stop light towns or larger suburban towns that require driving and would be more difficult to ride in and out of.

Harrisonburg also has the benefit of being a 30min drive from Skyline Drive. Which is an awesome option if you want great road riding with just repeated 20-45min climbs.


Yeah, you’d have to be a bit more careful about picking hotel/home rental and be sure you aren’t starting every ride on Rt50 or the Dulles Access Road!!!

But, from Leesburg and Middleburg, you can get safe riding from town without a drive. Search “Loudoun 1725 gravel” and you’ll get 3-4 solid routes (30-80 miles) from Middleburg. Or “Velopigs” on ridewithgps will get you a bunch of routes from central Leesburg.

Skyline is an awesome ride, but there are limited access points and none of the gravel service roads are open to bikes. So, when I ride it, it’s part of an 80 mile loop (“Skymass” - south on Skyline, north on Fort Valley Rd).


Another “thumbs up” for Western Maryland. Look at the Deep Creek Lake area. Outstanding roads and trails in the area.


Why not drive up to Jay Peak in the Northeast Kingdom and do Raputitsa? It’s always been a great event. The weather in VT can make the event epic. Last year the weather was perfect.

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Lots of great ideas here.

I’ll add a plug for Loudoun County VA. It’s become our Thanksgiving week trip. We stay outside of Purcelville, and I have 4 routes ranging from 20 miles to 60 miles. Lots of elevation, lots of real gravel, very little traffic.

I only made those routes the first time we were there, but I’ve used them every time since. And if you get tired of the elevation, I think the C&O is nearby. Plenty of wineries, breweries, distilleries and restaurants to keep you occupied outside of riding.

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