Exploring Bike Trails in Rocky Mount, NC

Tar River Trail Rocky Mount Its beginnings are not entirely clear--- some historians believe the sketches of the first working bicycle were made as early as the 1400s. But it is a French blacksmith and carriage maker named Pierre Michaux who is credited with being the father of the bicycle, creating prototypes in the 1860s.   


May is National Bike Month

Little did monsieur Michaux realize how his innovation would continue to be a source of joy for people of all ages.  So much so, that an entire month is dedicated to bicycling. May is National Bike Month. Established in 1956 and sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, the month is a chance to educate the public about the benefits of bicycling—whether for pleasure, as a part of an exercise regimen, or for transportation. 

Rocky Mount's Great Places to Ride Bikes

Rocky Mount, NC has a lot of great places to ride your bike. Whether meandering by the Tar River at Sunset Park or exploring the scenery at Battle Park, the Tar River Trail offers a chance for exercise and recreation.   

Scenic Places and Parks Along the Tar River Trail:

  • Battle Park 
    This is Rocky Mount’s largest park, at 57 acres, and is centered on the “falls of the Tar River.” The area used to be prime fishing and hunting ground for the native Tuscarora Indians. Biking and walking trails curve around the paths that lead to picnic shelters, a gazebo, a boat ramp, and various fishing piers.   
  • Scenic Pedestrian Bridge
    This bridge—one of the longest wooden pedestrian bridges in the U.S.—crosses the Tar River after leaving Battle Park.

  • Sunset Park
    This is the city’s main park, and it includes a carousel, picnic shelters, a spray park, a skate park, tennis and basketball courts, and a boat ramp.

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Park
    This 28.42-acre park features the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Many scholars believe Martin Luther King Jr. first used his “I have a dream…” phrase in Rocky Mount. The park also features a playground, swings, recreational fields, and a pathway around the perimeter of the park.

  • Raised Walking/ Biking Path
    Leaving Sunset Park, this raised, wooden pathway provides a peek at the natural wetland habitat along the Tar River.

Maps & Tips for Biking in Rocky Mount

A detailed map of the Tar River Trail in a PDF file format can be found by clicking here

But before hitting the road, review these handy bike safety tips. When riding your bike:

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Check your equipment before each ride to be sure that your tires are properly inflated and your brakes are working properly.
  • Wear bright clothing and be sure your bike has reflectors so you can be easily seen.
  • Remember: If you ride your bike on the road, you are expected to follow all the same traffic laws as cars. That means stopping at signs, and following proper traffic patterns.
  • Always have control of your bike--- that means objects such as books and other items should be secured in a backpack.
  • Avoid riding at night.


More information on bicycle safety can be found at the National Transportation Safety Administration.

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