I won't get into a big description. It's all singletrack (good singletrack at that). From the parking area you get on a nift little singletrack trail into the wood and it just starts from there. Theres about 20 (maybe more) miles of sweet trail back there, but I don't have an exact count cuz I haven't ridden all of them (yet). This gets five knobbies from me because there's a lot of trail to ride, its really well maintaine, with some good obstacles, and its local (to me). Big thumbs up to the course designer-Drew Murray
couple ways to get there, but here's coming from the South (or Cville) off of 29N, take a left onto Rio Rd., 1/2 mile take a left at The Rock Store onto Earlysville Rd., after a couple miles, take a left onto Panorama Fram Rd. (watch out for horses!) follow that gravel road to a right into the Panorama Farm parking field, there's a bulletin board there, ya can't miss it. By the way, this is private property and there is a donation box so hook it up and show your love for the people making these trails possible.
Summary: This trail system is on private property and it is now CLOSED...The trail operator/owner has found other interests besides keeping trails maintained and mountain biking. A lengthy, well thought out attempt to transition the "business" to a group of local riders, did not get the yes vote from the family corporation that actually owns the land.
If you want read about how good it USED to be, read the reviews below. If you want to do something to fix the sudden lack of trails in the Charlottesville area, join CAMBC http://www.cambc.org/
The owners might desire to host the occasional race. If there's a promotor out there who wants to do a race at Panorama, it could be possible.
Recommended Route: Take a canoe trip around the Rivanna Reservior. This is as close as you can get to Panorama now. (unless you need to bulk purchase mulch or wood chips...they have good mulch...)
Other recommended trails in the same area: Walnut Creek about 1/2 hour south
O'hill 15 minuts south
Sherando 50 min southwest
Summary: I love this place, may not be the most technical place in the world but it is just an incredible ride. I always like to ride with my brother who knows the trails very well. This is great fun, can be fast and sometimes that just what you need. If you live in the area screw paying the $8 , and get a parking pass at the local bike shop, (Extreme Sports) I don't know exactley where it is but if your a local I'm sure you can find it.
Recommended Route: Don't know the names, besides they're all good.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Walnut Creek, a little more technical in some areas, but not the length.
Summary: Rode these trails for the first time this past Saturday. To say I was underwhelmed is an overstatement. They just aren't very challenging, that is unless you're trying to figure out where you are. One expects some dis-orientation the first time you ride somewhere but for trails that are purported to be so well maintained, the trail marking system is crap as is are the maps provided at the bike shop, and you end up spending (wasting?) a lot of time and energy riding in the freakin' hay fields. Heck, they could at least mow the tracks in the hay field once a week or so, but the grass was so tall it was just painful. For 8 bucks a visit, i expected a LOT more. It's very likely that I'll not be going back. SOOO over-rated.
Recommended Route: 29 South to Walnut Creek.
Other recommended trails in the same area: For real mountain biking go to Walnut or Sherando/Big Levels. O-hill is also a fun little place to hit up but not really an all day kind of place.
Summary: First ride at Panorama on 5/28/05. Agree with other reviewers regarding the fields. Felt like I was in Nebraska for about 1/2 of my ride, and once you're in the field, there's no quick exits back to the singletrack, you just keep riding in the grass. Better trail markers are definitely needed. Barring that, stay away from the section called the Big Easy. This is probably a great trail network for locals who know the system. If you're a first-timer, go with someone who knows the trails, or better still, just drive another 30 minutes to Sherando.
Recommended Route: AVOID THE BIG EASY SECTION!!!
Other recommended trails in the same area: Sherando, Walnut Creek Park
Summary: These are fun and fast trails without much technical stuff to slow you down. As you can see by the other reviews, if you need advanced climbs, decents, and obstacles to be happy, this is not the place for you. If you just want to ride for hours, it is a good place.
There are miles of trails, but keep in mind that many of those miles are in open fields, which even for the least adventurous can get boring.
I have no problem with paying to ride. Eight bucks is the price of a movie or 2 or 3 beers at a bar, neither of which could occupy an entire day. The pay-to-ride deal means that trails are really well kept. However, I would say that the trails could be a little better marked given that it does cost. Not everything is marked and not all the trails appear to be on the map. So until you find the loops you like, allot some time and energy for the likelihood you get lost.
Recommended Route: Stay in the woods and out of the fields.