3×3 Spectacular Bike Rides near the Blue Ridge Parkway + Great Refueling Spots in #WaynesboroVA

It’s Bike Month!

Take advantage of the stunning scenery and mild May weather to get out for a bike ride near the Blue Ridge Parkway during National Bike Month. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or just getting started with your biking adventures, you’ll want to put these routes on your to-do list this month, as well as a couple cool spots to refuel after the ride in Waynesboro, Virginia.

The Routes

1. South River Greenway

greenway

This one-mile, family-friendly and beginner-level paved path stretches from Constitution Park in Waynesboro, meanders along the South River, and ends at the Loth Springs trailhead. Slight changes to parking and the route have occurred because of the bridge construction currently underway, but access remains easy and you will get in a fun ride! While you’re at Constitution Park, be sure to visit the Waynesboro Farmers Market, Saturdays from 9am-1pm!

2. Waynesboro Dooms Day Loop

waynesboro loopThis 12.5-mile, beginner to intermediate route takes you along the South River as it flows north towards its confluence with the North River. Travel along the base of the Sawmill Ridge and the Blue Ridge Mountains as you make your way back south towards Waynesboro.

3. Waynesboro to Grottoes Loop

waynesboro grottoes loop

This 35-mile, intermediate route will let you log some of the flattest road miles in Augusta County as you follow the South River towards its confluence with the North River at Port Republic, Virginia. Make it a full-day adventure with a picnic and tour of Grand Caverns in the town of Grottoes. The return to Waynesboro follows the meandering Middle River and passes by renowned horticulturalist André Viette’s extensive perennial garden and nursery on Long Meadow Road. Save some energy for a steady six-mile climb on Battlefield/Long Meadow Road on the return to town.

family ride
Photo courtesy Bike the Valley

The Hub

Waynesboro is an excellent hub for launching your next bike outing. Celebrating a vibrant bike culture and building on the city’s reputation as an outdoor recreation destination comes naturally in Waynesboro. As the gateway to both Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Waynesboro appeals to cyclists doing multi-day tours as well as to casual bikers enjoying the area’s iconic routes.

Whether you are renting a bike for an afternoon ride or headed through on the Blue Ridge Parkway, be sure to download a copy of the Bicycling in Virginia Map for statewide resources.  Virginia is home to 838 miles of the U.S. Bicycle Route system – more than any other state – and both the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway limit cars to 35 – 45 mph and prohibit commercial traffic, which makes for fantastic cycling. Plus, Virginia guarantees camping for touring cyclists at State Parks.  It’s no wonder that Virginia ranks #1 for Bicycle Friendly State in the Southern Region!

Another valuable asset for visiting cyclists is the region’s Bike the Valley website which lists local resources, Virginia biking laws, biking events and additional suggestions for on-road and off-road routes.  Riders of all levels will find that biking is a great way to enjoy the scenic and cultural offerings in and around Waynesboro, Virginia. The above routes are our favorite rides, but if you have a recommendation for a Waynesboro-based on-road or off-road route, Bike the Valley would love to hear from you.

solo rider
Photo courtesy Bike the Valley

In addition to being nationally recognized as a bicycling touring destination, the Central Shenandoah Valley also boasts wine trails, farm trails, and food trails. “There’s a lot of overlap between people who are interested in an active vacation but also want to eat well and are interested in the local food movement,” says Ann Cundy, AICP, Senior Transportation Planner for Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission.

The Refueling Spots

  1. Heritage on Main Street

heritage

Featuring over 20 burgers, delicious salads, big screen TVs and outdoor patio. Open late, take-out and delivery available.

2. Seven Arrows Brewing seven arrows

The area is also home to fine craft beer establishments like Seven Arrows Brewing. May 15-21, 2017 is also American Craft Beer Week, so why not celebrate two popular past times at once?

3. Willy’s Ice Cream
willys willys tree

Find some shade and enjoy a cool treat after your breathtaking ride. Willy’s Ice Cream is a Waynesboro tradition that will leave you refreshed and ready for another round!

About National Bike Month

bike monthCommunities across the country are celebrating National Bike Month.  Held every May since 1956 and sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, this annual event showcases the many benefits of bicycling and encourages more people to consider alternative modes of transportation. Education and safety are hallmarks of the event, and with activities like commuter breakfasts, bike rodeos, Bike Month Bingo, Smart Cycling Classes, and Bike to Work Day, National Bike Month aims to foster a positive bike culture all year round.

For bicycle tourists (as well as for bike commuters) the benefits of active transportation include:

  • Feeling more connected to the landscapes and the communities along the route
  • Feeling healthier and more relaxed
  • Saving money on transportation costs (and then having more money to spend on local foods, craft brews, and entertainment!)
  • Reducing the impact on the environment

Bike Month is just the beginning!  Continue your momentum with these upcoming opportunities.

Upcoming Biking Events near Shenandoah National Park

bike challenge
Photo courtesy Bike the Valley

May 1 – September 30, 2017 National Bike Challenge is a nationwide event uniting thousands of current bicyclists – and encouraging countless new riders.  Log your summer miles through Shenandoah National Park or along the Blue Ridge Parkway and be eligible for prizes and awards!            

tourdevalleySeptember 2, 2017 Tour de Valley Century & Metric Century  in Waynesboro, VA  takes you on a scenic tour of the Shenandoah Valley

 

bikeyourparkSeptember 30, 2017  Bike Your Park Day invites you to explore your parks and public lands by bicycle and corresponds with National Public Lands Day, a free entrance day in some parks.