Design Your Own Adventure: Hike, Bike, Paddle, Climb, Crawl
If you are an extreme sports enthusiast, there is no better place to test your strength, endurance and adventurous spirit than the mountains, rapids and cliffs near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Whether you come fully equipped to head out on your own, or you need a guide or outfitter, make Waynesboro, Virginia, the base camp for your next outdoor getaway.
Pick two of the following high-octane adventures. Paired with our suggested watering holes, you’ll have 48 hours of spectacular sights, tastes, sounds, and memories.
- Xtreme Fest of the Blue Ridge + Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail
May and June are a great time to flex those adventure muscles. Across the region, rivers run high with spring rains, trails offer spectacular vistas, and the mountains beckon. Spring also marks the annual Xtreme Fest of the Blue Ridge, a festival that celebrates the rich outdoor opportunities that await you in and around Waynesboro. On Saturday, June 10, head over to Ridgeview Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and get your rush of adrenaline by climbing the rock wall, zip lining, extreme air bungee jumping, kayaking on the South River, and watching the BMX stunt show. The event is free and there’s something for everyone.
2. Hike the Peaks: Turk Mountain + Stable Craft Brewing
Shenandoah National Park’s Turk Mountain is a rugged 10.4-mile hike with 2400 feet of elevation gain. Stick with it and your efforts will be rewarded with multiple stream crossings and great views of the Shenandoah Valley.
When you come off the mountain head over to Stable Craft Brewing for a delicious array of locally-sourced, brewery-inspired menu items. We recommend the Turk Mountain roast angus beef sandwich paired with one of Stable Craft Brewing’s farm fresh ales. Situated on a true working farm, Stable Craft offers lots of entertaining activities – from tours of their organic hop fields to live music to visiting with the horses on their farm. Or simply kick back with one of the 16 beers on tap.
3. Bike the Blue Ridge: Big Levels + The Fishin’ Pig
Experienced mountain bikers, this steep and rocky route is for you! Big Levels, part of the Sherando Lake Mountain Biking System, is a 28-mile loop of tough switchbacks rewarded by technical downhills. Veterans of this extremely difficult ride recommend you invest in your suspension before tackling this trail.
After you conquer this mountain, refuel in Waynesboro with the finest from land and sea: savory, smoked meats and flavorful, fresh seafood at the The Fishin’ Pig.
4. Conquer the Whitewater: Devil’s Kitchen + Mi Rancho
The Goshen Pass along the Maury River is the most popular whitewater in Virginia. Huge boulders and dangerous rapids abound. Located in neighboring Rockbridge County, the 6-mile trip has numerous class II, class III, and two class IV rapids, including the infamous Devil’s Kitchen and Corner Rapid. This high difficulty trip is for experienced kayakers and whitewater enthusiasts only.
Whitewater adventure seekers can rent kayaks from Rockfish Gap Outfitters in Waynesboro, or contact Wilderness Canoe Co. for details on their Balcony Falls day trip – a remote and difficult trip that requires navigating through ledges and rapids.
You’ll work up an appetite and thirst on the river, so when you head back to your Waynesboro base camp, stop by one of the area’s most highly rated restaurants, Mi Rancho Mexican Restaurant. Start with chips and fresh salsa with just the right kick as you peruse Mi Rancho’s extensive food and drink menus.
5. Climb the Heights: Love Gap Crags + Gourmet Food Trucks
Before you head south along the Blue Ridge Parkway for a day of climbing at Love Gap Crags, find one of Waynesboro’s gourmet food trucks like Delicias Marina offering the real flavor of homemade food of Uruguay, Argentina and Brasil, or stalk one of the Shenandoah Valley’s food trucks on Food Truck Where.
At Love Gap Crags, you’ll find several moderate trad and toprope routes, with a few easy and hard ones as well. There is also one bolted route and at least one mixed route. Most routes are single-pitch from 60-100′, but there are a few options for making a two-pitch climb to the very top of the crag. Download the free Love Gap Climber’s Guide to see the variety of climbs and their ratings.
Shenandoah National Park is another option for the rock climbing enthusiast. The park offers some of the finest climbing in the eastern United States. Contact Shenandoah Mountain Guides for a guided rock climbing and rappelling adventure 3000 feet about the Shenandoah Valley floor!
6. Discover the World Underground: Primitive Caving + Barren Ridge Vineyards
Experience all the features of the subterranean world (bats, mud, stalactites) without the underground sidewalk and light show! With WILD GUYde Adventures, you’ll be down and dirty, crawling and squeezing your way through unforgettable primitive caves.
When you emerge back into the light, finish your day with the breathtaking vistas and award winning wines at Barren Ridge Vineyards. Every Friday and Saturday evening, you can catch live music while sitting back with your glass of wine and watching the sun set.
With Waynesboro as your base camp, you can play hard all day and relax all night! And with quaint Bed & Breakfasts and familiar hotels, Waynesboro has a variety of lodging to fit your needs. Be sure to put these upcoming opportunities on your calendar.
Upcoming Adrenaline Rushes:
June 3 & 4, 2017
HOO-HA! Cross-Country Mountain Bike Race
September 3, 2017
Shenandoah Mountain 100 Backcountry Mountain Bike Race