Good Nature is Only a Step Away in Waynesboro, VA

Recreation is a way of life in Waynesboro, Virginia.  Residents and visitors to this beautiful Appalachian Trail Community have countless options for enjoying nature year-round.  And Waynesboro is proactive in expanding its Outdoor Recreation Network to provide easy, interconnected access to the hundreds of miles of trails, routes, and waterways running through and around the city.  Whether you like to walk, bike, run, or paddle, you’re only a step away in Waynesboro!

Walk the Greenway

Waynesboro’s South River Greenway gives walkers a beautiful 1.2 mile stretch along the river from the YMCA near Rife Park, north through Constitution Park and on to the Port Republic Road Historic District.

Get walking with this route that will guide you from the Waynesboro Public Library to Constitution Park and back.  If you’d prefer a loop, take the Waynesboro Walkabout, a 2-mile route that includes both a long section of the South River Greenway and parts of the Historic Downtown District.  The city is currently expanding the Greenway to extend to North Park with plans to later add connections to Ridgeview Park, Basic Park, the future Sunset Park, and the Crozet Tunnel.

Bike the Valley

There’s nothing quite like exploring Waynesboro and the Shenandoah Valley by bike. Historic neighborhoods, unique points of interest, rolling landscapes, and tasty watering holes make every ride a fresh adventure.

Bike the Valley lists over 40 on-road and off-road routes to start you off.  And whether you prefer to tour and rack up the miles or are more interested in a family ride, Waynesboro can be your hub. A newly rebuilt Main Street Bridge includes two 6-foot bicycle lanes and sidewalks to improve access to the downtown district and park network, making it that much easier to shop the farmers’ market, catch a festival, or explore the city’s historic districts.  And if all your adventuring requires some bicycle repairs or a tune-up just pop over to Rockfish Gap Outfitters.

Run the Valley

Park to Park Half Marathon, Saturday Apri. 30, 2015. (Photo by Norm Shafer).

Waynesboro Parks & Recreation is a driving force in destination races.  Their Run the Valley Race Series brings runners from near and far to compete in challenging and fun events throughout the year, from February’s Mad Anthony Mud Run to October’s Fall Foliage Race.

And Waynesboro Parks & Recreation’s course maps are available online so you can get out there and hit the pavement today, no matter the season. Two of our favorite courses are the Summer Extravaganza 5K route that begins and ends at Ridgeview, and the Fall Foliage 5K that begins at Constitution Park, runs past Rife Park, and loops back to Constitution Park via the South River Greenway.

Paddle the Waynesboro Water Trail

With the South River flowing through Downtown Waynesboro, it’s no surprise that the city has become a destination for anglers, water enthusiasts, and paddlers.  And with the Waynesboro Water Trail, it’s never been easier to get out on the water!

With access points at Ridgeview Park, Rife Park, Constitution Park, and Basic Park, the Waynesboro Water Trail gives paddlers 4 miles of scenic waterway.  The full trip takes about 2-3 hours. Kayaking alone or have only one transport car? No problem.  Waynesboro Parks & Recreation offers some suggestions on how to tackle the water trail.

If you want to extend your paddle, simply continue north along the South River to Port Republic and then merge onto the South Fork of the Shenandoah River towards Front Royal.

If you didn’t pack your kayak, have no fear. Waynesboro Parks and Recreation is offering a Paddle the Park program at Ridgeview Park every Sunday afternoon during the summer months. You can rent a kayak ($10 solo, $15 tandem), explore the river, then return the kayak to the park. Additionally, Rockfish Gap Outfitters offers kayak rentals (shuttle service not included).  They also carry over 7,000 square feet of gear for the outdoor enthusiast and are a great source for suggestions on places to explore in the area.

Upcoming expansions!

 The Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel

After current restoration is complete, the Crozet Tunnel at Rockfish Gap will serve as a recreational gateway through Afton Mountain, connecting the Shenandoah Valley and the Virginia Piedmont.  A universal access trail through the 4,264-foot-long tunnel will link to existing trail systems, providing hikers, walkers, and bicyclists easier access to Shenandoah National Park, the Appalachian Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and U. S. Bicycle Route 76.

 Sunset Park

 Plans are underway to develop a public park at the tallest point in Waynesboro.  Visitors to Sunset Park will be able to enjoy a 360 degree view of the Shenandoah Valley.  Land that was once an active municipal landfill will be transformed with miles of forested hiking and mountain biking trails and a scenic overlook.  Virginia Tech’s Community Design Assistance Center has developed a conceptual design that includes possible connections to the Crozet Tunnel and a pedestrian trail that would link proposed mountain biking trails.

6 public parks.  4 miles of water trail.  2 National Parks. 1 super-charged Parks & Rec. Hundreds of miles of trails on our doorstep. The only piece that’s missing in Waynesboro’s Outdoor Recreation Network is… YOU!  Take that step and plan your getaway today!

 

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