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Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category

Circuit hikes to check out this summer

by Stefanie | Posted on June 5th, 2014

There certainly isn’t a shortage of hiking trails throughout the state; and for those who are looking for a trail that offers ever-changing scenery and terrain, there’s plenty of circuit hikes available for all hikers. Circuit hikes vary in many degrees of difficulty, making for unique experiences around the loops. Here’s some of the trails around the state, with many more to discover along the way.

Tell us about your favorite circuit trail!

OLD RAG MOUNTAIN
Old Rag Mountain is one of the most popular hikes in the Shenandoah National Park—it is also the most challenging and dangerous. Recommended for experienced hikers only, a day on the Old Rag is one of Shenandoah’s premier experiences. The circuit is approximately nine miles, with significant elevation changes and rock scrambles. Hikers should allot about 7-8 hours to complete the loop.

MASON NECK WILDLIFE REFUGE LOOP & BEACH WALK
This family and pet-friendly refuge offers an easy 2.3-mile trail, covering the length and flatness of the shore along Belmont Bay. Spotting bald eagles and other bird species, as well as other wildlife make for a great hike! Pack a lunch and take a break at one of the trail’s shelters or snack on the beach! Plan for 1-3 hours for the hike along the Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge and experience the serene undisturbed land of the refuge.

STRATFORD HALL
Stratford Hall’s nature trails are as varied as they are scenic, providing leisurely strolls for the amateur hiker and challenging treks for veterans. Hikers have six trails to choose from, including the Spring House Trail loop. The short and easy hike, approximately a quarter-mile, passes through a natural spring and is home to many species of wildlife—in particular the American Bald Eagle. A bald eagle can be spotted regularly and in rare instances, hikers may see a pileated woodpecker. The pileated woodpecker is the only woodpecker that can carve out a nest cavity in a living tree.

SKY MEADOWS STATE PARK
Sky Meadows State Park offers more than 17 miles of hiking trails that are accessible for the novice to expert hiker. The park’s long circuit trail is a moderate hike, about 8.5 miles long. Much of the loop meanders across or skirts the edges of rolling meadows and offers up to four vistas along the way. This circuit is a great hike for the entire family.

Hiking the Passamaquaddy Trail on Little Stony Man Mountain

Hiking the Passamaquaddy Trail on Little Stony Man Mountain

STONY MAN TRAIL
The Stony Man Mountain Trail is one of the most scenic circuits in Shenandoah National Park. Although Stony Man is the second highest peak in the park, the grades are not difficult. The trail offers outstanding panoramas of neighboring mountains and totals 3.4 miles in length.

FIRST LANDING STATE PARK
Take a step back in time at First Landing State Park. More than 19 miles of trails wind through the park, where English settlers established the first elective government in 1607. The South Loop trail allows hikers to explore the rich history of the area, including lagoons, large cypress trees and rare plants.

LAURAL RUN TRAIL
In the heart of Goshen Pass, the Laurel Run Trail makes for a good hike along a beautiful small native trout stream. The trail boasts waterfalls, seasonal rhododendron and mountain laurel displays. The beautiful scenery makes this 3-mile round trip hike most enjoyable. The moderate skill-level trail is great for the beginner hiker who is looking to get a more challenging experience out of their journey.

LEWIS FALLS
Located within the Shenandoah National Park, Lewis Falls Trail is a 3.3-mile circuit hike from the Big Meadows amphitheater to the observation point, or 2 miles round trip from Skyline Drive. It boasts an 81′ waterfall, streams and more. The hike is moderate, with steep rocky areas and different variations of terrain throughout.

LOCHER TRACT
Locher Tract is an easy, 1-mile loop along the James River, which used to be the site of an old family farm. The U.S. Forest Service now maintains the area for wildlife watching. While you’re trekking the loop, look for beaver, deer, herons, quail, turkey and more. The trail loops past an active beaver swamp, piney woods and grassy openings.

Family hikes along South River Falls trail

Family hikes along South River Falls trail

SOUTH RIVER FALLS
Hiking South River Falls and Pocosin Mission is a long, historic trek, measuring about 8.5 miles. Venture to the third-highest waterfall in Shenandoah National Park, with a drop of 83 feet. The total climb is about 1,830 feet and hikers should allow 7.5 hours to complete the loop. The hike also includes views such as settler ruins, a cemetery and more.

HUMPBACK ROCKS
Humpback Rocks, located within the Blue Ridge Parkway, features three trails (along with the Appalachian Trail) that make great circuit hikes. The complete circuit includes both blue-blazed spur trails and the rerouted Appalachian Trail, which totals just under 6 miles. Enjoy some truly amazing panoramic views of the valley on top of the slanted rock.

LIMBERLOST TRAIL
Limberlost Trail, also located within Shenandoah National Park, is often enjoyed by people with mobility challenges. The trail was originally constructed to meet ADA accessibility standards; however, the requirements have recently been revised. Shenandoah National Park has plans to upgrade Limberlost to meet the new standards. This circuit hike of 1.3 miles is for people of all ages and has a 5-foot-wide crushed greenstone walkway on a gentle grade with frequent benches, a boardwalk, and a bridge. The trail passes through forest and a stand of mountain laurel – stunningly beautiful when it blooms in June.

ROCK CASTLE GORGE NATIONAL RECREATION TRAIL
This trail starts easy at the entrance to the Rocky Knob campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then descends over three miles into the backcountry camping area in the bottom of the gorge. The strenuous and rugged nature of the trail reveal part of the reason this pathway was given National Recreational Trail status. In the springtime to early summer, nearly 200 varieties of wildflowers are visible along the trail area. The rest of the trail is a 7.3-mile ascent back out of the gorge on the return trail. You’ll see tunnels of rhododendron and other thick mountain foliage, a splashing stream, and high open meadows. The entire loop is 10.8 miles and the elevations range from 1,700 to 3,572 ft. A few small historic structures are visible along the trail, including a Civilian Conservation Corps camp.

GRAYSON HIGHLANDS STATE PARK
Grayson Highlands offers five loop trails throughout the park, ranging from 0.3-1.8 miles in distance. These trails lead to panoramic vistas, scenic waterfalls and a 200-year-old pioneer cabin. The park also offers access to the Appalachian Trail and the surrounding Jefferson National Forest.

STRICKLER KNOB
This 5.5-mile moderate loop into George Washington National Forest is not maintained and not suitable for dogs or young children. Strickler Knob does, however, reward with challenging rock scrambling and stunning 360-degree views of New Market Gap and the Luray Valley.

LAKE KEOKEE LOOP
The Lake Keokee Loop Trail circles Lake Keokee, which is a popular fishing lake near Big Stone Gap. The 3.7-mile, moderate loop features both land and water wildlife.

ROARING RUN LOOP TRAIL
Two trails lead to the falls creating a 1.5 mile loop trail. Most visitors use the Streamside Trail on their way up to the falls and return on the Woodland Trail. On the Streamside Trail, hikers are treated to rustic stone bridges, sheer rock faces and the sound of tumbling water as they walk alongside Roaring Run Creek up to the falls. The trail junctures with the Woodland Trail just shy of Roaring Run Falls. A short, 0.10-mile spur trail leads to the falls. The woodland Trail travels through the forest, passing a scenic overlook and the iron furnace before returning to the picnic area. Both trails are easy with relatively little elevation gain.



Destinations, Family, Outdoors, Travel Ideas, Uncategorized, Virginia Destinations | 5 Comments

Beach Activities to Keep Your Toes in the Sand and Water

by Stefanie | Posted on May 30th, 2014

Virginia’s beaches offer a wide variety of activities and adventures to experience this summer. Whether it’s a relaxing getaway or a journey for the adrenaline junkie, now is the perfect time to plan a trip.

Virginia Beach, offers the best of both worlds for its visitors. Head 15 miles south of the resort area of town and you’ll find Sandbridge Beach. Sandbridge is a peaceful, secluded area, making it a wonderful spot for travelers who are looking for some R&R without the hustle and bustle of Virginia Beach’s resort areas.

Virginia Beach

Family time spent at the beach

Sandbridge is a fantastic area of Virginia Beach, but let’s not knock the resort area! Toss around a beach ball, kick around the soccer ball. Take in the sounds of laughter and portable radios. It’s a great spot to bring the kids and experience the ultimate family vacation.

Looking for a day of excitement? Swing by Rudee Inlet and take a ride out to sea on a banana boat. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. A banana-shaped boat. Rudee offers other traditional water rentals, but why pass up a piece of fruit to wander around?

Paddle boarding is one of the best cardio workouts in the water, all while offering an awesome, yet spiritual experience. Rudee’s offers everything from lessons to floating yoga, catering to all skill levels. Beginners can journey to the calm inland water for instruction, while those more experience can head out to sea to enjoy the ocean wildlife.

While you’re in the area, venture over to False Cape State Park and experience the beach in its most primitive state. The park boasts a 7.5-mile trail, with views of beaches, dunes, maritime forests of oak and pine, wooded swamps, marshes, and the bay—all in one journey. Pitch a tent or rent a cabin and take in the tranquility of nature, gazing under the stars.

Head east to Portsmouth and find the Chesapeake Diving Center. Go below the surface for some scuba diving expeditions. The Diving Center offers 10 different diving options, from boat and night diving, to digital underwater photography, and wreck dives. The Center offers equipment rentals and all the necessary training to head out on an exhilarating adventure.

Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

The Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail is a driving trail with loops off the main trail, linking some of Virginia’s best wildlife-watching areas with walking and biking trails. One of those is the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge. A premier birding and wildlife site, the 1200-acre refuge provides viewing access to significant stretches of salt marsh, grasslands, loblolly pine forests, bayberry thickets, barrier islands, and freshwater and brackish ponds. The refuge has a bird list that comes close to 300 species.

The Eastern Shore is full of unique experiences, from spots of pure relaxation, to extreme water sports. Kiteboarding is one of the fastest growing water sports in the country and Cape Charles’ SouthEast Kiteboarding School (S.E.E.) is the only full-service kiteboarding center in Virginia. The Cape Charles beachfront is an ideal learning environment, with flat, shallow water and consistent side shore breezes. For more experienced riders, S.E.E. offers kiteboarding expeditions through the shallow bays and barrier island breaks of the seaside of the Eastern Shore. Discover the spot that the Kiteboarder magazine calls “the best kept secret on the East Coast!”

Live the Dream! If you are looking for one of the most exciting things to do, want to fly like a bird, and see some of the most beautiful scenery on the east coast, then take a Discovery Hang Gliding Flight at the Eastern Shore Hang Gliding Center. No experience is necessary and all ages 4+ are able to enjoy this pure form of flight. The Center offers Discovery Flights up to a mile high. You and your USHGA certified instructor will soar over the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where you will learn the basics of controlling a hang glider. Your “dream” of flying will come true!

With so many unique experiences available, it’s easy to plan a perfect seaside escape this summer.

 



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Kayaking Adventures To Explore This Summer

by Stefanie | Posted on May 30th, 2014

Discover nature as you’ve never seen it before. Kayaking is one of the best ways to explore unique wildlife and much more—and we have some of the best adventures in the country.

SouthEast Expeditions at Onancock Wharf

SouthEast Expeditions at Onancock Wharf

For instance, SouthEast Expeditions (SEE) in Cape Charles has been featured in Chesapeake Life magazine, Washington Post and the Denver Post, and everywhere in between. SEE offers a unique kayak winery tour, where it teams up with Chatham Vineyards and each pair of participants receive a bottle of their choosing. SEE also offers tours for first-timers, as they are guided through shallow, sheltered waters. They are perfect for family outings and are a wonderful introduction to both the sport of sea kayaking and the beautiful coastal ecosystems of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Trips are also available for the intermediate and well-seasoned kayaker.

For those looking to get a rise out of their trip to Cape Charles, spend a weekend in a century-old working waterman’s cabin, courtesy of SEE. Recently featured in Garden and Gun magazine, take your winery trip to the cabin, once dotted the Eastern Shore’s marshlands, which were outposts for oystermen guarding their grounds. Upon arrival, dive into a feast of local oysters and steamed clams; and of course, a glass of Chatham’s Chardonnay to pair.

Did you know the second oldest river in the world lies right in our back yard? Contrary to its name, the New River flows through the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, beginning in West Virginia, drifting to its end in northern North Carolina.

New River Camping & Kayaking

New River Camping & Kayaking

New River Campground Canoeing and Kayaking, located in Independence, gives visitors a perfect opportunity to explore diverse wildlife. Whether you are interested in a leisurely day of paddling, riding some rapids or an overnight trip on the river, the company can create custom outings for a trip like no other.

Take an eco-tour at Bay Country Kayaking in Williamsburg, where the family owned and operated company’s mission is to educate kayakers on Virginia’s ecological, cultural and historical significance; all while enjoying tours on the James, York or Piankatank Rivers, or Mobjak Bay and the Eastern Shore. Bases are positioned on both the mainland and Eastern Shore.

Head to Kayak Nature Tours in Virginia Beach and experience a trip out to sea. Featured in Southern Living magazine, the company boasts tours for newcomers, all the way to expert level, including a dolphin adventure tour.

Also near the Atlantic, Adventure Kayak Tours feature trips off Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore. Personalized trips are available, meeting the unique needs of its clients. Exclusive tours include fishing and geocaching, as well as a paddle under the stars and full moon. For those who are looking for a little something extra, a kayak camping adventure is perfect. Take a two-day, one-night guided tour of the Great Dismal Swamp and Lake Drummond. Adventure Kayak Tours has won the Virginia Green Travel Leader award and also offers guided eco-tours for PITO—Paddle In Trash Out—an excellent opportunity for those who a looking to help keep coastal Virginia clean.

Located on the Potomac Shore, Algonkian Regional Park is an ideal spot for a kayak trip. Flow through the upper reaches of the scenic Potomac River and paddle among the islands that are stretched out on this beautiful section of the river. Learn about the natural world around you and the general ecology of the area.

The mighty James River begins its majestic journey in Botetourt County, winding through the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains on its way to the Chesapeake Bay. The unspoiled beauty of the river is more accessible than ever through the Upper James River Water Trail. Paddlers, anglers and families can get back to nature and enjoy the sights and sounds of 45 miles of the Upper James, including 14 pristine miles designated as a Virginia Scenic River. See the mountains like you’ve never seen them before on the Upper James River Water Trail. The Upper James River Water Trail was created by Botetourt County to encourage residents and visitors to experience the beauty and history of one of the county’s greatest natural treasures. Class I and II rapids are part of the journey, as the Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers converge to form the James.

Buggs Island

Buggs Island

Visit Virginia’s largest lake! John H. Kerr Reservoir/Buggs Island Lake is more than 50,000 acres of fresh water with more than 800 miles of beautiful shoreline. Surround yourself with natural beauty by heading out on the kayak and see where it takes you. Quiet coves are waiting to be explored.

At Great Falls National Park, the Potomac River builds up speed and force as it falls over a series of steep, jagged rocks and flows through the narrow Mather Gorge. The Patowmack Canal offers a glimpse into the early history of this country. Kayaking in this whitewater area is meant to be used by very skilled kayakers.

Also nestled along the shores of the Potomac River, Leesylvania State Park offers many water-related activities, more specifically, kayaking. Listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks, take in the history of the grounds, while enjoying the tidal, freshwater river.

Massanutten Adventures Canoe and Kayak provides kayaking services to the Shenandoah Valley and Harrisonburg areas. Explore the Shenandoah River and take in the natural wildlife. The facility is a part of the popular Massanutten Resort, with plenty of camping and lodging available to spend a weekend on the water.

White water kayaking at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center is the ideal place for guests in good physical condition, looking for a more challenging adventure. You will explore Class I-III (sometimes I-II+) rapids on this seven-mile stretch of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers near Harpers Ferry, W,Va., where two rivers (the Shenandoah and Potomac) and three states (Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia) come together for a thrilling Shenandoah and Potomac kayak experience. For a more relaxing experience, try out the Flat Water tour. Kayakers will enjoy the scenic stretches of the Potomac and paddling at their own pace.

Ride through the most bio-diverse river in America with Clinch River Adventures. Clinch River Adventures offers a wide variety of kayaking excursions for the entire family and adventurists of all skill levels. Choose between sit-in, sit-on and tandem kayaks and enjoy the ride on trips that can last from 45 minutes to seven hours!

The newly developed Southern Virginia Wild Blueway in Halifax and Mecklenburg Counties offer kayaking adventures on four different rivers making many unique trips in the water. The Blueway is surrounded by unspoiled terrain and undeveloped public shoreline. Catch some views of bald eagles and osprey patrolling the area and take in the sights. The Blueway is definitely an adventure to put on the bucket list.

Mobjack Kayaking

Mobjack Kayaking

Venture out along the Chesapeake Bay to Mobjack Kayaking. Paddle over to the historic New Point Lighthouse and explore New Point Beach along the way. The lighthouse, originally surrounded by a beach of 100 acres, is now surrounded by water, with frequent dolphin sightings around the area. Mobjack Kayaking offers nine different kayak trips, including horse shoe crab spotting and early morning bird watching.

 

 

 



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Take on some Thrilling Zip Line, Canopy and Ropes Course Tours this Summer

by Stefanie | Posted on May 21st, 2014

Got an adrenaline junkie on your hands? Give them an experience like no other through Virginia’s many zip line, canopy and ropes course tours. Whether you’re just starting out or a self-proclaimed expert, these adventures feature an exhilarating experience for those who are up to the challenge!

 

Virginia Aquarium Adventure Park

Virginia Aquarium Adventure Park

VIRGINIA AQUARIUM ADVENTURE PARK – Virginia Beach, Va. 

The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium is an eco-friendly zip line and aerial adventure experience in the trees above the scenic Owls Creek, where kids, teens and adults can all enjoy the Adventure Park. Perfect for families or groups, participants will soar through the trees of the Owls Creek Path and will see wooden platforms at different heights. They are connected either by zip lines that climbers “zip” across or fun challenge bridges that climbers navigate in order to get from one platform to the next. The Adventure Park has zip lines for the beginner to expert, as well as an impressive jungle gym, perfect for parties.

 

BEAR MOUNTAIN – Luray, Va.

Go ahead, get carried away…at Bear Mountain Zip Lines.  The Mama Bear zip line tour includes 7 zip lines, for a total of 2,700 ft. line racing through the forest canopy at up to 35 miles per hour. Perfect for all ages, Bear Mountain offers safety gear, training and procedures. Looking to give the kids a challenge? The Baby Bear High Ropes course is designed for children 5+ that will guarantee a fun and safe adventure. And while you’re there, don’t forget about the Bear Scramble climbing wall!

 

MASSANUTTEN RESORT – Rockingham, Va.

Nestled within Massanutten Resort, lies one of the most thrilling adventures on the property. Located at the Family Adventure Park and Peaked Mountain Express Tube Park, the Zip Line/Canopy Tour boasts a Burma bridge, hanging vines crossing and four zip lines ranging from 90 to 450 feet long. Race down the mountain on a 750 foot-long Mega Zip Line with a friend or family member and experience high-flying on this rope’s course adventure! Located at the Family Adventure Park, Massanutten Resort’s Kids’ Adventure Course and Zip Line features a Burma plank, log crossing, swinging vine bridge, missing plank bridge, net traverse and a 100’ zip line that is sure to thrill!

 

ADVENTURE PARK AT SANDY RIVER RETREAT – Rice, Va.

The Adventure Park at Sandy River Retreat’s ropes course & zip line park is designed with family fun in mind. The park is built on a 16-acre, self-sufficient farm in the town of Rice, just outside Farmville. The Park’s mission is for its guests to enjoy their time, laugh, scream, cheer and build confidence on their challenging course obstacles, while enjoying the exhilarating ride on the zip lines. The Adventure Park includes 16 zip lines and 52 obstacle high ropes.

 

Go Ape Treetop Adventure

Go Ape Treetop Adventure

GO APE TREETOP ADVENTURE – James City, Va. 

Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course is an outdoor experience that provides participants 2-3 hours of outdoor fun and exercise. The course allows participants to explore the park from an otherwise unobtainable vantage point, while navigating through the treetops using zip lines, obstacles and Tarzan swings. Located just minutes from downtown Williamsburg in the historic Freedom Park, Go Ape is a unique and highly interactive treetop adventure.

 

RIVERSIDE OUTFITTERS – Richmond, Va.

Choose from high-ropes challenges like vertical climbs into the tree canopy, limb walks, high-elevation zip lines, canopy rope bridges, plunging tree swings and much more! The level of challenge can easily be fit to climbers from ages 5 to adult, and from the beginner to the expert. Riverside Outfitters’ mission is to significantly and responsibly increase recreational use of Richmond’s natural landscape by guiding outdoor experiences and inspiring a return to natural fun.

 

VIRGINIA CANOPY TOURS – Bentonville, Va.

During the Zip the Park tour, participants will enjoy stunning views of the Massanutten Mountains and the gorgeous hardwood forest of the Shenandoah Valley. Guests will learn the rich history of the Shenandoah Valley, native plant species and the wild inhabitants who make the woods their home. Participants will soar through the Shenandoah hardwood forest at speeds which can exceed 40 miles per hour and at heights reaching 90 feet above the forest floor– all while attached to two steel cables.  The Tour finale is an adrenaline-pumping 1,035’ zip down the face of the ridge to their rappel.

 

TREETOP ZOOFARI ZIP LINE & ADVENTURE PARK – Moseley, Va.

The Treetop Zoofari at the Richmond Zoo is designed for the entire family.  As you traverse the canopy walk, plus multiple high stakes challenges and large zip lines at 40 feet above the ground, there will be choices given along the route. These choices are the difference between easier and more challenging routes.  Fly more than 600 feet across the zoo’s lake and zip by tapirs, rheas, and toucans. Those afraid of heights, balanced challenged and younger kids can enjoy the Junior Explorer course. Participants will be pushed to the limits as they pass over tightropes and Indiana Jones bridges, through barrels and nets, only to top off their adventure with a 60-foot zip line. The challenges are all tree to tree and range from 5-12 feet in the air.

 

Zip Line at Bryce Resort

Zip Line at Bryce Resort

BRYCE MOUNTAIN ZIP LINE ADVENTURE – Basye, Va. 

Bryce Resort offers an exciting ride, consisting of 10 zip line platform stations, connected by more than 3,500 feet of cable traversing down the ski slopes and through the woods. With speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, riders will experience the thrill of flying through the trees and sailing across the open ski slopes, as high as 80 feet above the ground, as they work their way from the top to the bottom of the mountain. The resort’s adventure features 10 different zip lines. While you’re there, be sure to take an evening cruise down the lines to take in some of the most breathtaking views Virginia has to offer.

 

LURAY CAVERNS ROPE ADVENTURE PARK – Luray, Va.

This is your invitation to strap on a harness, step out of your comfort zone, and soar to new heights. The Rope Adventure Park at Luray Caverns includes three different levels of ropes course challenges. While fun is always the main focus, Luray’s Adventure Park also wants you to have complete peace of mind by using a sophisticated safety system of belay devices and harnesses, with trained personnel supervising every participant.

 

MOUNTAIN LAKE TREETOP ADVENTURE – Pembroke, Va.

Ready for an adrenaline kick? Virginia’s newest ropes adventure course is located in the forest canopy at Mountain Lake. Mountain Lake Treetop Adventures is a fun way to get outside, challenge yourself, and experience the exhilaration of climbing through the tree canopy and riding zip lines through the forest.  Sky bridges, swings, rope ladders and zip lines offer a range of challenges that are fun for both the novice, the super adventure seeker and everyone in between. The Adventure Park offers a kids course and two adult courses, all varying in height and challenge levels.

harpers_ferry_zip

Harpers Ferry Adventure Center

HARPERS FERRY ADVENTURE CENTER – Loudoun, Va. 

Harpers Ferry Adventure Center has been introduced as the best zip lining in Northern Virginia! Located near Harpers Ferry, W.Va., and only one hour from Washington DC and Baltimore metro regions, this tour boasts the best views in the area! This 1.5-2-hour tour is complete with 7 zips and a Sky Bridge!  You’ll fly through the tree tops along the Potomac River. Experience 8 elements: Stairway to Heaven, One and Done, Pucker Up, Blue Ridge Bridge, Dew Drop In, Geronimo, Last Stand, and Hunter’s Landing. With heights up to 40 feet, zips up to 425 ft, and a 100 ft Sky Bridge, this is an experience you won’t want to miss!

 

LYDIA MOUNTAIN LODGE & LOG CABINS – Stanardsville, Va.

Lydia Mountain Adventure at Lydia Mountain Lodge & Log Cabins has some great options to get your zip on! Open year round, the Star-Shot Zip Lines is a three-tier zip line, suitable for ages 9+. While you’re visiting, check out the Lydia Mountain Tubing Track for some high speed fun, perfect for the kids and the kids at heart! Several adventure packages are available for reunions, birthdays and more.

 

VIRGINIA CANOPY TOURS AT SALAMANDER RESORT – Middleburg, Va.

Take a step off the platform and zip through the tree top canopy! The history and allure of Middleburg is not lost in the woods, they are found here, high in the treetops at the Salamander Tree Top Zip Tour.  This invigorating adventure provides guests with a bird’s eye view of the historical Virginia countryside.  The Salamander Tree Top Zip Tour experience is energizing and inspiring and fulfills the basic human need for adventure. Guided by our professional staff, the Salamander Tree Top Zip Tour experience begins and ends on the resort’s grand lawn.  Following a short walk, safety briefing and outfitting, participants enter the course with a staircase walk to the top of the Tower.  The course is comprised of a series of rope bridges and zip lines that vary in length from 90 to 670 feet in length.  While tethered to an advanced pulley system, guests glide from tree top platform to tree top platform on 5 different zip lines and 2 suspension sky bridges.  The course spans over 20 acres and is more than a half mile long.

 

Creeper Zipline

Creeper Zipline

The Creeper Trail Zipline tour includes 4 cables, with over 3000 ft of cable to ride. The course runs in and out of the forest, with fantastic views of the mountains. Our last cable is 1000 ft and you can reach speeds of 35 mph as you zip your way back to your final platform. We want you to have a great time, but safety is our primary concern. Our course, equipment and procedures are ACCT, (Association of Challenge Course) inspected and certified and our continual guide training ensures you will be in great hands.

 

Check out some adventures for team building!



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Mountain Biking Trails For Everyone

by Stefanie | Posted on May 19th, 2014

Liberty Mountain Trail System

Liberty Mountain Trail System

Mountain biking season is here! It’s time to bring out the “Hurt Enforcer.” Or at least that’s what my bike’s nickname is. Check out some great biking trails this summer that welcome novice and experts alike. What’s your bike’s nickname? Find out here.

 

SHENANDOAH MOUNTAIN TOURING – Harrisonburg, Va.

Offering rentals and custom tours, Shenandoah Mountain Touring boasts beautiful scenery and trails for all skill levels. You might want to pack a swim suit under your biking gear; swimming holes are located throughout the trails and are perfect for taking a break from the heat. Special events are held throughout the year, including backcountry mountain bike races. Both mountain bike and road rides are available on the tours.

 

THE HOMESTEAD – Hot Springs, Va.

The Omni Homestead is located in one of the country’s most scenic settings. That’s good enough reason to take advantage of the 100 miles of hiking and biking trails all within steps of the resort. The resort is home to 100 miles of biking and hiking trails throughout the resort. That is certainly enough options to cover bikers of all skill levels. Covering 3.5 miles, the easiest trail takes a little over one hour to complete. The resort offers bike and helmet rentals.

 

BRYCE MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK – Basye, Va.

Perfect for a weekend getaway or vacation, Bryce Mountain Bike Park has six life-accessed trails, suitable for beginners and those who are learning terrain biking, and advanced difficult terrain. The Park offers a learning center for those who are wanting to learn proper biking techniques, as well as classes for the advanced biker who is looking to upgrade their style and performance. Rentals are available, including all the pads and equipment you will need for your day. TRAIL MAP

 

Massanutten Resort

Massanutten Resort

MASSANUTTEN RESORT – McGaheysville, Va.

It no longer has to be ski season to enjoy the terrain at Massanutten Resort. Riders of all ability levels may rent mountain bikes to explore the mountain. The resort has mountain biking for every level of rider. The blazed trails are recommended for intermediate to advanced riders, perfect for those who are looking for a challenging mountain biking experience. TRAIL MAP

 

RADFORD MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK – Radford, Va.

If you’re looking for a serene day on the trails with the family, Radford Mountain Bike Park offers 12 trails spanning 8-10 miles, with plenty of wildlife and scenic views to match. TRAIL MAP

 

POCAHONTAS STATE PARK TRAILS – Chesterfield, Va.

Featuring 52 miles for biking and hiking, Pocahontas State Park’s trails have several single-track mountain bike trails ranging from easy to expert levels. Included in the trail is the Spillway Trail for those with disabilities. TRAIL MAP

 

DOUTHAT STATE PARK – Millboro, Va.

At any one time of the year, Douthat State Park’s trails are open to more than 40 miles of wooded trails, perfect for bikers of all ages and skill levels. TRAIL MAP

 

LAKE ANNA STATE PARK – Spotsylvania, Va.

With 11 trails spanning 15 miles, Lake Anna State Park’s trails are the perfect option for those bikers who are planning to bring the kids along. All trails within the park are designated as “easy,” with the exception of the Big Woods, Pigeon Run and Gold Hill trails. TRAIL MAP

 

Virginia Creeper Trail

Virginia Creeper Trail

VIRGINIA CREEPER TRAIL – Abingdon, Va.

Ride along the 34-mile Creeper Trail, from Abingdon to just before the North Carolina border. During the ride, you will pass through Damascus, along the Whitetop Laurel River and up to its highest point, Whitetop Station, near the trail’s North Carolina border. The scenic and historic trail is an easy ride that offers food, lodging and shopping along the way. TRAIL MAP

 

HUCKLEBERRY TRAIL – Blacksburg, Va.

Huckleberry’s paved, 6-mile, relatively flat trail reaches points such as the Blacksburg Library, River Valley Mall and the Virginia Tech Campus. Perfect for an afternoon family ride or for those who use the trail for transportation. Huckleberry Trail is in the process of expansion, with a completion date of 2015. TRAIL MAP

 

BREAKS INTERSTATE PARK – Breaks, Va.

Breaks Interstate Park offers breathtaking scenery. The trail is a stack loop trail system offering up to nearly 12 miles of riding, from moderate to difficult. Depending on the route chosen, bikers may plan rides of varying length, with the possibilities of good climbs and long downhill runs. TRAIL MAP

 

FALSE CAPE STATE PARK – Virginia Beach, Va.

False Cape State Park offers five trails, including the Barbour Hill self-guided interpretive trail, total 15.3 miles. The park’s location on a barrier spit allows visitors to observe beaches, dunes, maritime forests of oak and pine, wooded swamps, marshes and the bay all in one visit. TRAIL MAP

 

KIPTOPEKE STATE PARK – Cape Charles, Va.

With more than four miles of trails, bike through upland hardwood forest along Baywoods Trail and look for tracks of foxes, deer and many birds. The upland Baywoods Trail and southern beach are connected by extensive boardwalks so that visitors may explore Kiptopeke’s dune formation. Bicycle trails are available along the park’s entrance road and the Raptor, Songbird, Chickadee and Mockingbird trails. TRAIL MAP

 

OCCONEECHEE STATE PARK – Clarksville, Va.

A one-mile self-guided interpretive trail takes visitors through a terraced garden and land where Occonneechee Plantation once was. The park has a 15-mile round trip multi-purpose linear trail for biking, which is relatively flat—perfect for the whole family to enjoy. TRAIL MAP

 

LIBERTY MOUNTAIN TRAIL SYSTEM – Lynchburg, Va.

The Liberty Mountain Trail System includes 65 miles of cross country and gravity-fed trails spanning nearly 5,000 acres through Liberty University’s Camp Hydaway. Conveniently located trail guides and directional signs make the trails easy to navigate for all visitors. TRAIL MAP

 

Check out some additional biking in Virginia, including state park trails.

For more resources on mountain biking, visit the International Mountain Bicycling Association website.

 



Family, Outdoors, Travel Ideas, Uncategorized | 4 Comments