Virginia's Blue Ridge Adventures

Located about three hours west of Richmond in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia’s Blue Ridge communities are becoming well-known for their outdoor adventures. The region recently earned the first and only Silver-Level Ride Center designation on the East Coast by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, quickly earning the title of “America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital”. Conquer a few of the challenges in Virginia’s Blue Ridge this summer for an unforgettable outdoor adventure.

Trip Highlights:
  • Mountain biking the trails at Carvins Cove with Roanoke Mountain Adventures
  • Paddle the Upper James River with Twin River Outfitters
  • Hike the Peaks of Otter trails
Outfitters and Guides:

Day 1

Roanoke Mill Mountain Star

Before taking on the mountain bike trails, stop at Sweet Donkey in Roanoke for breakfast. Their assortment of locally-baked goods, light breakfast fare, and specialty coffee and teas will fuel your morning treks.

If you haven’t brought your own mountain bike along, swing by Roanoke Mountain Adventures and rent one for the day. After packing up your bike and gear, drive to Carvins Cove Natural Reserve, a 12,000 acre park in northwest of Roanoke with nearly 60 miles of cross country singletrack, free ride downhill, and fire road mountain biking trails.

Bring along a packed lunch and set up a picnic near the park’s 630-acre reservoir for a serenely beautiful meal.

After exploring Carvins Cove, head back to Downtown Roanoke and check into your hotel, staying at either the Hampton Inn & Suites or the posh Hotel Roanoke.

Next, hike the Mill Mountain Star Trail. Winding along Roanoke Valley’s most famous mountain, the trail ends at the summit of the iconic Roanoke Star, affording scenic views of the Roanoke Valley from the trail overlooks.

Make your way back down the mountain and spend some time exploring Downtown Roanoke, visiting the Taubman Museum of Art, the Historic Roanoke City Market, and Center in the Square.

For dinner, dine at Tuco's Taqueria, for Latin American food, inventive spirits with select ingredients organically grown on-site, and more than 90 tequilas and mezcals served up to your liking at our industrial-style bar.

Day 2

Scratch Biscuit Company

Eat a quick breakfast at your hotel or at Scratch Biscuit Company, known for their down-home southern biscuits made from scratch each day.

Meet up with Twin River Outfitters in Botetourt County for a guided paddle of the Upper James River Water Trail. Featuring class I & class II rapids, the kayak down this section of the James River should take about two to three hours.

Pack up and head to Town Center Tap House where you'll re-fuel with a juicy burger and cold brew.

Drive back to Downtown Roanoke to explore Historic Grandin Village, a district within the city that contains shops like Black Dog Salvage, the historic Grandin Theatre, and an assortment of eclectic restaurants.

Get dinner at either Taaza Indian Cuisine or the farm-to-table restaurant Local Roots, both located within Grandin Village.

Day 3

Peaks of Otter Lake and Lodge
Peaks of Otter Lodge

Start your last day with breakfast at Downshift, a bikes and craft beer specialty shop in Roanoke.

Check out of your hotel before setting out for Dody Ridge, a 12-mile mountain bike trail right off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

If you’re still up for a little more adventure, head to Peaks of Otter for a little hiking, or take a shuttle to the summit of Sharp Top for epic mountain views.

Before hitting the road for home, stop by Peaks of Otter Lodge for lunch.

More Adventures

Settlers arrived in Central Virginia as early as 1617. Today's living history interpreters love sharing those stories at Henricus Historical Park - where Pocahontas grew up, and Wilton House Museum - Richmond's own Georgian plantation.

Explore the coast of two Chesapeake Bay towns (Gloucester and Mathews Counties) on the Middle Peninsula by kayak, charter and stand-up paddle board (SUP)! Taste the best of the peninsula’s seafood in-between waterway tours.


A four season destination, Virginia’s outdoor activities range from cliff to coast, catering…