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The Top 5 Things to Do in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

Published on January 7, 2019 by Shannon Payne

1) Explore the New River

Flowing 160 miles through Virginia, the New River is a true recreation destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The New River is recognized as the second oldest river in the world, (the Nile in Egypt is the first). Its headwaters begin near Blowing Rock, NC and is one of the few rivers in North America that flows northerly. If you’re looking for a peaceful float trip on the water, plan a trip to the New River to venture into some of Virginia’s most beautiful waterfront acreage. The warm waters of the New River offers resourceful anglers the opportunity to catch the smallmouth bass of a lifetime. Fast water and large rock outcroppings are a feature of the New River, creating the perfect habitat for big smallmouth bass and flathead catfish. Several lazy, slow stretches also abound, where you can fish for rock bass near grass beds. The slow waters near the dams along the river will yield big flathead and channel catfish, as well as walleye and smallmouth bass.

2) Go for a Bike Ride

Biking On The New River Trail

The New River Trail parallels 39 miles of the New River. Bikers will experience miles of beautiful scenery along the trail.  The trail contains two tunnels:  135 feet and 193 feet long, and three major bridges, Hiawasee-951 feet, Ivanhoe-670 feet, and Fries Junction-1,089 feet.  The trail is relatively flat and appropriate for all skill levels. Visit New River Trail State Park for additional information.

3) Climb a Mountain

Mount Rogers is the highest natural point in Virginia, with a summit elevation of 5,729 feet above mean sea level.  The Appalachian Trail passes within a half mile of the summit, making it especially popular with hikers.  You may come upon the residents of Mt. Rogers, a herd of more than 100 wild ponies that roam free.

4) Take in a Show

Grayson County VA is rich in musical history and the legacy continues today.  Fries is a proud affiliate of The Crooked Road, a 330 mile driving trail through the mountains of Southwest Virginia that connects nine major venues and over 60 affiliated venues and festivals that visitors can enjoy every day of the year.  Jam sessions can be enjoyed at The Fries Community Center every Thursday night from 6:30 to 9:00 PM.  The world’s oldest and largest Old Fiddler’s Convention is held in Galax, VA the second week of August annually.  Numerous other towns and communities also have music festivals throughout the year.

5) Savor the Local Cuisine

Award winning barbecue can be enjoyed at The Galax Smokehouse, a local institution in Galax VA. See if you can guess the secret ingredient in their delicious banana pudding.  The Smoke On The Mountain Barbecue Championship is held in July each year.

Meet The Author
My husband and I both grew up in the wonderful small town of Fries, VA. We purchased River Mist Retreat from family in 2009. We have a special connection to this property as we shared many picnics here while we were dating. The property is truly a relaxing retreat. It’s secluded with enough amenities to keep you occupied (hammocks, a fire pit, horse shoes, volley ball, playhouses, the creek, and the river). The head of the New River Trail in downtown Fries is five minutes from our property. As an old railroad line, the terrain of the New River Trail is gently sloped without hills, making it perfect for visitors off all ages to hike, bike, and ride horseback. For adventure seekers, canoes, kayaks, tubes, and bikes can be rented from New River Outdoor Adventures. Several guests have enjoyed a four hour float from the public boat landing at Riverside on Route 94 back to River Mist Retreat. We hope that our guests enjoy River Mist Retreat as much as we do and create memories to treasure!
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