4 Ready to Roll Adventures that Offer Natural Beauty and Easy Access
Late spring is the season of long evening daylight and beckoning weather. Luckily, Waynesboro offers the perfect mountain-town amenities for a sunset jog, a quick afternoon float, or an evening cycle through the Valley. These four adventures promise the mood-boosting benefits of time in nature after spending all day indoors, while utilizing the accessibility of local parks and backyard trail systems. Remember to keep a proper social distance from others if you choose to utilize these facilities, and avoid areas that look crowded.
(1) PADDLE THE WAYNESBORO WATER TRAIL
The Waynesboro Water Trail links five City parks in a four-mile run that includes a mix of Class I and II rapids, wilderness-level solitude, industrial skylines, and downtown take outs. With its surprising views into many unexpected corners of Waynesboro, it’s a unique way of exploring the City while staying cool, shaded, and on the water. Allow 2-3 hours to float the full South River Blueway from Ridgeview Park to Basic Park. A wide range of take out options allow paddlers to break the float into smaller sections, or extend their trip to include Grand Caverns Park or the Port Republic confluence with the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.
(2) STROLL THROUGH THE PARKS
There’s not much more satisfying than a run with man’s best friend through open fields past freshly blooming parklands. Coyner Springs Park offers a rustic 145 acres that include nature trails, a leash-free dog park, kite-flying skies, disc golf, and enough wilderness to offer up frequent sightings of red-tailed hawks, woodpeckers, and foxes.
Joggers, baby strollers, and evening walkers find their riverside delights along the South River Greenway, a 1.2 mile-long stretch of paved walking and biking surface that includes a river overlook, picnic shelter, and downtown access to post-walk drinks and dinner options. There are several convenient parking lots which allow you to park, stretch your legs on the Greenway, then easily pick up dinner directly from restaurants to take home. Check here for a list of which restaurants are currently open, and what they are offering.
(3) CYCLE THE VALLEY
Follow the South River along the base of Sawmill Ridge and the Blue Ridge Mountains in this evening, 12.5 mile bike ride called the Waynesboro Dooms Loop. For a longer, 35-mile pull, the Waynesboro to Grottoes Loop also hugs the river, offering a tour of the inflection between the Valley bottom and Blue Ridge topography, while still promising some of the flattest roads in Augusta County.
Both loops begin and end in downtown Waynesboro, promising enough in-town, gourmet calories to replenish the toughest ride. Many of our local restaurants are offering curbside pickup and even delivery options, so you can conventiently grab dinner on your way home. Cyclists are also welcome along all three of Waynesboro Beerwerks Trail brewery destinations, which are offering curbside beer pickup for a refreshing reward after your ride! Check here for an up-to-date list of restaurants and breweries offering pickup and delivery.
(4) DOWNTOWN FLY FISHING
The dinner-to-adventure jaunt can be shorter than a bike ride, as the South River’s Urban Trout Fishery offers fly fishing opportunities within a block of the downtown cultural core. Rare is the springtime day that a fisherman can’t be seen wading near the improved trout habitat and rock cascades of Constitution Park. Nearby, the South River Fly Shop offers equipment, gear, guided tours, and “big fish stories.” The South River itself offers spring-fed waters, ripping whitewater, easy parking, and exceptional catch-and-release trout fishing opportunities.
If you are a Waynesboro native, we hope that you will take advantage of some of the amazing outdoor amenities that our town has to offer. If you live further away, we encourage you to stay safe at home and consider taking this time to plan your next great adventure. We'll be here waiting to welcome you to Waynesboro when the time is right.
Stay home if you are sick. Avoid crowded areas (this includes parking lots!) Keep at least six feet away from other people at all times, as COVID-19 is a highly transmittable disease.
Practice social distancing; wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; most importantly, please stay home if you feel sick.