Wind rustles through the trees of the George Washington National Forest as knobby bike tires crunch over fallen leaves on a single-lane rocky trail. While mounted on rented Kona mountain bikes and outfitted with Kali protective gear, cyclists navigate trails that wind through the forest and the Massanutten mountain range, led by Shenandoah Trail Cruisers's seasoned guides. Their tours are customized to suit riders' abilities, preferred duration, and desired level of Sasquatch interaction. Each begins with a basic introduction to mountain biking before groups embark on trails that range from easy gravel roads and packed dirt and single-track trails to more advanced and rugged trails with steep slopes, bumpy roads, and scattered mud patches, resulting in rides that teach shifting, breaking, body position, and adjusting riding to new obstacles.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Reservations/Appointments: Not offered
Most popular offering: Adventure Races, MTB Races, and Trail Runs
Pro Tip: Looking for adventure? REV3 Adventure can help you out.
Good for Kids: Yes
A portion of mountain biking, a dose of trail running, a pinch of trekking, and several gallons of watersports. This is Rev3 Adventure's race director's recipe for creating their adventure runs?and the training regimens to prepare for them?throughout the year. The races can be intense, as participants might switch between mountain biking and canoeing on any given day, but athletes can choose an adventure that fits their stamina levels, participating in events that last a few hours or a few days. For example, the annual Shenandoah Epic Adventure Race incorporates paddling, biking, trekking, and navigating, and competitors can opt to reach all the mandatory checkpoints in 13 hours or hit the additional optional checkpoints in 26 hours, the average number of hours a cat sleeps every day.
Still, the race director says that the organizers and volunteers try to keep their events family-friendly. "We wanted to help families become active in the outdoors," says the race director, "and at the same time, create fun and exciting challenges that will push competitors to their personal limits in a fun and safe environment."
River & Trail Outfitters owners Lee and Eunsook Baihly have been acquainting customers with the area's natural beauty since 1972. Their outdoor-exploration company's more than 70 friendly staffers accompany customers on relaxed, informative rafting, kayaking, canoeing, biking, and tubing excursions. In addition to having mastered river- and boat-safety skills, staff members are experienced in first aid, CPR, and the correct way to ask dolphins for directions. River & Trail Outfitters also accommodates businesses, organizing team-building events and rock wall rentals or hiking trips. The Baihlys' environmental commitment extends to an in-house recycling program and river clean-ups.
Run by three generations of DC locals, Bike and Roll sends pedalers into the nation's modern and historical capitol. Sightseers are outfitted with ETs with maps so they can undertake self-guided tours along the National Mall, which is lousy with landmarks. To break with the hustle, cyclists can explore one of the city?s many meandering bike paths including the Capital Crescent Trail and Rock Creek Trail. The company?s line of tandem bikes and Trek comfort hybrids make for smooth rides along the flat terrain of the capital.
For a more itineraried experience, guided tours spirit groups through the historic sights. Local story-tellers regale cyclists with tales about the Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and Mount Vernon, the home where George Washington lived after hatching from the egg incubated in the Statue of Liberty's torch.
Bike and Roll's professional mechanics also repair bikes, including fixing flat tires and performing regular tune-ups. They can even loan patrons a new Trek comfort hybrid bike to use while their bike is in the shop.
While the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal runs along much of the Potomac River, from the District of Columbia out to Cumberland, Maryland (a distance of more than 180 miles), Washingtonians are most familiar with the portion between Georgetown and the Maryland border. This section of the C&O Canal, which opened around 1830, is quite quaint, meandering between 19th-century townhouses and updated office buildings. As you head out of Georgetown, the towpath runs parallel to the C&O Canal, making it perfect for hikers, bikers and early-morning runners. While the mule-drawn canal boat ride is no longer available in Georgetown, you can ride it in Great Falls between April and October, with National Park rangers dressed in period clothing serving as tour guides, providing perspective on life along the canal.
Sound Excursions describes their carefully curated group experiences as "field trips for adults." It's easy to see why: every outing takes groups to a new realm of Washington, whether it's the frothy shores of Puget Sound, inland forests and mountains, or tables at Seattle's thriving restaurants. The events held at these diverse locations range from culinary workshops on topics such as sushi-making and moonshine-tasting, to adventurous excursions with whitewater rafting or kayaking, to laid-back themed party cruises. For many outings, luxury transportation is provided.