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.
Riverside Outfitters works to get Richmond-ers out on the water, up into the trees, and out on the trails with a variety of natural outdoor excursions. The staff helps locals and visitors engage with the area's rich landscape, guiding fleets of rafts, kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and innertubes down the James River, which the Daily Press described as having "the only urban whitewater rafting experience available in the country." High ropes courses and climbing seminars teach first-timers how to nimbly break from gravity's embrace, while outdoor summer camps teach kids to engage wildlife without the scratchy fingers that come from texting with tree bark.
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."