Best Fests: Outdoor Sports Festivals

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Check out these outdoor sports festivals to mix a little recreation with your music:

Dominion Riverrock

May 17-19
Richmond, Va.
dominionriverrock.com

Basics: A full weekend of adventure sports action takes place on the banks of the James River in downtown Richmond. From central grounds on Brown’s Island, you can run, ride, paddle, and climb in a variety of comps and races, while live tunes are blaring in the background and big crowds are browsing gear booths from the outdoors industry’s best.

Bands: After long days of play, dance to the expansive instrumental funk of Soulive, the gritty guitar licks of New Orleans’ Cajun rock ace Anders Osborne, and the classic reggae of Toots and the Maytals.

Set Break Escape: You’re here to indulge in as much adventure as possible. Friday features a 5K mud run and the start of the two-day Boulder Bash, while Saturday is stacked with the James River Scramble 10K Trail Run, the Urban Assault Mountain Bike Race, an adventure race, and kayak and stand-up paddleboard races for paddlers. Sunday includes a climbing speed comp, a short track bike race, and much more.

FIVE MORE…

Trail Days
May 17-19
Damascus, Va.

Do hikers know how to party? You’ll believe it when you see it at this longstanding celebration of the Appalachian Trail. Thru-hikers reunite to trade trail stories, march in a parade, get goofy in a talent show, soak each other with water guns, check out a variety of gear booths, and sip a little moonshine. It all goes down in Trail Town, U.S.A., where you can access the A.T., Iron Mountain Trail, and the family-friendly Virginia Creeper.
traildays.us

Virginia Mountain Bike Festival
May 24-27
Stokesville, Va.

This fest brings together regional fat tire freaks for a long weekend of hang time at the Stokesville Campground in the George Washington National Forest. During the day there is plenty of epic riding for all levels, including stints on the legendary Southern Traverse, Reddish Knob, and the North River Gorge Trail. At night, you’ll rest your legs over hot meals and cold beers by the campfire.
mtntouring.com

Mountain Sports Festival
May 24-26
Asheville, N.C.

This mini Olympics-style fest brings together a series of competitions around Asheville—this year highlighted by trail and road running races, a triathlon, cyclocross, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, and dodge ball. There’s also plenty of action for kids. Plus, a central area at Carrier Park has gear booths and tunes from regional musicians.
mountainsportsfestival.com

River Rocks
October TBD
Chattanooga, Tenn.

This 10-day fest celebrates the abundance of outdoor opportunities in and around Chattanooga with a range of events, including trail running, mountain biking, and paddling races, climbing compass, a range of outdoor clinics, guided hikes, and mellow beginner-friendly activities. Plus, there’s plenty of family friendly fun by the river, including live music.
riverrockschattanooga.com 

Go Outside Festival
October 18-20
Roanoke, Va.

With main festival grounds located along the Roanoke River at the River’s Edge Sports Complex, the event branches off to include some of the most adventurous terrain in the surrounding valley. In addition to live tunes and local beer, there are guided hikes and bike rides, as well as trail running and cyclocross races, ultimate Frisbee, and paddling in the Roanoke River Gorge.
roanokegofest.com

Check out the rest of our Outdoor Festival Guide!

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