Often hailed as one of the region’s top outdoors towns, Harrisonburg is smack dab in the heart of Virginia’s famed Shenandoah Valley.

This college town — home to James Madison University — is also home to 51,000 residents and is a stone’s throw from George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.

Mountain bikers flock to these forests for some of the best mountain biking in the Blue Ridge mountains. Not suprsinigly, JMU has a world-class mountain biking team, and some of the region’s top riders hail from Harrisonburg. The south fork of the Shenandoah River is a popular destination for tubing, kayaking, canoeing and fishing. When the mercury drops tourists and locals tend to head for the ski slopes of the Massanutten Resort. Year round, the biggest draw is nearby Shenandoah National Park, where hikers can explore the Appalachian Trail and hundreds of miles of additional singletrack leading to famous overlooks and vistas.

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DID YOU KNOW? Reddish Knob, located about one hour from Harrisonburg in the George Washington National Forest, is one of the highest points in Virginia. At 4,397 ft, the peak is a well-known destination for hikers and mountain bikers.

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