Don’t stop at the winning towns! Explore the rest of these Blue Ridge adventure hubs next time you’re looking for an outdoorsy getaway.
Hike the Tuscarora Trail, a 242-mile blue blazed side trail that runs parallel to the Appalachian Trail.
Paddle the Smith River Trail System and attend the Smith River Fest.
Capitol View Park offers five miles of mountain bike trails in the heart of the city, and Cove Spring Park and Nature Reserve features trails, wetlands and waterfalls—also within city limits. Buckley Wildlife Sanctuary, Life Adventure Center, and Salato Wildlife Education Center are outstanding locations for nature viewing, hiking and exploring.
Load up the bikes and explore 9,000-acre Kanawha State Forest, laced with 30 miles of hiking and biking trails.
Coopers Rock State Forest offers 13,000 acres of adventure for hikers and bikers.
Mountain bike in the GW, and then hit the ski slopes of Massanutten Resort.
Just north of town, explore the rugged, remote trails and crags of Linville Gorge.
The Blue Ridge Parkway, DuPont State Forest, Green River, and Pisgah National Forest are all within striking distance.
Ride Coleman Mountain Panther Creek Loop or hike up Cold Mountain.
Hike or bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail, or summit Sassafras Mountain.
Get on two wheels at Bent Creek, or paddle the French Broad River through downtown.
Explore the Fork Area Trail System (aka: FATS) for 37 miles of trails.
Boone/Blowing Rock, N.C.
Take your fishing poles to the Watauga River, or take your skis to Beech Mountain Ski Resort.
Hike Roan Mountain, paddle the Nolichucky, or go for a trail run at Warriors’ Path State Park.
Explore Lookout Mountain by boot or bike, or go for a trail run at Raccoon Mountain or Stringers Ridge.
Paddle at the U.S. National Whitewater Center; explore Sherman Branch MTB Park.
Run at Kennesaw Mountain or at Cochran Shoals along the Chattahoochee River.
Explore the 7-mile Palmetto Trail via foot or on wheels.
Riverwalk provides 15 miles of trail around the Chattahoochee River.
Moss Rock Preserve offers challenging rides, and Red Mountain State Parksoffer tons of trails for hiking and running.
Take in 42 miles of rolling Piedmont foothills around Lake Higgins on foot or by bike.
Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is a unique urban playground offering 50 miles of trails.
Rock Creek Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country.
Rock hop on Belle Isle, an island in the James River and part of James River State Park.
Virginia Beach, Va.
Explore Back Bay and paddle through over 12,000 acres of protected coastal marsh and marsh habitat.
Head down to the Ohio Riverfront and play in the Louisville Waterfront Park.
Paddle the Great Dismal Swamp Canal, or take a canoe to paddle around Lake Drummond.
Kayak Elkhorn Creek; fish the 47-acre lake at Jacobson Park.
Explore the Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Sanctuary, home to 1,000-year-old trees.
Brevard serves as the gateway to Pisgah National Forest, DuPont, and Gorges State Park.
Explore Amicalola Falls State Park and the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
Hike in Pinnacle Park or anywhere in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or paddle/ fly fishing the Tuck.
Cherokee offers front door access to Mingo and Soco Falls, the Oconaluftee River and Trail, and the Great Smokies.
Bryson City, N.C.
Mountain bikers should hit up Tsali Recreation Area. Steep creekers can paddle the Cascades of the Upper Nantahala.
The mountain bike capital of Georgia is at the doorstep of endless trails in Chattahoochee National Forest.
Paddlers will want to add the nearby Chattooga and Tallulah Rivers to their bucket list.
The New River Gorge provides world-class whitewater, top-notch sport and trad climbing, bouldering, and hiking.
The cycling capital of Kentucky, London offers easy access to the Bluegrass Tour Bicycle Route.
Visit 3,900-acre Deep Creek Lake or tackle class IV rapids and slalom course at Adventure Sports Center International.
The Virginia Creeper Trail starts in Abingdon and spans 34 well-graded rail-trail miles.
Cross-country ski at White Grass Ski Touring Center or backpack through the Dolly Sods Wilderness.
Hike to Devil’s Marbleyard or fish and float the Maury River through Goshen Pass.
Hike the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail or paddle the class III Lower Youghiogheny River.
Explore Skyline Drive and adventures in Shenandoah National Park.