Lynchburg might be the region’s most underrated outdoor town, says 15-year resident Jeff Fedorko. With the James River running through the city and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background, Lynchburg boasts some of the most accessible adventure in the South, much of it right within city limits.
“We’re 30 minutes from the Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway, but we also have some great things to do right in town,” says Fedorko.
The Blackwater Creek Trail runs right through downtown Lynchburg. The seven-mile paved rail-trail, which winds through Riverfront Park and past a stretch of the James River, is a local favorite for the city’s vibrant running and cycling community. Dirt spur paths can make loops for a total of 15 miles. The Blackwater Trail comprises most of the course of Lynchburg Half-Marathon (pictured here), which takes place on August 16 this year.
Good Clean Fun
You can’t dance or drink at Liberty University, but soon you’ll be able to ride downhill. In an effort to attract more students the conservative Christian college, Liberty is turning Candler Mountain, aka Liberty Mountain, into an adventure funhouse for students. Already equipped with over 40 miles of singletrack trails, additional plans for the mountain include a downhill mountain biking course and a year-round ski slope that will be covered with synthetic snow.
Lynchburg is known as Hill City. You’ll believe it if you run the Virginia 10-Miler on September 27. The downtown race, celebrating its 35th anniversary, is no place to push for a personal record. The rolling course has been called one of the top ten road races in the country.
After a ride or a run, grab a sandwich at Magnolia Foods (<a href=”http://www.magnoliafoods.com”>magnoliafoods.com</a>). For dinner, check out The Depot (<a href=”http://www.depotgrille.com”>depotgrille.com</a>) or grab some tasty curry and a brew at Bull Branch Global Bistro and Lounge (434-847-8477).