EventsOutdoor Happenings: Summer-Fall 2022

Outdoor Happenings: Summer-Fall 2022

The top outdoor races, festivals, events, and experiences in the Blue Ridge and beyond.

May ‘22

24th Annual Eagle Festival

May 7
Mason Neck State Park, Va.

Join us for a full day of live animal shows, hands on educational opportunities, and outdoor recreation clinics that all aim to highlight the rich natural history of Northern Virginia and foster stewardship of our environment.

Appalachian Trail Days

May 13-15
Damascus, Va.

Appalachian Trail Days is celebrating its 35th year as Damascus gears up for another record season of thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Trail Days is a celebration of the Appalachian Trail and thru-hiker culture. The title sponsor again this year is Hyperlite Mountain Gear.

Mountain Lake Lodge Annual Brew Ridge Music Festival

May 21
Mountain Lake Lodge, Pembroke, Va.

Join us for Mountain Lake’s Annual Brew Ridge Music Festival. Bring family and friends for an afternoon full of Bands, Beers, and Brats. Enjoy Virginia’s best craft beer with live musical performances! Packages and tickets available now.

Gathering in the Gap Music Festival

May 28
Southwest Virginia Museum, Big Stone Gap Va.

Celebrate Southwest Virginia’s rich tradition of old-time, bluegrass, blues and Americana music. Legendary country music star Crystal Gayle will be this year’s featured performer.  Also enjoy performances by regionally and nationally renowned musicians Dave Eggar and Bristol Lighting ft. Blake Collins and Tanner Perry, and more!

June ‘22

NC Trail Days

June 2-5 
Elkin, N.C.

Nestled between 2 state parks, Stone Mountain and Pilot Mountain, Elkin is the perfect place to bring your bikes, boats and boots to explore the many area trails. Spend the weekend in Elkin and enjoy guided and self-guided hikes, Yadkin River excursions, outdoor exhibitors, live music, art and more!

Music in the Park

Beginning June 3
Hungry Mother State Park, Va.

Enjoy the sounds of local musicians as you take in the beautiful park. Nearly every Friday during the Summer season, the park hosts a different artist who will share their musical talent with you.

National Trail Day Events Throughout Virginia State Parks

June 4 
Virginia State Parks

Cleanups and other events throughout the state parks to celebrate National Trail Day.

Flying Squirrel Ten Miler

June 4
Asheville, N.C.

Experience some of the best road running in Asheville with The Flying Squirrel Ten Miler, Asheville’s premier 10 Mile road race. Enjoy the ease and convenience of a road race with the spectacular views and seclusion of a mountain race. The race starts and finishes just blocks from downtown Asheville. Benefiting: Carolina Flying Squirrel via the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.

Taskinas Creek 1/2 Marathon

June 4
York River State Park, Va.

Half marathon run on a mixture of mountain bike trail, fire road, and pavement.

Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge

June 5
Roanoke, Va.

This incredible IRONMAN 70.3 race will showcase the best of the outdoors and scenic beauty in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, including the opportunity to swim at Carvins Cove, bicycle on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and run along the Roanoke River Greenway.

Claytor Lake Festival

June 11
Claytor Lake State Park, Va.

The Claytor Lake Festival Committee presents the 25th annual Claytor Lake Festival. Enjoy entertainment all day, fireworks at dusk, a public safety display, arts & crafts, a car and motorcycle show, children’s activities, an adult/youth fishing tournament, and more.

Nantahala Outdoor Center 50 Years of Adventure Celebration

June 11
Nantahala, N.C. 

What started out in 1972 as a simple gas station and small motel has grown to be one of the nation’s premiere Outfitters. Come celebrate 50 years of the Nantahala Outdoor Center complete with Live Music, giveaways, a vendor village and more! All NOC locations will have activities, please see NOC’s website for more info.

Firefly Festival

June 17
Camp Paradise at High Bridge Trail State Park, Va.

Look down from High Bridge and witness the spectacle of a galaxy of starry fireflies flashing in tree tops in the Appomattox River Valley below. The Festival will begin with a ranger led explanation of these mysterious, luminous insects at 9 p.m. Activities, firefly viewing, and insect displays will be available at the event.

Bushels & Barrels Local Food, Wine & Beer Festival

June 17 -18
Reynolds Homestead, Critz, Va.

Celebrating all things local, this two day event features a local foods Farm-to-Table dinner, Homebrew Competition and the festival itself with music, food trucks and wineries and breweries.

Poca Go!

June 18
Pocahontas State Park, Va.

Multi-stage Enduro style race on single track.

Night Train 1/2 Marathon

June 25
High Bridge Trail State Park, Va.

An ultra-distance runs with shorter options. Both 50k and 1/2 marathon on cinder rail-to-trail.

2022 USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships 

June 29 – July 2
Roanoke, Va.

Hundreds of cyclists from around the country will be competing to win national titles in the road race, individual time trial, and criterium, in what promises to be four action-packed days of cycling in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

July ‘22

Brownsburg Garden Tour

Brownsburg, Va.
July 2

Visit five beautiful, diverse private gardens by shuttle van on Saturday, July 2 from 9am – 3pm.  Garden owners and docents will be onsite to answer questions. Lunch available for purchase.   Tickets $25 in advance, $30 day of the event. Ticket sales open May 15 at

North Rockbridge Trail in Bloom 

July 2
Fairfield, Raphine and Brownsburg, Va.

Take a driving tour through the scenic countryside in full bloom with wildflowers, gardens, and colorful plantings. Over 20 businesses including shops, vineyards, historic sites, farms, and B&Bs invite you to enjoy a stroll, a sit, a glass, an ice-cream & enjoy the local hospitality. Free admission.

Balloons Over Rockbridge Hot Air Balloon & Music Festival 

July 2 – July 3
Virginia Horse Center, Lexington Va.

It’s all about the hot air balloons—piloted flights soaring overhead, tethered rides, and nighttime glows. Enjoy two days of balloons, local bands, a variety of food and merchandise vendors, beer and wine, and children’s activities. Free admission.

Freedom Food Festival

July 3 
Downtown Lexington, Va.

Main Street is converted into a community street and music festival featuring live music, beer/wine sales, desserts, and tasty July 4th picnic-style fare. This fundraiser pairs local celebrity chefs and restaurants with area non-profits in a festive, family-friendly atmosphere. Free admission.

Kid’s Bike Parade

July 4
Downtown Lexington, Va.

Kids can celebrate with their own parade! Gather to decorate bikes and get face paintings, then ride down Main Street en masse with families and dogs in tow. Free decorations provided to all. Refreshments will be available.

Music & Fireworks

July 4
Glen Maury Park, Buena Vista, Va.

Bring the entire family to Glen Maury Park to wrap up the Independence Weekend. Live music and dancing, food and beverage sales, and spectacular fireworks display that can be seen from miles around.

Fourth of July Weekend at Bryce Resort

July 4
Bryce Resort, Va.

Celebrate your Fourth of July weekend at Bryce Resort on Saturday, July 2nd with live music, family friendly activities, craft vendors and an amazing fireworks display in the mountains! The Hackens Boys are back for 2022 so bring the whole family for a lively day at Bryce!”

Music on the Cliffs 

Beginning July 16
Westmoreland State Park Visitor Center, Va.

The Friends of Westmoreland State Park presents Music on the Cliffs, a free Summer concert series featuring local musicians.

Summer Sizzle

July 17
York River State Park, Va.

11-mile* run or 22-mile* mountain bike race. *Distance may change slightly; the final course is still being set. Possible run being explored.

Virginia Commonwealth Games at Liberty University

July 24-26
Lynchburg, Va.

40 individual/team sports with a Tailgate Party and Opening Ceremonies.

FloydFest 22~Heartbeat

July 27-31
Floyd, Va.

A 5-day celebration of music, arts, outdoor adventure, and craft libations in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest VA. Featuring over 100 performers on 8 stages, including Lake Street Dive, Turnpike Troubadours, Morgan Wade, Trampled by Turtles, Old Crow Medicine Show, Melissa Etheridge, Marcus King, Ann Wilson of Heart and so many more. This year’s festival will also feature the Blue Ridge Outdoors 5k Race!

August ‘22

Guts, Gravel, Glory

August 1
Pocahontas State Park, Va.

Cyclocross races with 50-mile, 36-mile, 19-mile options on fire roads.

September ‘22

Front Porch Fest

September 1-4
Spirithaven Farm, Stuart, Va.

This intimate gathering on the front porch to the Blue Ridge Mountains is perfect for families of all ages, seasoned festival goers, and first timers. With an entire volunteer staff this labor of love raises funds for local charities.

New River Trail Challenge

September 17, 2022
New River Trail State Park, Va.

Long-distance adventure triathlon. 40-mile bike, 12.1-mile kayak, 1/2 marathon, in and along the New River Trail.

October ‘22

Howlin’ Coyote 10K and Wiley Pup Kids Trail Dash

October 1
Caledon State Park, Va.

10k adult race, 1-mile kids race on a wide, groomed trail in King George. This is a dog-friendly race!

James River Ultra Runs

October 1
James River State Park, Va.

Ultra-distance runs with shorter runs (50-mile, 50k, 10-mile options on mixed trails).

November ‘22

Richmond Marathon

November 12
Richmond Va.

Whether you take part in the marathon, CarMax Richmond Half Marathon, or 8k, Richmond, Va. provides phenomenal course support, great fall scenery, and awesome finisher swag. The marathon is a top 25 Boston Qualifier, and the course is mostly flat with some rolling hills—perfect for first-timers.

Star City Half Marathon/10K 

November 19
Roanoke, Va.

Half Marathon & 10K road race in Roanoke, Va. The post-race food “A Taste of Roanoke” and awards ceremonies will be held in the Roanoke City Parks & Rec parking lot off Reserve Ave.

Cover photo courtesy of Getty Images

Places to Go, Things to See: