Go Outside and Play Guide: Alleghany Highlands

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It’s easy to get to the Alleghany Highlands, yet it couldn’t be further from the stress of a hectic life. Beautiful mountain views, endless outdoor recreation, and two walkable downtowns with locally owned shops and restaurants add up to a charming and adventurous way of life. It’s Uniquely Alleghany! 



Start your day right with a fresh pastry and coffee to go from Cakes Your Way & The Coffee Café, or sit down and enjoy breakfast at Penny’s Diner. Once you’re fueled up and ready to go, hit the North Mountain Trail. At 6.8 miles out and back, you’ll be treated to mountainous views of the Alleghany Highlands as far as the eyes can see. When you get back to town, stop at Cucci’s Pizzeria for a sandwich with homemade bread or a slice of pizza.


After lunch, stop by Alleghany Outdoors, the newest outfitter in the area. Enjoy a trip on the Jackson River by kayak, tube, or canoe. A shuttle will take you to numerous boat launches of your choice. A local favorite is at the Smith Bridge Boat launch for a three to four-hour trip. This 10-mile section of the river has several rapids through crystal clear waters. You will encounter beautiful mountain cliffs and abundant wildlife along this exciting float. 


Treat yourself to dinner at The Rail Bar & Grille with live music, the Cat & Owl for fresh steak and seafood, or at Café Michel for an elegant French cuisine experience. Check in to one of several local inns, AirBnbs, or campsites for the night.



Start at the Olde Town Diner for a breakfast menu full of tasty southern cooking options. Take a leisurely ride on the Jackson River Scenic Trail, a mostly flat, 14.4-mile rail trail that runs parallel to the water. If you don’t have a bike – Alleghany Outdoors has you covered! Afterwards, hop in the car and go for a scenic drive through the area. Sit by the water at Humpback Bridge, the last of its kind in the United States. Pull off at the overlook on Route 220 to view Falling Springs Falls, a breathtaking 80-foot waterfall that is one of the most photographed spots in the county. Afterwards, head to Trani’s Grille for wings, sandwiches, and more to keep your energy up.


Park at Douthat State Park, known for its world-class single-track trails, for an exhilarating afternoon of mountain biking on Stony Run and Middle Mountain Trail. If you prefer to be on the water, Lake Moomaw has more than 40 miles of undeveloped shoreline and numerous hiking trails to enjoy.


Unwind with dinner at Jack Mason’s Tavern & Brewery, a local staple for great food and locally brewed beer, and head to the Historic Masonic Theatre for a movie or a show before turning in for
the night.


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