Located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, nestled between the majestic Appalachian Mountains, Harrisonburg is the outdoor adventure capital of the region. With access to George Washington National Forest and Shenandoah National Park and numerous trails, parks, and waterways, the City is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Harrisonburg each year to attend events such as the Shenandoah Mountain Bike Festival, Jeremiah Bishop’s Alpine Loop Grand Fondo, or Rocktown Rambler, while heart-pumping activities keep adventure seekers engaged throughout the year. Harrisonburg holds the distinction of being a IMBA Bronze Level Ride Center™ and is the home of nationally recognized cyclists.
Serving as a hub for all these activities is the city’s vibrant downtown district, a designated Virginia Arts and Cultural District, First Culinary District of Virginia and award-winning Main Street Community. Harrisonburg is home to James Madison University and Eastern Mennonite University offering world class entertainment and unique attractions from a beautiful arboretum to an enthralling planetarium. There are over 200 restaurants, 6 craft breweries, and plenty of charming accommodations in Harrisonburg. The city’s International Festival, which features food, music, and culture from around the world, is an enduring tradition that celebrates the rich diversity of this unique, welcoming community.
Ride the Burg
Hailed by National Geographic Society as one of America’s Top 10 Mountain Bike Towns, Harrisonburg is the perfect getaway for a heart-pumping adventure. Situated in the shadows of the Alleghany and Massanutten Mountains, Harrisonburg boasts a diverse mix of peaceful county trails, bike-friendly city streets, winding single tracks, and challenging mountain bike courses, as well as outfitters and guides to get you where you want to be. Harrisonburg represents all types of cycling and levels and cyclists. Cycling is part of the culture!
Harrisonburg is home to numerous cycling events and nationally recognized cyclists. Jeremiah Bishop, an internationally recognized cross-country mountain biker, pan-American gold medalist, makes Harrisonburg his home. You can see his influence in the national prominence of the town’s cycling events. His annual Alpine Loop Gran Fondo, begun in 2010, was ranked by Men’s Journal as one of America’s top 10 Gran Fondos. It covers approximately 107 miles and features 11,000 feet of climbing. Other popular cycling events include: Bike Shenandoah, Shenandoah Valley Century Ride and the Harris-Roubaix.
Come and see for yourself why the riding is so beloved, the roads cherished, and the experience casual and friendly. IMBA recognizes Harrisonburg as a Bronze Level Ride Center™ thanks to numerous green, blue and red-blazed loops. Harrisonburg is the Cycling Capital of the Valley.
Hike On and OFF the Appalachian Trail
Harrisonburg offers the perfect basecamp for hikers, nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg is just a short drive from the Appalachian Trail, the spectacular Skyline Drive, and Blue Ridge Parkway. A favorite local hiking area, Shenandoah National Park has over 500 miles of trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Some trails lead to a waterfall or viewpoint; others penetrate deep into the forest and wilderness. Harrisonburg revels in having 19 local parks and the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum to share with locals and visitors alike. From the George Washington Forest to the west to Skyline Drive to the east the area offers many opportunities for great hiking. Not sure where to pick up a trail? Discover some of our favorite trails below or contact our Visitor Center for more information.
Discover World Class Fly Fishing
From mineral rich spring creeks in the George Washington National Forest to expansive lakes and impoundments, to larger rivers and tributaries that wind through the Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg is in close proximity to hundreds of miles of waterfront. The area surrounding the ‘Burg is one of the most densely populated with trout in the Mid-Atlantic, making it a popular destination for anglers. Mossy Creek, Virginia’s most famous fly-fishing location for brown trout, is just 20 minutes from Harrisonburg. The Shenandoah River, famed for its beauty, is accessible through several entry points within 30 minutes of the City and is widely regarded as one of the best smallmouth rivers in the world.
Harrisonburg is host to a variety of well anticipated annual fishing events. Each year in February, join anglers from throughout the Shenandoah Valley for Iron Fly, a lighthearted fly-tying competition hosted by Mossy Creek Fly Fishing Company. In March, watch some of the best fly-fishing films in the country at the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T), a traveling roadshow offering a night full of action, camaraderie, raffles and door prizes.
Adventurous by Nature
After a long day out on the river or out on the trails relax at one of Harrisonburg’s five craft breweries or hard cidery and chat with the owners about your adventures. Enjoy a pint of I’d Rather Beer Fishing (Three Notch’d Valley Collab House), an easy drinking lager made just for anglers, or a glass of Dry River Reserve (Sage Bird Ciderworks), a locally-sourced cider named for one of the area’s most beloved streams. Fishing, hiking and cycling are part of the culture in Harrisonburg, and many of the locals are eager to swap stories and there are plenty of outfitter shops to supply your needs. Come discover why Harrisonburg is known as the Adventure Capital of the Shenandoah Valley.