WanderLove Is Calling You to the Shenandoah Spirits Trail

WanderLove is about reconnecting with what you love. Experience mountainous trails, roadside stands, and all of the winding roads in between when you road trip the Shenandoah Spirits Trail through the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

As you travel through six counties, several cities, and countless towns, you’ll find some of the finest outdoor recreation and craft drinks Virginia has to offer. Running along the Interstate 81 corridor through the Shenandoah Valley, the spirits trail is a great way to take in the mountain views and charming downtowns with a drink in your hand.

Featuring 23 wineries, 22 breweries, three cideries, and two distilleries, you’re sure to find a drink that satisfies your post-adventure cravings. Discover the best spots to play, eat, and drink in this guide to the Shenandoah Spirits Trail.

Go Outside and Play

This fall, hike or bike miles of trail as you relish in the cooling weather and views of the changing leaves in northern Virginia. Grab provisions at one of the many farmers markets or roadside stands in the valley for a trail snack or meal on the go.

Massanutten Country Corner

Stretching 80 miles north to south, hike more than 500 miles of trail in Shenandoah National Park, including 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Take in the sights from the many overlooks along Skyline Drive and spend the night at one of the park’s campgrounds or cabins. The northern entrance in Warren County offers plenty of opportunities to grab a drink after a full day outside. In the Central District, the Massanutten Country Corner has something for everyone from a year-round farmers market with seasonal offerings to native plants at the garden shop. Pair your findings with a bottle of whiskey or wine from River Hill Distillery in Page County.

Explore an additional 1,600 acres and 24 miles of trail at Shenandoah River State Park. Here, you’ll find some of the best views of the Shenandoah Valley, including Culler’s Overlook. Pack a lunch to eat along the bank of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River with views of Massanutten Mountain. Heard’s Cedar Hill Farm Market in Bentonville provides patrons with a variety of options, including local meats, produce, jams, drinks, and even fishing gear. Afterward, head to Front Royal for a cold one from the Front Royal Brewing Co. or learn the history of brewing in the commonwealth at the Virginia Beer Museum.

If you haven’t gotten enough of the trail yet, head into George Washington National Forest for more natural wonders. Big Schloss is a treasure as you climb 1,000 feet over 4.4 miles. Or head south on Tibbet Knob, leaving from the same parking lot, for rock scrambles and incredible views. Travel the forest by bike on the Virginia Mountain Bike Trail, linking eight major trail systems across 480 miles of technical singletrack. Open year-round, the Virginia Room at Mowery Orchard offers a wide variety of locally produced fruits, vegetables, cheeses, honey, spices, jams, and pies, as well as bulk products and gluten-free snacks to take out on the trail with you. Relax and unwind at the nearby Woodstock Brewhouse and Muse Vineyards for a refreshing drink in Shenandoah County.

Mountain bikers of every ability will find a trail at Bryce Bike Park. The eight lift-accessed trails, ranging from beginner to advanced, were designed by Gravity Logic and built by 402 Trails. You’ll find several drinking options at the base of the resort along Route 42, including Life is Hard Cider and Swover Creek Farm Brewery.

Massanutten Produce, photo by Joshua Gooden

In addition to the bike park, hit up the backcountry trails when you ride the Western Slope at Massanutten Resort. Don’t forget to pick up locally grown produce, a loaf of homemade bread, or freshly baked cinnamon rolls from Massanutten Produce. Explore more of Rockingham County and Harrisonburg when you visit the many wineries and breweries in the area like Cave Hill Farms Brewery and Three Notch’d Valley Collab House.

If you prefer to ride pavement, bike the country backroads of Clarke County for rolling hills and epic views while in the saddle all day long. Pick up a snack or a souvenir from the Clarke County Farmers Market and end your day at one of three wineries and vineyards off Route 7. Or head into Winchester for a cluster of craft beer options downtown, including Broken Window Brewing and Alesatian Brewing Co.

With all of these stops and more, you’ll want to keep coming back year after year. Experience WanderLove for yourself when you visit the Shenandoah Spirits Trail.

Please check local guidelines and regulations before making plans to get outside. Remember to practice social distancing guidelines, wear a mask, and respect others’ health when outside.

Places to Go, Things to See: