Looking for a new place to visit that is an easy drive from Harrisonburg? We've got just the place; a little over five hours south of Harrisonburg will put you in Asheville, NC. and Asheville should be at the top of your travel list.
I encourage the shop team to take long weekends for adventure at least once a quarter. Well I decided to take some of my own advice and chose to visit Asheville, NC this past weekend with Melissa. We had a blast doing all the "Asheville" things - breweries, drum circles, local food, tubing and sightseeing (including impressive people watching). However, one of my favorite parts of the trip was our time in DuPont State Forest. About 45 mins from downtown Asheville is Brevard, NC - where we entered DuPont State Forest.
DuPont has a crazy history, but it all boils down to being an exceptional state owned property. Some call it the "Land of Waterfalls" and it definitely lives up to its name.
On Sunday morning, my biking buddies and I set out to ride some of their favorite trails in DuPont. The girls were going to spend the morning drinking coffee on the porch and planned to meet us later for lunch and an afternoon waterfall hike.
We arrived at one of the a few parking lots at around 10am to find probably 25 other people ready to ride. The car parked next to us was a family from Ohio, clearly prepping for a hike. The dad asked us if there was some sort of biking event today, my buddy Ulrick replied, "Everyday is a biking event here!" and from my short time in the area, I'd say he was spot on. Everyday was a great day for biking and everyday you'd find a lot of people riding.
Even though there were many other riders in the parking lot we all seemed to take off down different trails. We took a short trail that more or less looped around the parking lot to warm up our legs and then set off to begin climbing our way up to a place called Cedar Rocks. It's one of the high points of the forest and has a ton of slick rock, which makes it look sort of like the moon's surface (if you look past the vegetation...). It was my first time seeing slick rock and it was really fun to ride.
At the top we picked some blueberries and choose one of three trails to head down. I was glad I brought one of the shop's demo Santa Crux 5010s as the trail was a little rough on the way down. The bike made both the ascent and decent effortless.
We eventually ended back at the truck and did a quick change into hiking clothes (which for me was a change of shoes and removing my bibs). My Endura Hummvee Lite shorts made for a great post ride short and ended up being a great bathing suit as well!
We connected with the girls and saw 4 waterfalls within a 2 mile stretch. At the uppermost waterfall there was a natural rock slide. I was hesitant to take the plunge at first, but after my first slide I was back for more. The water was extremely refreshing and the rock wasn't as nearly as rough as I imagined!
After the hike we hopped in the cars for a short drive to Oskar Blues Brewery and enjoyed some burgers, peanuts, beers and live music.
Although we were in town for just a little more than 48 hours every moment of it was an adventure and I can't wait to do it again. So take my advice and make a trip to Asheville and certainly make the drive to DuPont State Forest while you're there.
Stop in the shop for pointers in specific trails and sites to see!