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Roanoke Mountain Adventures

By April 19, 2024No Comments
 Views & Brews with Roanoke Mountain Adventures
WORDS & PHOTOS | Lisa Archer

Pack your water bottles and comfy clothes and explore with Roanoke Mountain Adventures!

A guided ebike tour, which can accommodate many levels of riders, is the perfect way to get to know the historic, brewery-packed Star City. Before leaving the shop, your expert guide will go over the proper use of ebikes and the rules of the road. Then you’ll hop on the Greenway, which follows the Roanoke River, passing flower-filled meadows, Black Dog Salvage (famous for their reality show, Salvage Dawgs) and murals created by a myriad of local artists.

The Greenway leads you to the base of Mill Mountain, where the steep ascent will seem little more than a speed bump with your electric-charged bike. The mountain offers sweeping views of the city and the mountains beyond.

A sedated descent on a multi-use gravel trail takes you through redbud-studded woods before depositing you in South Roanoke, home to Crystal Springs Grocery, Yard Bull Meats butcher shop and River & Rail restaurant. You’ll have the opportunity to stop into the shop for snacks before continuing to your first brewery stop, Starr Hill. Enjoy a small pour of beer on their sun-soaked back deck before hopping back on your trusty steed (er, bike!).

The heart of downtown is only a short ride away and home to Olde Salem Brewing Co.’s newest location. As you sip one of their delightful sours you can view the historic open-air market and may just see some farmers or local artisans selling their wares. As you bike through downtown you’ll pass notable landmarks such as Firehouse One, the Liberty Trust — a former bank turned boutique hotel — and the railroad that put Roanoke on the map, so to speak.

Located in the western part of downtown —an area quickly becoming known as the brewers’ district, with four breweries located within walking distance of one another — you’ll land at your last brewery of the day, Golden Cactus Brewing. This social hub is a favorite among locals and visitors alike with lots of natural light, lush tropical plants and, of course, tasty beer. If you’re feeling peckish, FoodHut RKE, which shares Golden Cactus’s patio, can fuel you for the ride back to the bike shop.

On your return to Roanoke Mountain Adventures, you’ll pass Old Southwest, a historic neighborhood, before crossing the Main Street Bridge and descending into the revitalized Wasena neighborhood. Colorful small businesses line the main street, including coffee, juice, and hemp shops, an artisanal bakery and a small plate restaurant and neighborhood barbershop. Upon your return to RMA, staff can help plan your next adventure. From tours to bike and water rentals to new and used bike (including ebike!) gear and apparel, you’re certain to find something to facilitate your outdoor explorations.

This article first appeared in our 2023 Summer Issue, Innovate.

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