Ride the Ridge Bicycle Tour

A bicycle tour along the Blue Ridge Parkway

June 18th-26th 2022
Registration Closes May 18th, 2022

Pricing: $3,400 per person

Blue Ridge Parkway Bicycle Tour Viaduct

The Lowdown

The Blue Ridge Parkway is America’s longest linear park, spanning 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina. It connects Shenandoah National Park near Waynesboro, VA (Milepost 0) to Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, NC (Milepost 469). Littered with gorgeous overlooks, breathtaking views, and winding scenic roads, the parkway is a highly sought-after destination for East Coast cyclists.

To make transportation to the start easier, this tour will begin in Asheville, NC. If you wish to complete the whole parkway, we highly encourage you to start a couple days early and meet us in Asheville!

What You’ll Love

The magic of the Blue Ridge Parkway is hard to put into words. Every morning there is a more beautiful sunrise and every evening there is a more stunning sunset. Evenings are best spent recounting the day around the campfire with your fellow riders. If the clouds behave at night, you might even get to see the Milky Way. Embrace the ride, embrace the experience, embrace your companions and leave the parkway with memories that you’ll never forget. Join us for a guided Blue Ridge Parkway bicycle tour!

RIde the Ridge Bikepacking Trip Preview!

The Night Before

Meet us at Highland Brewing Company for a get-to-know-us drink! These will be the people you’ll spend the next 9 days bikepacking the Blue Ridge Parkway with, so the bonding starts now. We will have a beer (or whatever you prefer) and get excited about the epic trip awaiting us. Don’t stay up too late, because we will have an early start in the morning!

The Tour

Day 1 – 43/53 miles – 7,335 feet of climbing: Day 1 starts with a bang! The group will assemble at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center for our signature pancake breakfast. The first half of the day is uphill toward the highest peak this side of the Mississippi. No blue ridge bike trip would be complete without Mount Mitchell which sits at an elevation of 6,684 feet. The air is a bit thin and the climb is steep, but the view is more than worth it. Our route takes us directly to the mountain. This is a Riders will have the option to tackle the 4.8-mile climb up to the summit. The rest of the day is mostly downhill to our campsite at Crabtree Falls.

Day 2 – 46 miles – 4,443 feet of climbing: The second day of our trip will be a bit shorter with less climbing to let our legs recover from our assault on Mount Mitchell. We will cross the Linville River, home of the beautiful Linville Falls. The falls are 45 feet tall! A short hike will lead us to a gorgeous view for lunch. Experts recommend snagging a second sandwich for the road. For those who didn’t get enough hiking at the falls, our campground is on the shores of a quiet, peaceful lake with plenty of trails in the area.

Day 3 – 40 miles – 3,951 feet of climbing: With one of the gentler elevation profiles, Day 3 should be a more laid-back day. Our series of ups and downs takes us past Meditation Mountain on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. The Northwest Trading Post is a must-see a few miles before our campground. They carry crafts from North Carolina’s Northwestern counties, as well as some delicious snacks. We end at the lovely Raccoon Holler campground. Don’t worry, we haven’t yet had any run-ins with overly “friendly” critters!

Day 4 – 59 miles – 4,899 feet of climbing: After an easier third day of our trip, Day 4 will cover some solid mileage. As we enter Virginia, we pass the Blue Ridge Music Center; the center is dedicated to music of all types especially old time music. We’ll end the day at the Fancy Gap/Blue Ridge Parkway KOA Journey Campground. Dinner tonight is hot pizza or barbeque that riders can order from the awesome campground kitchen.

Day 5 – 48 miles: Day 5 takes us through Floyd, VA. This unique town of about 700 people will give us a taste of civilization. We’ll enjoy lunch at the historic Mabry Mill. The mill was operated in the early 1900’s and has since been converted to a historic demonstration site. The restaurant serves pancakes until noon, so pedal fast! Then, we will work our way down to the 200 acre Chantilly Farm Campground and enjoy the views from the sprawling hillside.

Day 6 – 36 miles – 2,521 feet of climbing: The sixth day of the tour takes us all the way to Roanoke, VA! It’s a shorter day, so riders will have the opportunity for a great afternoon excursion. The guides will lead a group trip the Green Goat restaurant and Big Lick Brewing Company. Even better, you’ll get to rest your head on a real pillow tonight. We will be staying at the Holiday Inn! Don’t forget that we guarantee single occupancy for anyone without a family member or traveling companion. Breakfast at the hotel is included, so fill up for the next day’s ride!

Day 7 – 40 miles – 4,352 feet of climbing: Say goodbye to Roanoke! But don’t worry, this is one of the most beautiful days of the trip. All of the climbing will be well worth it when we roll into Peaks of Otter Campground. The three peaks have been a vacation destination since the time of Thomas Jefferson. I doubt he arrived by bicycle. Relax by the lake, grab dinner and a cocktail at the bar/restaurant, or take a hike in the hills. The breakfast and coffee in the morning is to die for.

Day 8 – 59 miles – 5,961 feet of climbing: The penultimate day of the tour won’t leave you disappointed. This might just be the toughest day of the trip. From Peaks of Otter, we climb to the highest point in Virginia on the Blue Ridge Parkway: the top of Apple Orchard Mountain. Enjoy the views at 3,900 feet, because we immediately descend to the lowest point of the parkway when we cross the James River, at only 650 feet above sea level. Rest your legs on that long descent. The next section takes us back up to ridge height before we bed down at Camp Blue Ridge.

Day 9 – 62 miles – 6,343 feet of descending: Our final day begins with a pleasant morning ride across one last bit of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As we descend from the ridge we pass the cookie lady’s house. If you have never heard of her look it up. June Curry gave shelter (and cookies) to thousands of bicycle tourists as they passed by. The house still operates as a stop off for weary cyclists. We will spend the afternoon gently descending toward Charlottesville, VA. Our lunch stop at King Family Vineyard just outside of town will be the perfect way to cap off an epic trip! We hope that the memories you made on this trip outweigh the sore butts and tired legs.

Congratulations, you just cycled the Blue Ridge Parkway!

Interested in other tours? Click here for our offerings!

What’s Included:

  • GPX route file from ridewithgps
  • Daily baggage transfer
  • Fully guided tour with two (2) guides
  • Guaranteed single occupancy at any hotel at no extra cost if you are traveling alone
  • Free pre-tour consultation to make sure you are ready to go
  • All meals unless a restaurant stop is noted. Meals are selected by you in advance from our pantry list
  • Gear checklist
  • Sag support and water stops
  • Guided hiking and/or town excursions
  • Blaze Adventure Tours tri-blend T-shirt
  • Our signature pancake breakfast on Day 1
  • French Press Coffee every morning

What You Need

  • Bicycle – Recommended touring or road bike with 23mm-32mm tires
  • Camping gear – Recommended gear list included
  • The desire to challenge yourself – These days will be long. But we don’t just believe you can do it. We KNOW you can! Bring the right attitude and you will be amazed at what you can achieve.
  • The ability to comfortably ride at least 4 hours at a time on similar terrain and the same style bicycle you will ride on the trip. We are happy to offer some guidance if you need some help training.

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