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1021 Commonwealth Ave
Bristol, VA, 24201
United States


Mountain Sports Ltd is Bristol's local outdoor core store since 1981.


New River Float Trip

Jesse Cheers

It's not very common that you get to float a river that is flowing from South to North that is situated in the Mountains of North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Not only that but it's one of the oldest rivers in the world and best of all we are just a short drive away to this awesome body of water. 

Recently we got a group of friends together for a multiple day float down (or up haha) the New for some fishing, canoeing, camping, and most of all some good times. We put in at Pembroke (the green dote on the map below in lower right hand corner) around dusk and floated a short way to a very nice island camp spot around a mile from Pembroke for the first night. This camp spot was very easy to spot from river left but has a steeper bank while as the back side or river right side of the island had a sandier beach to tie up the boats. This camp spot isn't visible from the river right side of the island but the well traveled trails into the camp spot were very recognizable even with head lamps at dark. This camp spot would easily hold a group of 10 or more but remember to leave it nicer than you found it! Fantastic spot with Horsetail Rush, think small bamboo looking plant that grows two to three foot tall, surrounding a majority of the camping area. 


The next day we loaded the canoes back up and floated about a mile down river just below a large bridge and luckily ran into one of the best rope swings any of us had ever been lucky enough to swing from! Keep your eyes peeled on river right and you might be lucky enough to find this incredible rope swing just a short ways below the bridge (you can very easily see the bridge from the rope swing)! It honestly was one of the major highlights of the trip and probably the reason we didn't fish after spending a few hours flying through the air into a deep cool body of water!

 Kyle King (owner of  White Birch Juice Co. ) taking flight above the New. This was probably 1 of 100 times we hit the swing!

Kyle King (owner of White Birch Juice Co.) taking flight above the New. This was probably 1 of 100 times we hit the swing!

After several hours on the rope swing we floated down river for around 8 miles to our next camp spot on the 1 Mile Island just above the Bluff City take out. This camping area was a fantastic camp spot with flat area with trees every where to set up hammocks with little poison ivy around. There is poison ivy along the river pretty much everywhere along the banks so be able to identify and avoid it as best as possible. As for the two camping areas we stayed at it seemed to have very little Ivy for whatever reason but we were very thankful for it. We hung out by the fire that evening and enjoyed a SWVA never frozen fresh from week before 6 pound t-bone steak and four new york strips. When the guys told we we were having steak I was excited but honestly I wasn't prepared for what Andrew, owner and operator of Ridge and Valley Farms was bringing for us to indulge in. OUT OF THIS WORLD and probably has ruined me for all other steak for the rest of my life as nothing will compare to these cuts of meat.  

The following morning we packed up camp and began our short float for the day to the take out in Bluff City just above the Narrows. We managed to link up with some bass on our paddle out and it was a perfect way to end a fantastic weekend spent outside with good friends.

Trip Beta
1. Be prepared for Rapids...they can definitely be tricky so have everything in dry bags tied into the us.
2. Bring water...lots of water...several gallons for cooking, cleaning, and staying hydrated. 
3. Make sure you buy a fishing license as this is world class Bass Fishing...might even get lucky and hook into a musky! 
4. Pack lots of ice and minimize opening and closing coolers as much as possible. 
5. Pack Sunscreen for yourself and don't forget to bring extra for your friends who forgot to pack some as will be on the water all day and at the mercy of the sun beaming down on you!
6. Pack as a group so that all the essentials are brought and no one double packs gear and waste space in a dry bag. 
7. Bring a big community tarp for the rain showers that might pop up. We got rained on twice but it didn't ruin the day because we had a huge tarp so we got to enjoy the light showers without getting soaked. 
8. Have a shuttle set up and paid for before the float so that when you get to the take out you aren't sitting for to long. We used Tangent Outfitters who also could provided good info on the float!
9. Having a good camp chair can make all the difference when sitting around a fire at the end of the day...would recommend a Helinox Chair as they are very comfortable and pack down small enough that you won't take more space than needed in the canoe! 
10. Have a positive attitude...can't plan for everything so embrace the adversity and enjoy the experience! 

Altra Demo Run at Bristol Station!

Jesse Cheers

What an awesome night!!! Huge thanks to the Bristol Station for letting us join in on your Wednesday Group Run, as well as the tasty beer!  We’d also like to thank everyone who showed up and tried out some awesome Altra shoes last night. Our next shoe demo will be June 27th with Salomon, more info coming soon!

2nd Annual Tailwater Roundup

Jesse Cheers

The Roundup starts off on Friday night, March 16th, with the Fly Fishing Film Tour held at the Holston River Brewing Company (2623 Volunteer Pkwy, Bristol, TN 37620). 

Doors open at 4pm -- shows start at 6pm.

All proceeds from ticket sales go towards river cleanup efforts, any remaining proceeds are donated to Cherokee and Overmountain Chapters of Trout Unlimited for coldwater conservation and education.

Tickets are available online for $10/ea or at a local outfitter...cough Mountain Sports Ltd cough! 

Film Tour door prizes (i.e. guided trips, fishing gear, etc) will be on hand for those attending the film showing.   


Saturday, March 17th is the River Cleanup Roundup which is partnering with the Bill Beazell Memorial cleanup of the Watagua.  There will be two location to meet for river cleanup opportunities:

1. Watauga River - meets @ 8:30am, Ingles parking lot (768 W Elk Ave, Elizabethton, TN 37643)

2. South Holston River - meets @ 8:30am. Weir Dam parking lot (Holston View Dam Rd, Bristol, TN)           

Participants can walk the banks, wade the river, or bring their own watercraft to float and clean that day.  Trash bags and gloves will be provided by Tennessee Valley Authority and there will be drop off dumpsters at specific locations.  Cleaning will wrap up around 2:30pm.               

Following the the cleanup, celebrations for participants will be held on both rivers. Watauga River participants will meet at the Watauga River Lodge (643 Smalling Rd) and South Holston participants will meet at the Osceola Island Picnic Area.  All Participants will receive a free meal and be entered for prize drawings.  

Note: The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy will be at the Watauga River Lodge as a guest speaker.  


Sunday March 18th is the SoHo 2-Man Fly Fishing Tournament. The tournament is a competition between two person fly fishing teams.  The entry fee is $50/team. Prizes are provided for the top 3 teams!  Contact Jon Hooper at 423-747-7366 to register and/or have questions.

Abrams Falls in ICE!!!

Jesse Cheers

Abrams Falls is one of those places we love to visit on a hot summer day but it would take over two weeks of cold weather in the dead of winter to set up the beautiful frozen water fall that sat in front of us as we descended down the trail into the canyon that is home to Abrams Falls. Though we had hiked here several times before, it was almost unrecognizable with an ice mound extending from the base of the waterfall all the way to the roof! It was a beautiful hike and well worth braving the cold temps to witness a frozen over Abrams Falls! 

Layering Guide for Cold Weather

Jesse Cheers

Take on the freezing temps with the right gear from MSL! Start with moisture wicking base layers, add a midlayer of either fleece or down for warmth, and finish with an outer shell to block wind, keep you dry and hold in the heat. Swing by MSL and let us get you layered up this winter! 

New MSL Trucker Hats!

Jesse Cheers

The one and only MSL Trucker hat, made for chasing ponies in Grayson Highlands, casting to elusive brown trout on the SoHo, post Sugar Hollow Rides mountain bike rides, or for your everyday commute! Guaranteed to make you catch bigger trout, paddle and pedal faster, and hike longer! 

From the MSL Crew to you Merry Christmas!

Jesse Cheers

 MSL Customer and Friend Todd Cooper's VW Van decked out for Christmas! 

MSL Customer and Friend Todd Cooper's VW Van decked out for Christmas! 


From our family to yours, we hope you have a Merry Christmas. We can't thank you enough for being a part of the MSL family this year! We love what we do and it is only possible with great customers who enter our doors every day who are as excited as we are for their next adventure! Thank you for believing in Mountain Sports Ltd. We are blessed to share Christmas with many customers over the years who come back to see us and we are fortunate to have the new customers we get to meet each day! We appreciate you all! From everybody at MSL, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 


Jesse Cheers

Central Appalachia Climbers Coalition (CACC) and Access Fund are pleased to announce the purchase of the AVP Boulders in Grayson Highlands, Virginia for permanent conservation and climbing access. Access Fund and CACC secured a purchase agreement in September and the climbing community helped raise over $14,000, enabling CACC to complete the purchase.

“The collective action and support from the climbing community, climbing advocacy organizations, the State Park and private landowners have been tremendous,” says CACC Vice President Aaron Parlier. “Protecting these wonderful boulders and keeping access open for generations to come is something that we can all be tremendously proud of.”

The AVP Boulders offer some of the most coveted and popular bouldering in Grayson Highlands, with over 50 problems and an easy roadside approach. The steep, powerful bouldering on crimpy, interesting features is nestled in a gorgeous Appalachian setting. But in 2016, the private landowners closed the boulders due to liability concerns and their interest in selling the 29-acre property, which included both their home and the boulders.

Over the last year, CACC and Access Fund worked with the landowners to negotiate a formal agreement to survey, appraise, and complete the purchase of the 1.3 acre-tract that contains the boulders and the roadside access point.

“Thanks to the incredibly dedicated volunteers of CACC, we have protected one of the crown jewels of Grayson Highlands bouldering,” says Zachary Lesch-Huie, Access Fund Southeast Regional Director. “We’re proud to partner with CACC on yet another climbing access win in Central Appalachia."

With the purchase complete, CACC will work to maintain the boulder field through regular stewardship and trail building events. At some point in the future, CACC may consider transferring the property to the adjoining Grayson Highlands State Park, where bouldering is a welcome and well-established activity.

"Virginia State Parks are very excited about the Access Fund and Central Appalachia Climbers Coalition's support of the bouldering resources at Grayson Highlands and providing this recreational opportunity to park visitors,” says Grayson Highlands State Park Director Harvey Thompson.

While the purchase is complete, CACC is still accepting donations to cover stewardship and future steps in the AVP Boulders’ long-term protection. Donate today