Huge congrats to our very own Randi Goodman on being selected as one of Blue Ridge Outdoors 30 under 30 Outdoor Leaders in this months November issue! Swing by the shop to pick up a copy and get Randi to autograph it all month long! We are so proud of you Randi, way to go!!!
This past weekend (August 24th-25th) during the Meet the Mountains Outdoor Festival in Johnson City, we had the opportunity to ride at Tannery Knobs, the trail system built by IMBA Trail Solutions in Johnson City. As many know, these trails have been completed for some time now but have been closed to the public as the land needs to be transferred to the city from the private landowner. The Meet the Mountains Festival allowed early access to the trails during the event, and let's just say the trails are fantastic with something for everyone. The trails are rated on difficulty much like a ski slope in that green is the easiest, followed by intermediate blues, and be ready to send it black diamond advanced trails! A tremendous amount of thought and care went into the trail designing and building process, for instance, the beginning of each trail is representative of what riders are to expect on the rest of the trail.
The Tri-Cities' roots in mountain biking date way back with trails all around the region built over decades of hard grassroots trail building and little to no funding by guys and gals who were psyched on riding. In contrast, every inch of Tannery is mapped out and placed by professional trail builders so you can expect some bomber flowy jump trails, drops, and rock gardens all designed to progress the sport for all riders. The result is one you must experience for yourself and is definitely a step in the right direction for our area. Tannery Knobs showcases the value of outdoor recreation. (Way to go Johnson City! Bristol step it up... this is much better for the region's health and well-being than another Big Box Store.)
Johnson City is set to acquire the land from the private land owner on September 6th at the Johnson City Council meeting, and if all goes accordingly then Tannery Knobs should be open to the public by the end of September! For more info on Tannery Knobs or to check on the status of the trails click the button below!
The Central Appalachia Climbers Coalition recently received national attention in the article written above in the latest Vertical Times, the national publication of Access Fund. Appalachia the town, yea that's confusing, is located west of Norton and just North of Big Stone gap. The article above mentions the work the CACC has been putting in at the crag to not only develop the climbing but also getting the access needed for climbers to legal enjoy the area. On Saturday September 15th the climbing organization will be hosting a work day to work on a short access trail to the crag for the first part of the day followed by an afternoon climb for those who want to enjoy the fruits of the labor.
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!
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.
1. Be prepared for Rapids...they can definitely be tricky so have everything in dry bags tied into the canoe...trust 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 well...you 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!
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!
Big thanks to everyone around the community who gathered at the South Holston River yesterday to take part in the cleanup! The weather was absolutely fantastic for the event and we left the river a cleaner, better place for all outdoor enthusiasts.
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.
Now through February 14th (OHHH SNAP That's Valentine's Day Fellas) get some sweat new gear for your sweat heart!
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!
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!