From fitness aficionados to those who just enjoy a stroll, warmer weather is a welcome reminder that it’s time to be out and about. Few places can offer a variety of open-air opportunities like those available in Ashland, Virginia. With cycling treks, natural running paths, and welcoming downtown walks, Ashland provides adventure at every speed.
On any given day, you’re bound to see a bevy of bicycles traversing downtown. That’s because Ashland attracts cyclists from all over the region who regularly take part in the town’s best bike routes. Many riders from Richmond and beyond ride the historic Route 1 bicycle trail to Ashland, breaking for lunch or brunch before heading back on this scenic thoroughfare.
Maybe you like getting around on four wheels instead of two. If so, Pufferbelly Park is the perfect place to skateboard on a sunny day. With sizeable skate ramps and a state-of-the art playground, the park brings both recreation and respite to all visitors. It is also a welcome pit stop for travelers and a picnic haven for locals, bringing together first-timers and regulars who may be wanting to let the kids run off some energy.
A Walkable Town
While Ashland is an ideal place for exercise, it’s also the prime locale for a slow saunter.
Fans of historic homes and architecture will enjoy a turn through Center Street. Its wide sidewalks allow plenty of room to pause and enjoy views of these celebrated estates. Likewise, the stately campus of Randolph-Macon College delivers a wonderful walking backdrop. Like the rest of Ashland, it has pristine grounds and a hospitable atmosphere fit for any visitor.
Vigorous walkers or trail runners can step out into nature at the Stony Run Trail, where they’ll likely be joined by hikers and cyclists looking for serenity. Meanwhile, the heavily wooded Carter Park boasts 13.5 acres of activity. Walk the gravel trails, play a game of basketball, or cool off in the Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Many people adore Ashland for its trains, and the “railfans” often enjoy walking along the Railside Park and Trail. Located on North Center Street, this park includes a 1/3-mile path along the railroad tracks. Enjoy the open space as you wait for another train to roll by.
Work Up an Appetite
There’s nothing like working up an appetite after a long day in Ashland. It is, after all, a foodie’s paradise with choices to suit any craving.
With an onsite butcher and farm-to-fork food that is locally sourced, Ashland Meat Company has the freshest cuts around. This local landmark that has been feeding Virginia families for over a century. Add a bottle of wine to go and take home a complete meal or just grab a few sandwiches for the road.
Is there a better comfort food than pie? For a robust, hearty lunch made from scratch, Ashland Pot Pie Co. is a clever conclusion. Try their savory pot pies, soups, and sandwiches, but leave room for sweet pies and pastries as well.
Many outdoor adventurers prefer a meal option with healthy provisions. Foodio is such a place, operating under a unique business mantra of empowering people through food. Their smoothies and juices are all-natural, meaning you don’t have to worry about chemicals, food dyes, or other mysteries in your meal. Try a fresh smoothie bowl or go with one of their sandwiches and fixins from the breakfast menu. Every choice is delicious, and you’ll feel great about your food’s ingredients.
Sometimes, a local hangout just hits the spot. Even better is when that hangout is also located in a unique building by the railroad tracks. Trackside Grill has charm, friendliness, and light fare for the whole family. This is train-watching at its finest, but the burgers are just as grand. Make time for an authentic Ashland staple and stop by Trackside while in town.
Experience Ashland Outside
Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or a park bench napper, Ashland has all of your favorite outdoor pursuits. Stop by for lunch or to stretch your legs—either way, you’ll want to stay for the weekend. To find out more about how you can come center your universe in this Virginia gem, check out our robust list of Ashland attractions by clicking here today.