Me, Myself, and I—Solo Adventures for this Valentine’s Day

What’s the most important relationship in your life? We argue it should be with yourself (till death do you part, right?), and that’s why we hope you’ll take yourself out on a nice outdoor adventure on the loviest of holidays—Valentine’s Day! Exercise/activity is good for your body and your brain, and the solitude is good for the soul.

graphic reading "Ride Solo this V-Day"

Treat yo’ self this V-Day with one or two of these solo outings in the region!

  1. Take a hike: A hike on one of the many trails in the region is always one of our top go-to’s, but we feel like we don’t preach it enough in the winter months. Without the leaves, you can see way more than the other months, and the cool weather is hardly a factor once you’re moving. Our recs for a nice solo hike? Happy Hollow Gardens, Bottom Creek Gorge Preserve, Read Mountain, or Poor Mountain in Roanoke County; Grassy Hill Nature Preserve in Franklin County; or Peaks of Otter (Sharp Top, Flat Top, or just walk around the lake near the lodge).
  2. Get lost on the back roads: There’s just something about blasting your favorite music while cruising down the road. Grab your keys and take a trip to some of our favorite spots! Head to Alleghany County to check out the Humpback Bridge, then continue on to the beautiful Falling Spring and since you’re already there we highly recommend taking a dip in the recently renovated Jefferson Pools (warm springs)! Another favorite, take a spin on America’s Favorite Drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and enjoy the overlooks and beautiful views.
  3. Go fishing: This is always a good go-to for solitude. Many folks hang up their waders and reels when the cold rolls in, but there are still plenty of fish biting in the winter. Check here for a full listing of fishing spots in the region.
  4. Love is for the birds: With the leaves off the trees, there’s nothing stopping you from trying to spot your favorite flying friend! Grab your binoculars and hit the greenways, parks, or trails to spy local birds in their natural habitat. Here’s a great list of bird-watching spots.
  5. Get starry-eyed: There are few better star-viewing opportunities than a clear, winter night. Grab a thermos of something warm, spread out the blanket, and take some time to admire the stars. You can do this in your yard, a local park (before 11 PM), or even the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  6. Climb your heart out: Head to River Rock Climbing gym for some solo climb time! No belay? No problem. Their auto-belay system allows you to tackle the tallest climbs sans spotter. And of course, you can challenge yourself on their bouldering wall ‘til the cows come home (or your arms give out). Afterward, you can grab a bite or a beer from Wasena City Taproom.
  7. Greenway ride or walk (treat yourself to a bev, coffee, or ice cream): the greenway system is one of the most popular spots in our region and for good reason—you can walk or ride for miles while enjoying the beautiful views of the valley. Pop in a podcast or your favorite playlist, and head out for a few miles on your own. While you’re at it, get yourself a treat either before, midway, or after your outing at a coffee shop, restaurant, or ice cream shop! Bonus: it’s cheaper when you’re only paying for yourself! Click here for a greenway list and maps.