Turkey set to issue tender for 1GW of solar capacity FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Turkey’s minister of energy, Fatih Dönmez, has announced plans to revitalize the country’s Covid-19-stricken economy, which include a 1 GW solar tender under the national Yeka (Yenilenebilir Enerji Kaynak Alanları) renewable energy program.Originally planned for last month, the procurement round will tender PV projects ranging in generation capacity from 10-50 MW across 40 of the nation’s provinces and is due to be staged during the next quarter.“The scheduling of the tender may help the Turkish solar market, which is very much stressed under Covid-19 restrictions,” said Hakki Karacaoglan, CEO of German company KRC Consulting.The consultant told pv magazine Turkey had added only 139 MW of new solar capacity in the first four months of the year.The Yeka tender was originally postponed in January 2019, because of the nation’s parlous finances. The authorities planned to try again before the end of the year but eventually pushed the tender back to last month, only for the public health crisis to capsize their plans again.[Emiliano Bellini]More: Turkey plans 1 GW solar tender before October
Have video cameras changed the way we experience the outdoors?When you go to a concert these days you see a band on stage, sweeping lights and smoke effects, a sea of heads bobbing in the dark before you — and also a few hundred smart phones lifted high to capture the moment. Luminescent LCD screens have replaced the traditional lighter waving overhead. And this is true in every walk of life from the 6-year-old’s birthday party to a performance by sidewalk buskers to the cat pooping in a toilet: cameras are everywhere, and we have become the documentary filmmakers of our own lives. The advent of the GoPro camera and the dSLR revolution have given every Regular Joe the tools to record his stories, and this revolution has followed us into our outdoor adventures.The benefits of this technological renaissance need not be enumerated. For as long as humans have walked the earth we’ve been telling our stories, and now we’re able to do that with a level of polish and production value previously unimaginable. But have we fully considered what might be lost in the bargain? What happens when we go from simply dropping the long downhill on a mountain bike or linking up the five-pitch climb to taking on the additional work of making a documentary of the endeavor?It’s not enough anymore to have a meaningful experience. With our ready access to online social networking and the powerful tools of media production, we now feel compelled to capture every moment and broadcast it to the world with the message, “Look, look! I had a meaningful experience!”I may be unusually sensitive to the dilemma posed by bringing cameras on an adventure. As a person making a career out of photography and video production in outdoor lifestyle, I value deeply the stories that live in wild places. I am also acutely aware of the mental shift that happens when I take up a camera in such places. From attending to the intricate world around me with open eyes and ears, I undergo a perceptual pivot as I begin to look for the best light and the most interesting angle, anticipating the moment to release the shutter. In short, I stop simply being present with all of my senses in my surroundings, and I enter into work mode.No doubt other adventurers are less susceptible to this risk while using a camera, but we all see the world differently when looking through a lens. The frame necessarily limits the picture—that is the wonder and power of picture media; it focuses our attention. But in the moment of looking out across a panoramic view or down the gullet of a class V rapid I think that we see less fully (maybe less clearly) when we look through a camera.I’m thankful that I have friends who act as governors on my fairly constant drive to get everything down on film. Several of my kayaking buddies are of the mind that it is always better to simply run the river rather than stop to take pictures. They present a valuable tension to my impulse to capture every moment and preserve it for future review. They remind me of one of the primary reasons I am drawn to wild places: the way they make me slow down and be present, not clinging to any moment of beauty or excitement but letting it pass through my mind and heart like sand through open fingers.As I grow more aware of the visual impairment that cameras sometimes introduce into my adventures, I’m developing new strategies to add to my personal discipline. Some days I will intentionally leave behind all cameras for a trip down the river, or else I will carry only my old film SLR which seems to be less intrusive to the experience than digital tools. Some days I will carry only my journal or sketchbook, tools that have the effect of actually making me more present and aware as I meditate on the experience. In the end, I suppose I want to make a call to my fellow adventurers and lovers of the wild, not that we forsake all recording tools and documentary work but that we dedicate some time out in the wild free from our devices. Let’s spend some days doing what we love to do with only our memories to record the journey and our words to share it when we gather around the dinner table or at the bar at the end of the day.On a backpacking trip this October I hiked for twelve days through the Smoky Mountains and carried with me an array of camera gear and recording equipment to document the trip. I had a lot of fun looking for images and molding the story even as I lived it, but on the final night out, my last battery died and the digital camera was rendered useless. Initially I was frustrated: angry that the time lapse I’d been shooting was cut short, disappointed that I would not be able to record images the next morning on our hike out. I went to sleep that night with my camera batteries tucked into my sleeping bag, hoping to warm them and eke some last bit of life out of them. When I awoke in the dark the next morning, they were dead as can be.I crawled out of the tent and began to climb the Mt. Sterling fire tower with only my trusty old film camera to weigh me down. Halfway up I sat on a ledge in the chilly wind and watched as light began to creep over the eastern mountains. Film is expensive; so I didn’t bother snapping a lot of pictures as the color changed and the clouds morphed. I watched the sunrise blossom in many delicate shades, and I snapped one photo before descending to the ground again. My girlfriend and I ate a hearty breakfast and broke camp; then we began the long hike home through woods brilliant with fall color, straining our eyes to take it all in. •Chris Gallaway is an adventurer and filmmaker. In 2013 Chris will be embarking on a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, and he’ll be carrying twenty pounds of camera gear to document the journey.
Asking myself lots of tough questions at the end of the Massanutten Hoo-Ha XXC mountain bike race…This past Tuesday I knocked out my second biggest run this season, and the first run of 2013, in the Shenandoah National Park. We covered 23.76 miles, we round to 24 in a case like this, over snowy and icy trails.As usual my friends and family before and after the run had the usual comments such as “what are you running from, why would you do that, how do you do that, and was someone chasing you”. If you are an athlete you have more than likely been asked the same types of questions.During Tuesday’s run I had a good amount of time to think about this. Specifically on a climb from Jones Falls that I am pretty sure I left a little bit of my soul on. I realized that while yes you have to physically be able to do these activities, I would argue that 60+ percent of it is mental.If you are one of my friends reading this, you are most likely laughing right now. For those that don’t know me well, I have had more than one blow up, bonk, and existential crisis during runs, bike rides, etc. So many in fact that friends look for signs of the “Chase Face” which signals an oncoming hissy fit.My low spots don’t represent a dislike of running or biking, etc but rather a less than superb mental strength. In Chris McDougall’s book Born To Run the theme of becoming friends with pain is present throughout. Not injury pain, etc but rather a realization and acceptance that running is sometimes hard and that you will have low points. But rather than fight those low points with curses, and maybe in my case just once crying, accept the pain and become friends with it. Remember previous low points and know that you have been there before and it will pass. After all we run, bike, swim, climb, and more because we love it and loving something means loving everything that comes with it.In a roundabout way this is also my way of calling out my New Year’s resolution. To continue to be physically fit, but also to work on my mental strength. I think that this will not only help me become a better runner but also a better person. I can’t guarantee that I won’t have a slip up, but hopefully my curses turn from anger to praise such as “I love this climb you tough son of a gun mountain” and so forth.If you want to test your mental and physical strength I encourage you to check out The Wild Oak Trail Run and the Eastern Divide Ultra 50k. Both cover beautiful trail in the state of Virginia, and will surely put you to the test. I will be at The Wild Oak run testing my physical and mental fitness so I hope to see you there!
Prepare for a cultural carnival at these arts festivals:FloydFestJuly 25-28Floyd, Va.floydfest.comBasics: In more than a decade in existence, FloydFest has grown from a special underground gathering to a festival in the national spotlight. Every year, crowds migrate to an unsuspecting 80-acre mountain plateau off the Blue Ridge Parkway for a four-day carnival of musical cultures from near and far. The festival bridges the gap between Appalachian traditions and the melting pot of independent roots music from the around the rest of the world.Bands: This year FloydFest is mixing it up with plenty of string band favorites (Yonder Mountain String Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, Trampled by Turtles, and Railroad Earth), jam staples (Hot Tuna and the North Mississippi Allstars), and the Americana side of the indie scene (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and the Lumineers). Also, check out the fresh faces on the rise: the Last Bison, Spirit Family Reunion, Yarn, and Field Report.Set Break Escape: Finally utilizing the amazing piece of land just off the Parkway, the festival has added an impressive outdoor adventure program to its lengthy list of activities. The recently developed Moonstomper Mountain Bike Trail offers on-site singletrack with designated hours for riding and hiking. There’s also an organized 16-mile ride, the Belcher Mountain Beat Down, that features 1,700 feet of climb and offers shuttle service back to the festival. Additional offerings include a 5K on Sunday and organized paddling trips on the Little River.FIVE MORE…LEAFMay 9-12Black Mountain, N.C.theleaf.comSet in the shadow of the Black Mountains, the Lake Eden Arts Festival—better known as LEAF—features one of the most diverse arrays of artistic offerings of any fest in the region. Beyond the stellar line-up of roots music, check out healing arts workshops, a folk art show, a poetry slam, and dancing. Bands include Mavis Staples, Ozomatli, Steel Pulse, Peter Rowan, and Abigail Washburn. The best part—this fest returns again in the fall (October 17-20).Spoleto Festival USAMay 24—June 9Charleston, S.C.As if Charleston didn’t have enough going for it. Add this 17-day marathon performing arts fest that includes music from various genres, dance, theater, and visual arts showcased at theaters, churches, and outdoor spots across the city.spoletousa.org Seedtime on the CumberlandJune 7-8Whitesburg, Ky.This annual down-home celebration of the arts in Appalachia brings together storytellers, musicians, artisans, and writers in the tiny, culturally rich town of Whitesburg.seedtimefestival.org ArtscapeJuly 19-21Baltimore, Md.The largest free arts festival in the country brings over 350,000 people to Baltimore to check out the work of artists, craft booths, and visual exhibits of sculpture and photography. Covering 12 city blocks, the fest also features live music and a full schedule of performing arts including dance, opera, theater, and film.artscape.orgShakori Hills Grassroots FestivalOctober 10-13Silk Hope, N.C.A cultural standby in the Triangle, Shakori Hills is a four-day fest that takes place in the spring and fall on a 75-acre piedmont farm. It blends some of North Carolina’s best roots musicians with national headliners, touches of world music, and an array of food, arts, and crafts.shakorihillsgrassroots.orgCheck out the rest of our Outdoor Festival Guide!
Top Races and Events to Hit Before the End of the YearThe Helgramite HustleWhen: August 10, 2013Where: Axton, Va.What: Mud Run 5KStart time: 1 pmWebsite: http://www.milesinmartinsville.com/Ready to Hustle? In this muddy event you’ll navigate a series of mud pits, a slide, and a romp through the creek. There will be obstacles to climb over, crawl through, and slide under. You don’t want to miss the fun of the Helgramite Hustle Mud Run 5K!RACE CONTACTinfo@milesinmartinsville.com
When you live in Beer City, it can be easy to get caught up in the beer that’s produced right here in your home town. There’s a lot of good beer to choose from, and most of it’s brewed within five miles of my home. Awesome.But there’s a dark side to living in Beer City. Locavore’s guilt can keep me from straying too far from the ales brewed here in town. I think the bar managers in town suffer from the same guilt; most of the restaurants I frequent carry an extensive list of local beers, but not much else. Actually, it’s gotten to the point that most of the restaurants I frequent have their own damned brewery.So I was pleasantly surprised when I saddled up to a new bar in downtown and found this puppy on the beer list — a Blue Mountain Brewery Kolsch 151. I’m a fan of Blue Mountain’s Full Nelson Pale Ale, but the Kolsch was new to me. And it didn’t disappoint. Low hopped, light, crisp, and refreshing—everything you want in a Kolsch. And it doesn’t bother me one bit that it wasn’t made in my neighborhood.Follow Graham Averill’s adventures in drinking and Dad-hood at daddy-drinks.com
“A purple bike, huh?” a woman says to my four-year-old son who is showing off his brand-new-to-him bike decorated with Disney princesses, the one I paid fifteen dollars for at a local outdoor festival.“Rock the purple, you can pull off princesses,” she says.I change the conversation, hating the implication that riding a purple or pink bike is somehow a dig to his masculinity. Her comment rubs me the wrong way – he doesn’t need to ride harder, to prove himself to anyone to overcome a silly gender myth about color.Pink, and her cousin, purple, weren’t always associated with girls. In the 1700s men and women both wore pink. In l794, the French writer Xavier de Maistre recommended that men decorate their bedrooms in pink to brighten their moods.In the early 1900s, children clothing catalogues suggested girls wear blue because it’s, “much more delicate and dainty in tone.” The same catalogue recommended pink for boys “because it’s stronger and more passionate color, and because it is actually derived from red.”In 1925, the Gatsby himself in The Great Gatsby, wears a pink suit. Fifty years later, Robert Redford wears a version of that pink suit in the Boston Show.Later on in the century when pink became associated with women, the connotation of pink was no longer strong and passionate, but passive and delicate.I recoil from the idea that female-associated colors are somehow weaker. I don’t care if Tobin thinks pink and purple are girl colors, so long as he considers them emblems of fierceness and strength.I am raising my son to understand that superheroes don’t always wear capes. Some wear bikinis. He sees strong and capable role models wear pink and purple. Every day my son asks if we can practice riding his bike. He’s so proud to be riding without training wheels, but hasn’t quite gotten the hang of braking. His preferred method is riding as fast as he can down grassy hills and then crashing.“I bashed again,” he boasts.His favorite color is purple and he loves his new bike.I overhear him tell a new friend he met at the playground about it. “I got a new bike. It’s the one with women all over it,” he says, his voice full of pride.Having a purple bike doesn’t compromise his masculinity. At four, he already understands that powerful and strong women don’t diminish his sense of self. He spent on a month sailing on a boat skippered and crewed by females. More often than not, it’s a female voice he heard, reminding him of what he’s capable of, who whispered “go, get out there and try.” When he’s falls, most of the time a strong and capable women has extended her hand, helping him to his feet.My wish for him is to always surround himself with powerful people, both male and female. People who stand in their full power allow others the space to step up, encouraging us by their example to run in the direction of our boldest dreams, to become the most badass versions of ourselves.
Running My Heart To You Amy Blaschke Pitch Moon Bros. Copy and paste this code to your site to embed. 3:31 End Of The Line Tommy Womack 4:04 4:23 Audio PlayerTommy WomackEnd Of The LineUse Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.00:000:00 / 3:22 I’m A Memory Jeff Scroggins & Colorado Back To Houston Libby Koch 3:37 Prodigal Son Marley’s Ghost Auld Wives Bear’s Den There is a Fire National Park Radio Another Lonely Heart Fialta 4:27 3:22 4:18 Way Out Here Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer Embed Dead Birds The Way Down Wanderers 3:48 Lucky Guy Greg Humphreys Electric Trio River Run Cereus Bright Nothing Beyond This Northern Town Luke Whittemore 6:12 We’re a few days late in getting the July mix out and into your ears, but I think you’ll agree that the holiday break made the wait worthwhile.Featured this month is a track a band whose name sums up, perhaps more than any other, the Trail Mix experience – National Park Radio. This Arkansas quintet’s moniker so aptly brings to mind what this mix is all about – getting outside with music. It’s also perfectly fitting that National Park Radio’s blend of rootsy Americana and bluegrass meshes perfectly with what Trail Mix showcases each month. Check out “There is a Fire,” from the band’s debut record that drops later this month, on the mix.British folk trio Bear’s Den caught my ear late in 2014, when the band released its debut album, Islands. This month, Bear’s Den returns with its sophomore release, Red Earth & Pouring Rain, and the mix is happy to feature the first single from the record, “Auld Wives.”Cereus Bright, from Knoxville, Tennessee, is a band that has been on my radar for a while. Imagine my surprise when I realized that the band’s newest release, Excuses, was also its first. This is a band worth getting to know, and you can commence your introduction by checking out “River Run” right here.Of course, we are just scratching the surface so far. There’s still lots of great stuff to check out. New tunes from The Motet, J.D. Malone & The Experts, and The Way Down Wanderers await.Also, be sure to check out the new tunes from Moon Bros., Amy Blaschke, Ted C. Fox, Marley’s Ghost, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, Luke Whittemore, Greg Humphreys Electric Trio, Fialta, Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer, and Libby Koch.Stay tuned to the Trail Mix blog this month. Scheduled are chats with the guys behind Abide Drum Company, The Americans, Bear’s Den, and Tommy Womack.And, as always, seek out some of the records from these artists who have shared their music with Trail Mix. Dig a track? Buy a record. Go to a show. Tell a friend. Help spread the word about these musicians making great roots music. 5:02 Damn! The Motet 6:48 2:08 4:07 3:24 Town And Country J.D Malone And The Experts The Right Stuff The Americans 4:49 3:52 Migrant Sand Ted C Fox 4:39 3:31
“Bears do really well with underpasses, as do bobcats,” Hunter said. “White tailed deer will use culverts and underpasses if they are large enough. Elk, not so much. Elk like open landscapes and large structures. Elk like overpasses.” Now, a team of transportation officials and wildlife biologists are studying the corridor. Dr. Liz Hillard, a wildlife scientist with the Wildlands Network, is one of the lead scientists on the project, studying animal behavior and how they interact with the roadway. When Interstate 40 opened through the Pigeon River Gorge in 1968, the bear population was a fraction of what it is today. With an estimated population of more than 1,500 in the area today, bears are increasingly attempting to cross the road in search of food and habitat. “You want large parcels of land that are actually connected where the wildlife can traverse into another habitat for part of their annual cycle,” Rutledge said. “You have to not only expand your habitat but have quality habitat.” Bear, deer, and elk also pose a danger to the people driving through this mountainous landscape at high speeds. Over 26,000 vehicles pass through this corridor every day. “This property was a top conservation priority for us, and it will provide important permeability and connectivity for wildlife,” says Michelle Pugliese, Land Protection Director for SAHC. Dr. Ron Sutherland, chief scientist for the Wildlands Network, said he and his team are working on mapping a more extensive wildlife corridor that would extend from Everglades National Park to Quebec. And land trusts such as the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) are working with the coalition to buy available properties or secure conservation easements throughout the Interstate 40 corridor. SAHC has already purchased two key parcels in the corridor that could provide safe passage for wildlife. One of them, the Wilkins Creek tract—a 187-acre parcel in the Interstate 40 corridor—was just purchased last month using funds donated from a generous philanthropist. The property is across from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, adjacent to the Interstate 40 Welcome Center, and shares a half-mile border with Pisgah National Forest. Best of all, it already has two concrete box culverts that pass under Interstate 40 which wildlife can use to cross from the park to adjacent national forests. Hunter hopes the study will answer some important questions. “Where are animals being killed? Why? Is it the topography? Is it the ridges? Are they following streams? What is it about the landscape that the road cuts through that’s causing animals to be killed with greater frequency in some areas than others?” Safe Passage “These animals did not evolve with the road there,” said Jeff Hunter, senior program manager at the National Parks Conservation Association. “They’ve been moving across this landscape for millennia. These travel corridors are a learned behavior. Adults teach the young how to move through this landscape.” With this detailed location information, scientists will have a better understanding of where a new culvert or overpass might be beneficial or where an existing structure could be modified to work better. While the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has been doing some of this corridor work since the 1990s, there is now a push for larger-scale projects. Adding underpasses or overpasses would not only help animals safely cross major roadways but would also reduce the money spent on accidents and prevent future human injuries. A full-grown bull elk can weigh upwards of 900 pounds, causing more damage to cars and injuries to drivers than bears and deer. The study includes a GPS collaring program of 11 elk in the area. A satellite confirms the elk’s location every hour, allowing researchers to understand their movement patterns along these roadways, specifically where they’re crossing. “We’ll also learn how these roadways might be barriers to movement,” says Hilliard. “We’ll even be able to figure out seasonally and what months elk are more likely to be in roadways. “As it continues to get warmer, many species are going to want to migrate northward in this hemisphere and uphill to higher elevations,” Sutherland said. “So, keeping movement pathways open is how we let not just animals, but plants migrate to keep up with their acceptable climate conditions.” Although Interstate 40 runs 2,560 miles from the coast of North Carolina to California, a 28-mile stretch through the Smokies is the deadliest and most dangerous. The Smokies section of Interstate 40 winds through the Pigeon River Gorge and alongside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee and Pisgah National Forests. It’s one of the wildest spots on the map, and also one of the most heavily traveled by vehicles. The corridor is the intersection of wildlife habitat and human safety. For now, the Interstate 40 connectivity project will continue to collect data and study the best ways to implement solutions. The project is also a proactive attempt to prevent a similar situation from happening with the growing elk population. Elk had largely been eliminated from the landscape by the late 1700s until the species was reintroduced to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2001. “In the western United States and Canada, they’ve been doing habitat corridor work for a long time,” Rutledge said. “Now it’s heading east.” Hunter and Hillard are part of a coalition of stakeholders working on identifying hotspots where wildlife vehicle collisions are more likely to occur and finding solutions to prevent future damages. While the exact cost of wildlife crossings depends on the location and a number of other factors, building a new structure can cost millions of dollars. Researchers are looking at ways they can improve existing structures, such as adding fencing, to help keep costs down. Looking to the future, a more connected landscape will be important as climate change affects more habitats. The Interstate 40 project is only one part of a larger issue concerning habitat connectivity on the East Coast. “We have to be sure that we can put some funding mechanisms in place,” said Dr. Liz Rutledge, a wildlife specialist with the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. “Usually, that requires public support to get accomplished. This could be used as an example of how you can do conservation and habitat work in other areas of the state for other species. It’s a model of how you develop a network.” Bear collisions with vehicles are increasing, especially in places like Interstate 40 adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. What can be done to keep the roads safe for motorists and wildlife? While most road crossing projects focus on larger animals like bear and elk, there is less research being done on the smaller animals that are equally important to habitats and ecosystems. “If we can connect animals into a broader network of habitats, then they are much more likely to survive,” says Sutherland, “especially as more and more people move into Southern Appalachia.” Plans for the Eastern Wildway show a wildlife corridor connecting protected places like the Adirondacks, Shenandoah Valley, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Especially in an era of climate change, the ability of species to move across the landscape enables them to adapt and survive. “Nobody wants to see a species become inbred in a given park,” Sutherland said. “Maintaining the connections between these places allows genes to flow back and forth and allows populations to maintain healthy levels of genetic diversity.” From an ecological perspective, Interstate 40 probably never should have been built in its current location. It’s one of the most dangerous stretches of interstate anywhere in the U.S. It also bisects some of the most biologically diverse public lands and creates a major barrier to wildlife movement. Appalachia is the most important wildlife migration route in the country. this map shows the major animal migrations across the united states; animals rely on the wildlands of Appalachia more than anywhere else, which makes wildlife corridors even more important for this region. / map courtesy of the nature conservancy’s migrations in motion Down the Road “It’s harder to think about how we get box turtles, snakes, or salamanders across an I-40,” Sutherland said. “A chain linked fence doesn’t work very well to guide small animals to a wildlife crossing. It might work well for bear and elk, but a salamander would go right through it.” Once the data has been collected, researchers will work with transportation officials and other stakeholders to figure out how to blend the science, engineering, and economics. The coalition is looking at a variety of funding sources, from state and federal government funds to private donations. “Interstate 40 acts as barriers to animal movement, whether it’s reducing habitat connectivity or just increasing animal mortality,” she said. A report issued by the Federal Highway Administration estimated that over 300,000 vehicular accidents in the United States are caused by wildlife every year. These collisions result in more than $8.3 billion annually in car repairs, medical bills, and law enforcement services.
Here are 5 reasons it’s time to plan your summer vacation! For a great dinner al fresco, consider Billy’s or The Landing Restaurant, one tucked away as a downtown Roanoke garden paradise and the other overlooking Smith Mountain Lake. Need help planning your mountain bike adventure? Check out Roanoke Mountain Adventures and UnderDog Bikes for rentals and all kinds of useful information. You can always take me out to the ballgame, and a favorite is any time the Salem Red Sox happen to be playing. An amazing sunset plus a win for the home team is #winning. If beer is your thing, you can’t miss Microfestivus (August 10), an annual summer event and party in Downtown Roanoke celebrating 40 or more breweries and over 200 beers from Virginia and beyond. Cheers! Sunny days call for time on the water and we love launching a rented boat from Bridgewater Marina onto Smith Mountain Lake or a relaxing float on the James River with Twin River Outfitters. 2 – Cool Down on the Water Some people love the beach (us included!), while others long for a fresh mountain stream. Virginia’s Blue Ridge has both! Kayak, tube, or fish our favorite blueways, or boat the day away at Smith Mountain Lake. You could hit the beach at Smith Mountain Lake Community Park or paddle on over 100 miles of blueways to explore. We also have easy hikes leading to waterfalls that you have to try, like Roaring Run and its awesome natural waterslide. We also kick off the professional cyclocross season over Labor Day weekend with Virginia’s Blue Ridge Go Cross Race (August 31 & September 1) presented by Deschutes Brewery. It’s two great days of cyclocross racing and fun at Roanoke’s Fallon Park. See More: 25+ Great Outdoor Patios in Virginia’s Blue Ridge For a more controlled time in the water, consider Roanoke County’s Splash Valley Water Park. Slides, tipping buckets, and pools create an environment great for trailsetters of all ages. 4 – Keep the KidsEntertained Thrilling downhills are the pay-off for incredible climbs in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital. In fact, Virginia’s Blue Ridge has been named a Silver-Level Ride Center™ by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, making it the only such designated ride center on the East Coast. We hope you choose your own path this summer in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Get out there and be a #Trailsetter. Summertime is festival season in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. FloydFest (July 24-28) is our version of Woodstock, except it’s high in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s been named one of the best music festivals in the country and is an unforgettable experience! If wine is more your thing, you’ll adore Valhalla Vineyards, Blue Ridge Vineyard, and Chateau Morrisette. Vast expanses of view shed coupled with award-winning wine equals a day well spent. Bounce out some extra energy at Launching Pad, our local trampoline park. Or feed the adrenaline beast within when you tackle River Rock Climbing, an award-winning indoor climbing gym. We also love the Virginia Museum of Transportation, the best place to not only spot trains but climb aboard, too. 1 – Summer Festivals& Events We think you and your younger trailsetters will love some of our favorite places, like Center in the Square, a hub for education that also boasts excitement for multiple generations. From getting hands-on with science to pretend play at the Children’s Museum and old school shooting at the Roanoke Pinball Museum, it’s a place for parents, grands, and even great-grands to enjoy. From the beautiful outdoor space at Ballast Point to the downtown beer garden at Big Lick Brewing Company, you’ll certainly want to spend time sipping suds with your favorite buds on our brewery patios in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. 5 – It’s Patio Season 3 – America’s EastCoast Mountain Biking Capital Whether you’re traveling with kids, solo, or somewhere inbetween, we have five reasons a summer visit to the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’sBlue Ridge is just what you need. Be a #Trailsetterand find your next adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains.