Narrows Completes RALLY Southwest Virginia Project

Narrows Completes RALLY Southwest Virginia Project


Giles County, VA- RALLY Southwest Virginia is building community leadership capacity and reinforcing collaborative communities across the region of Southwest Virginia. The region consisting of 19 counties from Giles to the far southwest counties in Virginia, has embraced this program and others to find creative outlets for suppressed economies and the revitalization for downtown areas.


The Town of Narrows is the first community in the New River Valley to participate in this new mini-grant program, facilitated by Opportunity SWVA. The mini-grant program provides a $3,000 award to communities to implement a community development project through a team structure. The team in Narrows is comprised of citizens, small business owners, town staff, and county representatives. The group gathered for the initial meeting early in 2017 to discuss the potential of the RALLY program and begin brainstorming how this mini-grant could be utilized to support ongoing development efforts in Narrows.


Opportunity SWVA logo


Since March of this year a group of local leaders have planned and implemented multiple mini-projects that will soon complete their RALLY Project. The final presentation will happen at the Narrows Fall Festival on October 28. The festival will run from noon until 8:00pm, with a special RALLY presentation at 1:45pm. The presentation will unveil a new downtown sign directing residents and visitors to the multiple community and outdoor assets in the community that is cohesive with the Giles and New River Water Trail signage for familiarity and to continue to foster collaboration.

Narrows Metal Sign RALLY project 2017


The sign is housed in a new kiosk designed and built as part of a local young man’s Eagle Scout project. In addition to the kiosk at the Duck Pond, the RALLY group identified buildings throughout downtown to install large pictures highlighting the recreational opportunities within the nearby area. The pictures were provided by local citizens and the Town orchestrated a photo contest to add to the collection.


The pictures are installed throughout downtown in an attempt to also highlight the space available for future business locations. The local group worked with building owners to share that part of this process was to communicate availability of space for business. In addition the New River Valley Regional Commission assisted with pulling together resources and information that potential businesses would need through their startup or expansion process. This printed packet will be available at the Narrows Town Hall as well as downloadable on their website. On October 28 to draw attention to the RALLY components and provide an activity for guests at the Fall Festival, the RALLY group has facilitated a Scavenger Hunt with prizes to be awarded.


Local committee hanging signs in Narrows 2017


The sign, the pictures, and the kiosk combined to complete the Narrows RALLY project. The local RALLY group identified that these actions would help draw attention to the community for positive development and usage of the surrounding natural resources. In addition to the RALLY presentation the Narrows Fall Festival will feature knockerball, kids games, a bouncy house, face painting, a corn hole tournament, and disc golf tournament at Camp Success along the New River. The festival goers will enjoy live music all day with performances by 90 Proof, Destiny Quartet, Melanie Vaught, Chad Robertson & Corey Lowe, Giles County School of Dance, and Dance Motion. Street and food vendors along Main Street from noon until 8pm. To round out the evening there will be a Street Dance beginning at 6pm featuring The Cadillac Ranch Band. The Narrows Fall Festival is presented in partnership by the Narrows Recreation Department and FNBP-Narrows. More information can be found on their Facebook event page.




For more information or to schedule an interview prior to or the day of the Narrows Fall Festival, please contact Cora Gnegy, Tourism Marketing Director. For additional information on RALLY Southwest Virginia please feel free to contact Robyn Lee at 276-376-3453 or




Giles County, Virginia is located in Southwest Virginia approximately 40 minutes south of Roanoke and just west of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech. With easy access to the New River, world class dining and lodging properties, and historical attractions for the entire family, Giles offers adventure in Virginia’s Mountain Playground™. Come find your playground at our Visitors Center located at 203 N Main Street, Pearisburg, VA 24134 or find us online at or by calling 540-921-2079. For interviews or onsite visits, please contact Cora Gnegy, Tourism Marketing Director. We can arrange and assist with any media needs. For more information about planning your visit to Giles County or about activities and events, please visit or contact us at

Bicycling, Mountain Biking, & More along the NRWT

Bicycling, Mountain Biking, & More in Giles


Tucked in Southwest Virginia with easy access from major cities and interstates, Giles County, Virginia bodes well for your cycling destination. The rural county with a population of just under 17,000 people, has 37 miles of the New River Water Trail, 62 miles of the Appalachian Trail, 92 square miles of Jefferson National Forest, and five small towns to enjoy. Road cyclists, mountain bikers, competitive riders, leisure riders, all can find their adventure in Giles. The New River Valley has an organized group of cyclists that support route development and promote cycling through the region. The New River Valley Bicycle Association boasts that they support some of the best riding, ‘with scenic valleys, rolling hills, challenging climbs, and (often) low traffic.’


In Giles County you need to add the Town of Narrows to your riding destination list. The Town is situated along Route 460, at the junction of Route 61, the newly designated Twin Depots Scenic Trail. There you will also find access to the New River, Mill Creek, and Wolf Creek. This charming town is home to an historic hotel, The MacArthur Inn, the county’s only brewing company, Right Turn, Clyde Brewing, and a local deli, the Blue Moon Café. Narrows is naturally beautiful and a natural place to stay, shop, and serve as base camp for your ride. In the fall the roadways and surrounding mountains burst with colors enticing you to explore this small Americana hometown. Right Turn Clyde often hosts food trucks out front of their establishment, or you can grab a quick bite at the Blue Moon Café. Resting at the Town Park or by the Duck Pond to listen to the sound of Wolf Creek tumbling onto the New, heightens the connection with your surroundings.


Right turn Clyde
Photo by Nathan Cooke

Road Routes in Every Direction

Route 61 is a vehicle traffic road but sits on the route of an old railroad. This makes the Bluefield Century Loop one of the flattest and fasted in the region. The 100.8 mile century loop starts at the Narrows Town Park. There is parking, open restrooms, even a playground and swimming hole in Wolf Creek. Enjoy shade under sycamore trees and picnic beside sweetgum saplings. Traveling down Route 61 on the last part of your trip, you ride alongside Wolf Creek on a gentle slope. The entire loop has rolling hills with one long climb. Historical tidbit, at approximately mile 92 on Route 61 on a side road running parallel, you will find marked graves of the first white settlers in the region.  Another worthy road route is the Elgood Loop. Also starting at the Narrow Town Park off of Monroe Street, just past the downtown business district, this 44.5 mile loop takes the rider west towards Glen Lyn and the West Virginia line. The terrain is explained as ‘long, steep climbs, and switchbacks’ by the New River Valley Bicycle Association.

In Glen Lyn, approximately eight miles away, a new trail system at the Town Park and Campground offers riders plenty of options. There is a convenience store and gas station nearby to refuel and head onto the campground which also borders the New River Water Trail. The Moore Trail is a 4.5 mile paved trail around the open grounds of the park. The newly established Mary Ingles Trail (the MIT) follows the New River downstream for approximately 7 miles before entering into West Virginia. This out and back off-road trail is flat and well maintained. This is one of the few places you can bike alongside New River in a totally undeveloped area. Riders won’t see cars, trains, or electrical lines. They might pass another trail user or see a raft of fishermen floating on the waterway.

Getting Technical on Single Track

Coming back into Narrows, the mountain biking enthusiast can’t miss one of the best trail systems in the region. ‘Up Mill Creek’ as many say, riders will find over 20 miles of trails, plus three waterfalls, and a native trout stream. The Mill Creek Nature Park can be found by turning onto Route 100 in Narrows, then turning onto Northview Street. Traveling to the end of the road, pull into the dirt road and large parking area. From here you can review a map of the property and trails or download one before from the Town of Narrows website. The area has a picnic pavilion and open space to enjoy. Historical tidbit, one of the oldest engineered structures in the region is the dam on Mill Creek at the Appalachian Spur Trail and shelter, a short walk from the parking area. Fall foliage and wildlife abound in the woods and grassy field at Mill Creek. Mountain bikers will find tight single track and accessible double track, with options in-between at this property that is free and open to the public. This area, much like what you will find in the region has no shortage of mountain views, tumbling streams, and vistas to enjoy. Mill Creek Nature Park does have some steep and technical trails that are identified on the map, but worth the attempt.

Mountain biking at Mill Creek Nature Park


Just under 19 miles away, mountain bikers can also enjoy the Mountain Lake Wilderness and the off-road action in this vast wilderness area. Visitors to this area can purchase a parking pass and connect with the Mountain Lake Outfitters for maps and suggested routes. This area has over 22 miles of trails throughout the 2,600 acre Wilderness. While at Mountain Lake enjoy Stoney Creek Tavern or Harvest Restaurant. The Mountain Lake Outfitters has rentals available, expanding beyond mountain bikes to include, disc golf equipment and orienteering equipment. Historical tidbit, the film Dirty Dancing was filmed at Mountain Lake 30 years ago.

Competitive Spirit

Giles County is home to multiple spring cycling events that may entice you to come and play. The Spring Up Wolf Creek is hosted by the Narrows Lions Club and is held every spring. The ride is an out and back and follows the Twin Depots Scenic Trail, also known as Route 61. Total distance is 42 miles of flat, flat, flat beautiful spring surroundings. This annual event is great for all riders, families included. The Mountains of Misery bike ride event is a challenging, timed event starting and ending at the Newport Recreation Center on the eastern side of the county. This popular century and double century ride sells out fast and is always a popular late spring event.


Planning Your Trip

Take time to enjoy Giles County and the many parks and scenic roadways. The five charming towns, Pembroke, Pearisburg, Narrows, Rich Creek, and Glen Lyn all have public parks to enjoy loop or out and back rides. In the town of Pearisburg you will find ample public parking and residential areas connecting you to the Town Park that also features a one mile River Sculpture Trail. This trail has five permanently installed sculptures created by local and regional artists and made entirely out of debris collected from the New River during the ReNew the New cleanup event. Riders will find Whitt-Riverbend Park just outside of town limits. Parking is available at the Ripplemead Boat Landing, along the New River Water Trail. Restrooms are also available. The park has a paved loop trail and an off-road trail right alongside the New River. Riding from town down to the park is a short 4.5 mile trek, but has a steep grade descending in the park area. In the Village of Newport riders can enjoy access to Route 42, a scenic byway with plenty of parking at the Village Green or Recreation Center. Super Val-U Grocery has Visitor Guides mapping the 30 mile ride to New Castle and back. Swing past the Sinking Covered Bridge on route 601 for a photo and to sign the guest book.

Fishing at The Narrows Town Park

The Town of Narrows in Giles County, Virginia is a must to visit for your biking adventure. One local enthusiast has said Giles has both ends of the spectrum. Something for those looking for ‘easy relaxed’ and ‘adrenaline junkie.’ There are a multitude of resources to help plan your trip to Virginia’s Mountain Playground™. We look forward to seeing you cruise the backroads, enjoy technical terrain, or explore our community parks and public places. To plan your trip, visit these resources:

SWVA Bike logo