New Trails in Virginia’s New River Valley

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, VA – Virginia’s New River Valley completes the last portion of the 10-mile Huckleberry Trail.

The Huckleberry Trail runs from northwest Blacksburg all the way to the Christiansburg Recreation Center and Christiansburg High School. The newest portion of the trail connects to Brush Mountain in northwest Montgomery County where mountain bikers will be able to utilize the newly opened Blacksburg Rotary Mountain Bike Park, located at the south end of the trail.

The trail is great for biking, running, walking, and taking in the sites of historic New River Valley such as Merrimac Mine Heritage Park, which pays tribute to the old mining company town.

To read more about more upcoming outdoor recreation opportunties, read Su Clauson-Wicker’s articles of Blue Ridge Country.

###

Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

NRV Towns Voted Happiest in Blue Ridge

Date:  October 28, 2016

New River Valley, VA – This summer, five towns (technically four towns and one city) were voted to top spots in the Happiest Mountain Towns reader poll by Blue Ridge Country magazine.  Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, Floyd, and Pulaski all received top honors in the magazine’s rankings which used quantitative data like unemployment rates and commute times as a baseline, but also accounted for readers’ passions for their hometowns.

The initial 96 towns were whittled down to 61 for readers to choose from, and the coverage area included the mountain regions of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and South Carolina.  Blue Ridge Country vetted the 61 initial choices by setting “minimum happiness-base standards” (i.e. a commute of <30 minutes, a below-average cost-of-living, unemployment rate below 10%, etc.), but then left the poll open for readers all over the nation to vote for their favorites.

In the 10,000-49,999 category, three New River Valley towns cracked the top twenty: Blacksburg (#6)Christiansburg (#17), and Radford (#18).  Blacksburg and Christiansburg, both located in Montgomery County, are strongly affiliated with Virginia Tech and the many companies that have spun-off from or located near the research university.  Radford, of course, is closely tied to Radford University and its award-winning business, nursing, education, and liberal arts programs.

All three places boast a low cost-of-living, easy accessibility to the outdoors (the 7-mile Huckleberry Trail connects Blacksburg and Christiansburg and the New River snakes its way along the edge of Radford’s downtown and campus corridor), and a strong arts community.

Floyd (#3) and Pulaski (#26) clinched a top spots in the <10,000 category.  Heralded by Southern Living as one of the South’s Best Small Towns, the top tier ranking is no surprise.  What Floyd lacks in numbers, it makes up for with style, small town charm, and impactful events.  Floyd’s innovative business climate offers start-ups, entrepreneurial ventures, and artisanal producers a welcoming place to do business.

Pulaski, a former furniture and textile manufacturing town, has undergone a massive revitalization initiative including the renovation of the Jackson Park Inn, clean-up of Peak Creek, and improvements to Calfee Park, the ninth oldest professional Minor League Baseball Park in use in America.  While many diverse manufacturing jobs still exist in Pulaski, other home-grown business are sprouting up and the town is working to attract a mix of industries.

Both towns offer unlimited outdoor recreation opportunities like paddleboarding the Little River, biking the New River Trail State Park, or hiking the region’s trails.  They also both promote large community farmers markets and music-oriented events like the Floyd County Store Friday Night Jamboree.

To learn more about the poll, its methodology, and to see how the New River Valley stacks up, visit Blue Ridge Country.