Outdoor Recreation Activities


Franklin County Mountain Bike Club

Kids who are interested in mountain biking should consider participating in this free club. Kids younger than 9 are allowed with parental participation. Practice is held Saturdays at Waid Park. This non-competitive club is all about fun. Bike handling techniques and safety considerations will be the primary focus. This club is intended for beginner to intermediate riders. A limited supply of mountain bikes are available for use thanks to the Virginia Outdoors Foundation grant. Please contact Parks & Recreation as soon as possible to reserve a bike. A wait list will be generated. Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 3, 2024

Saturdays in October & 1st Saturday in November9:30 am - 11:30 amWaid Park9 - 15FREEundefined Opens in new window

Balance Bike Bonanza

Studies have shown introducing children to cycling at an early age can help with gross and fine motor skills development as well as speech, behavioral and social skills development. But really, it’s just about having fun! Join us at the Essig Recreation Center for a safe, fun and warm learning environment for your child, 5 & under, to give a balance bike a try. Bring your own or try out a demo bike. No registration is required. Drop in anytime! 

Saturday, December 210:00 am - 12:00 pmEssig Center5 & underFREE

Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day

Beginner, intermediate and advanced group rides will begin at 10:00 am. We’ll warm up on the skills loop prior to heading out for an ability-specific group ride. The International Mountain Biking Association’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day is an annual event that seeks to introduce the joy of mountain biking to the next generation. Recognized by the U.S. Congress it is officially celebrated every year on the first Saturday in October. Franklin County Parks & Recreation Mountain Bike Club will be hosting this fun event. Feel free to come and ride at your own pace. All youth who have not registered for Mountain Bike Club should be accompanied by a supervisory adult. Questions: Matt Ross, Outdoor Recreation Manager at 540-483-9293

Saturday, October 710:00 am - 12:00 pmWaid ParkFREE

Youth Mountain Bike Race (Adaptive Course Option Available) 

Join the Franklin County Mountain Bike Club as they host their 3rd youth race. Now offering an adaptive course option for individuals who would prefer to stay on the ADA trail system. This noncompetitive race will offer finisher prizes and is a perfect course for the first time racer. Day of registration onsite. Please arrive by 9:30 am. 

Saturday, November 410:00 am - 12:00 pmWaid Park16 & UnderFREE

The Gravel Gathering

Sample some of Franklin County’s finest gravel. Three supported rides of various lengths and difficulties will be available. Friday and Saturday night camping is included with registration. Contact Parks and Recreation at 540-483-9293 to reserve your RV or tent site. Driftwood Catering food truck will be onsite for Saturday dinner. Seph Custer and Deep Creek will be playing a full set throughout the evening. Log onto: www.bikesignup.com/Race/VA/Henry/GreatGravelGathering for all the details and to register.

November 10 - 12Jamison Mill CampgroundEarly registration incentive. First 20 registrations only $20.00 then up to $50.00. After October 27th, $60.00
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Walks By Water Hiking Series

During this four week series, you will have the opportunity to explore four distinct trail systems with glimpses of water throughout. Program includes transportation and leadership. Shuttle departs from the Essig Recreation Center at 8:30 am and is limited to 10 participants. The four hikes will include Rock Castle Gorge, Bottom Creek Gorge, Dogwood Glen/Jamison Mill trails and the Smith Mountain Lake Community Park trail, followed by a trip to Homestead Creamery. Registration Deadline: Tuesday, September 5, 2023 

Wednesdays in September8:30 am am - 12:30 pm16 & Up$35undefined Opens in new window

Colorful Trails Hiking Series

Color is beginning to pop. Take a closer look and explore four unique trail systems to find out which is the most colorful. Program includes transportation and leadership. Shuttle departs from the Essig Recreation Center at 8:30 am and is limited to 10 participants. This series will include hiking at Booker T. Washington, Mountain Laurel, Rocky Knob and IC DeHart. Registration Deadline: Monday, October 2, 2023

Wednesdays in October8:30 am am - 12:30 pm16 & Up$35undefined Opens in new window

Waid Park Every Trail Series

Have you explored all 16 miles of hiking trails at Waid Park? Throughout this four week program you will have the opportunity to do just that. Trails range in difficulty from easy to challenging. Hikes will maintain a casual group pace. Participants meet at large gravel parking lot. Registration Deadline: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Mondays in November8:30 am - 12:30 pmWaid Park16 & Up$30undefined Opens in new window

Creek Freaks New Years Day Float

Join the Creek Freaks for a New Years tradition. This is an exhilarating way to start the new year. Dress appropriately for the weather and bring your own boat. Please meet at the location announced on the Franklin County Creek Freaks facebook page on or after December 1st. PFD’s are mandatory. Questions: Matt Ross, Outdoor Recreation Manager at 540-483-9293 


Monday, January 1

12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

All (14 & under must be accompanied by an adult)