Weekend Pick: Ride the Guest River Gorge or Blue Suck Falls Trails

first_imgSeptember can be a magical time in the Blue Ridge. Just this morning, we awoke to temperatures in the mid-60s, giving us just a taste of fall before the mercury rises into the standard 80-degree range. Of course, we could still see a scorcher or two before autumn sets in with earnest, but peak summer is behind us for the most part. But as we transition into the fall recreation season, this does not mean you need to pack the swim trunks in the attic. There are still plenty of opportunities to get your refreshing dip on in the mountains. In fact, it’s the perfect time of year to make a swimming hole your trail destination. Start in the morning when the air is crisp and cool, and by the time you work up a sweat and make it to the river or waterfall, it will be warm enough to jump in and cool off. What could be better than that?Luckily, here in the shadow of the Appalachians, nearly all trails lead to, or through, some sort of water feature. Hiking into these beautiful places is fine and dandy, but if you have a mountain bike, riding in only adds to the adventure. Plus, air drying is a snap on the first downhill. We put the spotlight on biking to waterfalls in our September feature Wheels and Waterfalls. North Carolina’s DuPont State Forest was the focus – it is the “Land of Waterfalls” after all, and a mountain biking hotspot – but there are plenty of other places to ride to waterfalls in the northern region as well. Whether you are an expert in the saddle or are just looking for a leisurely pedal, there is something for everyone.For the advanced rider, check out Blue Suck Falls near Millboro, Virginia. This 4.5-mile singletrack loop in Douthat State Park has everything: steep climbs, steep downhills, and scenic views. If you are looking for a gentler, more family-friendly ride, head a little further south to the Guest River Gorge Trail outside Coeburn, Virginia. This rail trail traces the path of the river providing scenic views of rock bluffs, hardwood forests, and waterfalls. Either option is a great way to take advantage of cool morning temps and hotter afternoons.View Larger Maplast_img read more

Volleyball Picked Eighth In MVC Preseason Poll

first_imgST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Drake University volleyball team has been picked to finish eighth in the Missouri Valley Conference according the league’s annual preseason poll. Defending champion Wichita State was projected as the top team as voted on by the league’s coaches.The Bulldogs enter their fourth season under head coach Darrin McBroom as the program continues its upward trend with five returning starters from the 2015 season.Last season, the Bulldogs finished with a 15-20 record and a 6-12 record in MVC action to narrowly miss earning an MVC Tournament berth in seventh place. The team’s 15 wins were its most since the 2010 season and the team returns three hitters that recorded more than 200 kills last season.Junior Kyla Inderski (Urbandale, Iowa) leads that group after posting 350 kills in 2015 as did senior Makena Schoene (Seattle, Wash.). Sophomore Grace Schofield (Mundelein, Ill.) also returns after an impressive freshman season in which she notched 249 kills. Setter Chandelle Davidson (Gretna, Neb.) also returns at setter after posting 591 assists while splitting time at the position. The team’s defense is bolstered by veteran libero Michelle Thommi (Omaha, Neb.) who led the team in digs with 453 in 2015.Added to that group are five talented newcomers that McBroom anticipates will continue to elevate the Bulldogs’ on-court performance as the season progresses.The team begins the 2016 campaign on Aug. 26 with the first of four games at the Florida Atlantic Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla. There the Bulldogs will face Northeastern, North Florida, Bethune-Cookman and host Florida Atlantic. The team’s home schedule begins on Aug. 30 against South Dakota State for a 6 p.m. match at the Knapp Center.2016 MVC Preseason PollRank Team (1st-place votes), Points 1. Wichita State (7), 97 2. Missouri State (1), 85 3. Southern Illinois (1), 82 4. UNI (1), 72 5. Illinois State, 57 6. Loyola, 50 7. Indiana State, 41 8. Drake, 33 9. Bradley, 18 10. Evansville, 15Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more