Photo courtesy University of Mary Washington Athletic Department.
Whether your idea of a sporty day is sipping a soda from a comfortable seat for nine innings or lacing up your running shoes to set a new personal record, the Fredericksburg region is a great place for sports fans and athletes alike.
Here are 7 ways to watch and participate in sports in the Fredericksburg region this spring.
1. University of Mary Washington Baseball games – Taking in a game at V. Earl Dickinson Stadium is a springtime treat. The stadium is within walking distance of UMW’s main campus and Downtown Fredericksburg’s shops and restaurants. From now until the Colonial Athletic Conference Tournament begins in April, the Eagles have five home games on the schedule. For the full UMW experience, take a stroll around the university’s beautiful campus before the game, walk through the nearby neighborhoods to get to the stadium, and then walk down Hanover Street afterward to dine at Sunken Well Tavern, a favorite local haunt run by UMW grads (one of whom played basketball for the school).
2. Golf – Coming to the Fredericksburg region? Bring your golf clubs. The area has a wealth of golf courses spread out so that you can fit a game into any itinerary. In Stafford County, Augustine Golf Club is ranged among the top 100 courses in the U.S., while The Gauntlet Golf Club offers an experience within the scenic Hartwood area of the county, along the shores of Curtis Lake. In Spotsylvania County, Lee’s Hill Golfers’ Club offers xxx. If mini-golf is more your speed, head to Wilderness Presidential Resort, whose 18-hole mini-golf course is open to the public.
3. The Marine Corps Historic Half – This race has developed a reputation as one of the toughest half-marathon courses around, with two giant hills to conquer after the 10-mile marker. It’s hard to lose enthusiasm, though, when you’re being cheered along by a course lined with Marines and cheering Fredericksburg residents. This year’s Historic Half takes place on May 19, 2017. In addition to the 13.1-mile race, there will also be a 5-mile race that starts in Downtown Fredericksburg and ends at the Fredericksburg Expo and Convention Center. This is a great excuse to spend a weekend in Fredericksburg and reward yourself with food from some of the area’s excellent restaurants. Cannon Run, a 4 mile run along the Rappahannock, takes place September 10. This inaugural race is part of Stafford County’s 10 Year celebration of Yankees in Falmouth. Find more information here.
4. Fishing – The Rappahannock River is the longest free-flowing river in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In March and April, it’s a popular destination for anglers in pursuit of the annual shad run upstream. In addition to the Rappahannock, you’ll also find great fishing opportunities at Lake Anna and on the Potomac River, as well as on lesser-known fishing holes such as Motts Run Reservoir, Ni River and Hunting Run reservoirs and Abel Reservoir. See this post for insider tips on fly fishing in the Fredericksburg region.
5. Dominion Raceway – This is the newest addition to the spectator sporting lineup in the Fredericksburg region. Find all the details here. Opened in 2016, Dominion Raceway has hosted weekly races in NASCAR’s Home Track Series, as well as NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series. Featuring three motorsports tracks, an outdoor concerts venue, 10 acre retail center and a 33 acre commercial center, Dominion Raceway and Entertainment is centrally located between the National Capital Region and our state capitol in Richmond. The main 36,600 square foot complex hosts corporate events, commercial product releases, a restaurant and live music.
6. Cycling and off-road biking – The Fredericksburg region is an excellent place to explore on two wheels. For an off-road experience, check out the Battle at the Quarry on May 7. This off-road event takes advantage of the Quarry Trails that run along the Rappahannock River upstream of the Virginia Outdoor Center. These trails are accessible to the public and are a hidden local secret for mountain bikers and trail runners. Cyclists should check out this post for a long list of resources for biking in the Fredericksburg region.
7. Adventure in the trees - The Adventure Course at Wilderness Presidential Resort has been closed for the winter, but you can test your mettle on the ropes when it opens March 26 and 27, and then begins staying open on weekends starting April 30. This course takes the intrepid (and harnessed) visitor over tightropes and swinging bridges, across a suspended spider web and, most importantly, zooming down a 150-foot zipline. There are no age limits, but climbers must be between 40 and 250 pounds.