- Backpacker magazine and The Outdoor Foundation rank Harrisonburg in the top 15 cities in America to raise an outdoor child!
- Harrisonburg, just 18 miles west of the trail, is an Appalachian Trail Community, committed to promoting and protecting the trail and frequently visited by by hikers and other nature-lovers. Read about ‘The Friendly City’ in AT Journeys magazine.
thrift store fun
Welcome to the Shenandoah Valley!
Come to EMU in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and ski at Massanutten Resort, take in a D.C. concert, or hike in Shenandoah National Park. Whatever your tastes, EMU is close to major East Coast cities and only minutes to spectacular outdoor recreation.
With eight colleges within 50 miles of each other, student life in our region is booming. In Harrisonburg alone there is plenty to do: farmers markets, movie theaters, parks, skiing, arboretums, churches, events and festivals. And our campus is less than an hour from two national forests and Shenandoah National Park!
Shenandoah Valley and regional info
- City of Staunton
- Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton
- City of Charlottesville
- Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of the United States
- Montpelier, the home of James Madison, the 4th President of the United States
EMU is less than an hour from two national forests and Shenandoah National Park. Learn more about our area…
- Appalachian Trail
- George Washington National Forest
- Shenandoah National Park
- Water Park at Massanutten
- Ski Massanutten
- Ski Wintergreen
- Virginia State Parks
Harrisonburg – ‘Best Biking Community’
Harrisonburg is the unofficial biking capital of the Shenandoah Valley, according to Blue Ridge Outdoors. The city of Harrisonburg was picked as one of “America’s Top Mountain Biking Towns,” by USA Today, and was named a 2012 bronze-level ride center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and top bike-friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists. The League also conferred a bronze award on EMU, making EMU the third university in Virginia to be recognized as a “bicycle friendly university.”
Read more about the City of Harrisonburg here
Life in the Valley
There’s a vibrant community at play and at work in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. EMU students enjoy biking, hiking, hunting, skiing, rock-climbing, canoeing, and just hanging out under typically blue skies. Want to be inside? Take in a concert, shop at Harrisonburg’s classic thrift stores, and catch up over coffee.
Here are some student favorites, photographed by EMU students and alumni…