Setting the Hook: Fishing & Festival Destinations in the South River Watershed

Acclaimed “trout central in the Old Dominion,” the South River waterway through Waynesboro lures visitors with the perfect combination of greenways, trout fisheries, kayak floats, and downtown dining. With a stunning lineup of river-focused festivals and educational offerings, we’re setting the hook. Whether you’re new to fly fishing or passionate about the cold, clear streams of the Shenandoah Valley, this season serves up South River adventures for all.

South River & Fly Fishing Events

Photo courtesy South River Fly Shop

Cast your line for back-to-back weekends of river fun. Some of the best fly fishing in the Valley is right downtown in Waynesboro’s Urban Trout Fishery, where Shenandoah Valley Trout Unlimited has partnered with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to build trout habitat structures and an ongoing conservation legacy.

For an inviting welcome to this destination fishery, join these educational festivals on the banks of the South River. They pair perfectly with river strolls and evening dining beneath the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Fly Fishing Expo — April 27 & 28

Held on the banks of the South River along the greenway in downtown Waynesboro, this two-day festival features schedule-packed, multi-tent presentations to improve and inspire your fly fishing. Learn from the experts with classes on fly casting techniques, kayak fly fishing rigging, four seasons fly fishing, Shenandoah watershed Brookies and Bronzebacks and more.

The South River is a popular destination for fly anglers due to the great fly fishing opportunities and ease of access. One of the goals of the Expo is to provide funding for continued conservation habitat improvements on this great fishery, ensuring that the tips you learn can be applied to exceptional fishing for years to come.

Riverfest — May 4th

Riverfest, Saturday Apri. 30, 2015. (Photo by Norm Shafer).

This on-the-river festival features Reptile World shows, Stream Safari, presentations by the Wildlife Center of Virginia, Fish and Fun Rodeo, canoe rides, kids arts & crafts, stream electro-fishing with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and the always captivating Great South River Duck Race. Dedicated to environmental conservation and watershed stewardship in the Shenandoah River Basin, this family-friendly event promises interactive and educational activities for children of all ages and young-at-heart adults. Check out their full schedule for opportunities to participate in live fish species identification, learn frog calls, and meet the non-releasable falcons of the Virginia Wildlife Center.

Float the Waynesboro Water Trail

Riverfest, Saturday Apri. 30, 2015. (Photo by Norm Shafer).

If you prefer boats over banks for river exploration, the new Waynesboro Water Trail spans a scenie four-mile stretch of the South River with convenient boat ramps at Ridgeview Park and Basic City Park. With Class I and Class II rapids, this stretch offers the perfect mix of trout habitat, beginner-level paddling, and mid-way take outs for shorter float options. Connecting a downtown greenway and four separate city parks, this water trail is open every day sunrise to sunset.

Guides & Outfitters

Tommy Lawhorne works with Robert Dillard, of Winston Salem, N.C. during a guided fishing trip on the South River South River in Waynesboro, Va., Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. (Photo by Norm Shafer).

With half-day and all-day guided services along the South River, as well as expeditions for Shenandoah National Park Native Brook Trout and James River Smallmouth Bass, the South River Fly Shop offers full-service guides that introduce participants to premier fishing locations, providing expert instruction and ensuring that fishing gear is in tip-top form. Their helpful staff can also update you on the latest license requirements and delayed-harvest fishing regulations.

For independent adventurers ready to explore Shenandoah Valley trout streams and regional river floats, local outfitters Rockfish Gap and South River Fly Shop supply kayaks, fishing poles and equipment, bicycles, backpacks, and camping gear. With both sales and rental options available, their family-friendly services will have you floating in no time.

Whether wading, floating, or sitting on the river bank, reel in memories for years to come along the South River waterway.

Top 6 Can’t-Miss Family Fun Activities for Spring

The redbuds are blooming, and spring is bursting with opportunities to celebrate the season. Our top six family fun offerings will have the young and young at heart in your life exploring the outdoors, cheering to musicals, and safely meeting the region’s wildlife. Not to be forgotten, we’ve included fur-ball friendly adventures for man’s best friend, plus spring-themed beverages for adults along for the ride. Don’t miss these gorgeous days of mountain air filled with small town charm.

Alice in Wonderland the Musical–April 13 & 14

Head down the rabbit hole with zany characters, mad tea parties, and flamingo croquet in this new musical version of the timeless classic Alice in Wonderland. The ever-curious Alice, the White Rabbit, tap-dancing playing cards, the Mad Hatter, the mysterious Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts, and all your favorites from Lewis Carroll’s beloved books take the stage to make this a magical, tuneful, and over-the-top entertaining musical for the whole family.

Alice in Wonderland will be presented by the Wayne Theatre with a student cast in two shows on Saturday, April 13, at 7 p.m., and on Sunday, April 14, at 3 p.m. Tickets to the musical are $5 for students and $12 for adults.

Hoppy Easter Extravaganza–April 14

It’s a Hoppy Easter at Stable Craft Brewing this year, as fun-filled family celebrations are topped off with a Jelly Bean IPA for parents. Doors open at noon, with all-afternoon festivities including Easter Egg Decorating (3-6pm), live music from (1-4pm), Easter themed races and prizes, a chance to meet the horses, and S’mores and Sunsets from 4pm till closing.

With a full tap room, a pub-style restaurant, and on-farm stables, Stable Craft Brewing offers a scenic and authentic setting to explore hops fields and to peek inside the on-site brewing process. Hoppy Easter, all!

Parkway Discovery–Starting April 26

 

 

 

 

 

The vistas from the Blue Ridge Parkway never fail to wow drivers, but young explorers in the backseat sometimes miss out on the experience. On April 26, the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center (milepost 5.8) will open for the season, offering kids the chance to explore a mountain farm and pick up a Junior Ranger packet to earn an official BRP patch. Within minutes of the visitor center, short but rewarding hikes welcome families–like Greenstone Trail (with unique geology), Ravens Roost (with cool rocks for climbing), and Catoctin Trail (with a thrilling view at the end). Make your enjoyment of this scenic byway a family affair!

Mutts Gone Nuts–April 26

Disorderly duo Scott and Joan Houghton and their hilarious pack of pooches have created a comedy dog thrill show like no other. Expect the unexpected in this top-notch presentation that includes high flying frisbee dogs, tightwire dogs, dancing dogs, magic dogs and of course, the one and only Sammie the Talking Dog. All nine canine partners are adopted from animal shelters and rescues. Have your photo taken with up to two of the dogs after the show, with a $10 donation to the Augusta Regional SPCA.

 Mutts Gone Nuts comes to the Wayne Theatre for one show on Friday, April 26, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $18.

Riverfest–May 4

Riverfest, Saturday Apri. 30, 2015. (Photo by Norm Shafer).

Canoe rides, Stream Safari, Reptile World shows, life animal presentations from the Virginia Wildlife Center, Fish and Fun Rodeo, electro-fishing with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and child-focused arts and crafts are just the beginning of the all day family fun unfolding at this year’s Riverfest.

Programs and activities start at 10am and continue throughout the day until 4pm. This FREE annual event takes place river-side at Constitution Park South in Waynesboro and is capped off by the Great South River Duck Race.

Petpawlooza–May 5

Celebrate your family’s furriest members in this afternoon event, or choose to grow your family’s fun with on-site pet adoption and rescue agencies. The Marvelous Mutt Stunt Show will air in Coyner Springs Park (home to Waynesboro’s Dog Park) at 12:15, 1:45, and 3:15pm on Sunday May 5th, plus join in for the Musical Sits Pet Contest, meet the Kissable Pits, and commission pet caricatures and balloon animals. Bring your leases, all your pets are invited to Petpawlooza.

 

 

 

 

7 Ways to Celebrate the Season in Waynesboro, VA

If you’re already playing Christmas music, chances are you love this time of year–the smell of pine, the taste of cinnamon, the sound of carols. So do we! With a sprinkling of traditional and a dash of unique, Waynesboro offers seven wonderful ways to spice up the season. Come celebrate with us!

Jake Johnson’s ceramics are made at his South River Mill studio.
Discover Arts, Crafts . . . and Bagels

Once a prolific textile factory, South River Mill in Waynesboro is now home to a variety of businesses and a vibrant arts scene. You can check out the Mill’s wares—from ceramics to metalwork (and bagels)—at the SRM Open House & Holiday Sale (Dec 1 & 2, 10:00-5:00 PM).

Watch the Parade Go By

Bring your own camp chair and blanket to the annual Waynesboro Christmas Parade (Dec 1, 6:00 PM), a nighttime parade featuring glowing floats and glitzy bands. Warm your hands with a hot chocolate from one of three hot chocolate stations along the parade route. You can also donate a new toy to the Toys for Tots float as it passes by!

The Wayne Theatre presents Christmas Home Tour 2018
Sneak Inside Historic Homes

Well, you won’t have to sneak exactly. But you’ll feel like a spy when you peer inside the halls and living rooms of some of Waynesboro’s finest homes. How do they decorate for the season? Find out at the Christmas Home Tour (Dec. 1, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM). Get ideas for your own holiday decorations or merely ogle theirs; either way, the proceeds go to benefit the Wayne Theatre Alliance, a non-profit seeking to enrich the community through performing arts.

Shop Main Street for Gifts

The beer lover on your list will love a sampling of domestic and imported beers from the over 150 varieties stocked at Mister Jamison’s Deli. And why not grab a gift card from the newly remodeled Heritage on Main Street, We wouldn’t blame you if you kept this gift for yourself.

The fashion bug will love a cool personalized gift from Initial Inspiration, a boutique of monogrammed clothing, handbags, and jewelry. Or for vintage wear, head down the street to Twice As Nice, the ever-popular upscale consignment store.

Wilson Fairchild photo by Conrad Matiuk
Catch a Show

This time of year, music takes center stage at Waynesboro’s historic Wayne Theatre. Local celebrities, Wil and Langdon Reid, will have your boots tapping in Wilson Fairchild Christmas (Dec 15, 8:00 PM). Additionally, the Wayne offers two ways to enjoy the beloved Nutcracker ballet: both the Charlottesville Ballet (Dec 1, 1:00 & 5:00 PM) and Albemarle Ballet Theatre (Dec 8, 2:00 & 5:00 PM) will bring their unique renditions to the stage.

from Charlottesville Ballet’s Facebook page
Glut Yourself on Cookies and Craft Beer

On December 16 from 2-5:00 PM, Stable Craft Brewery is hosting Christmas Cookie Decorating. Kids can fill up on cookies while adults fill up on Chocolate Oatmeal Stout or Cranberry Kettle Sour. Not only that, but everyone can sit by the firepit and drink in the incredible views of the Shenandoah Valley.

Join Voices

When was the last time you got together with your city and sang a song? You won’t want to miss the Wayne Theatre’s Community Sing-Along, followed by a screening of The Christmas Story (Dec 21, 6:30 PM). The sound of Christmas favorites sung in harmony is guaranteed to lift your spirits and make the season bright.

Art In and On the Streets of Waynesboro

Fall Foliage Art Show. Photo by Norm Shafer.

This October 13 & 14, the Fall Foliage Art Show and the Virginia Street Arts Festival team up to fill the streets of Waynesboro with live mural painting, fine art sales, public art installations, plus beer, food, and music all weekend.

Fall Foliage Art Show. Photo by Norm Shafer.

The Fall Foliage Art Show is a 48 year tradition that brings over 150 juried fine artists to a Main Street festival, transforming downtown into a lively outdoor market of paintings, pottery, jewelry, woodworking, and more. From 10am to 5pm Saturday and noon to 5pm Sunday, traveling world class artists will share their stories, sell their work, and help decorate your home with memories for years to come.

Virginia Street Arts Festival. Photo by Norm Shafer.

Sharing the streets, the Virginia Street Arts Festival will bring two renowned muralists to transform a vacant brick building into a celebratory splash of color and culture. Watch artists at work 30 feet in the air, help the Blue Ridge Children’s Museum paint giant cubes for an interactive public art installation, or join chalk artists leaving their marks on the streets and sidewalks of downtown Waynesboro.

Fall Foliage Art Show. Photo by Norm Shafer.

One block over in Lumos Plaza, find the best eats at food trucks and the festival beer garden. Live music performers will be announced in the weeks leading up to the festival, so check back often for musician and guest artist announcements.

WHEN: October 13 (10am to 5pm) and October 14 (noon to 5pm)

WHERE: The two festivals will converge in downtown Waynesboro, running from the intersection of Arch Avenue and Main Street up the hill towards the Wayne Theatre Performing Arts Center. Bring your walking shoes to take in the full effect — multiple blocks will be filled with art and activities.

COST: Both events are free to the public. Bring your wallet to purchase art, food, beer, and more from festival vendors.

This Getaway Weekend Sizzles with Variety

Are you a big believer that variety is the spice of life? The weekend of September 21-23 in Waynesboro, Virginia will fire you up with options! With a music festival, park adventure, craft-beer run, and gem and mineral show all packed into the same weekend, consider your life spiced!

Heat, Beats, & Beer

Virginia Chili, Blues n Brews Festival photo by Norm Shafer

There might be a nip in the air as fall approaches, but this festival puts some “heat” in the season change! Pro and amateur chili chefs compete for prize money and the title of People’s Choice. They’re joined by thousands of lovers of spice, music, and beer at the Virginia Chili, Blues n’ Brews Festival. Now in its 11th year, the downtown Waynesboro event is September 22 from 3-9pm. Staged against backdrop of the South River and sweeping mountain views, the festival promises a marvelous mashup of sensory experiences.

 Recharge at Shenandoah National Park

from Shenandoah National Park facebook page

Restoration and resilience are the focus of the 25th anniversary of National Public Lands Day on September 22, and if you’re looking to personally recharge, Shenandoah National Park is fee-free that day and filled with renewing vistas, waterfalls, or quiet glades. One of Virginia’s most beloved natural wonders, the 200,000-acre Shenandoah National Park boasts more than 500 miles of trails. Just three miles from the park’s southernmost Rockfish Gap Entrance, Waynesboro makes the perfect starting point for an exploration of its wild southern section.

A Run with a View—and a Reward

If a physical challenge is your spice, brace yourself for the Basic City Burn. Featuring a just under three-mile course that climbs a quad-burning 300 feet to the highest point in Waynesboro, the stunning view of the valley is just part of the event’s allure. Runners and walkers also get treated to cool swag and a post-race party with beer tastings at Basic City Beer Co. and food by Hops Kitchen.

 Not Just Any Old Rocks

from Shenandoah Valley Gem & Mineral Society facebook page

Second in age only to South Africa’s Barberton greenstone belt, the Blue Ridge Mountains are a perfect destination for rock hounds, nature lovers, and history buffs alike. The weekend of September 21-23 will allow you to feast your eyes on the fascinating and beautiful rocks and minerals found in the Shenandoah Valley (and beyond) at the 51st Annual Gem & Mineral Show. The whole family will be enthralled with the mix of unique shopping, treasure-hunting (for kids), educational talks, and demos like panning for gold and cabochon making.

Local Food & Fowl

The weekend options don’t stop there. Every Saturday through September 29, 9am-1pm, you can also visit the Waynesboro Farmer’s Market, both a marketplace and a community gathering space, in the heart of downtown Waynesboro. Visitors can shop, play along the river banks, or stroll along the nearby South River Greenway.

Autumn brings thousands of migrating raptors to the mountain pass of Rockfish Gap at the juncture of Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Manned by volunteers collecting raptor data for global research and education, the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch is open to the public and easily accessible without hiking or climbing. Novice birders can witness this awesome natural event between now and November 30, although the peak migration occurs mid- to late-September.

The Oldest Rocks, the Deepest History: Five Reasons to Visit Virginia’s Historic Blue Ridge Mountains

The ancient Blue Ridge Mountains shelter not only millions of years of species diversity, but also tell a compelling story of native and early European settler history. Their rolling hills, shaded forests, and granite peaks invite visitors to experience history in a hands-on way, providing the perfect combination of education and exploration in this uniquely accessible mountain setting. We’re sharing five reasons to make the Blue Ridge Mountains your next geographic and cultural history adventure.

1. The Blue Ridge Mountains are the oldest in the hemisphere, and nearly the world.

Sculpting the soft curves and inviting slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains was no overnight trick of nature’s magic. Creating an ecosystem so diverse, ancient, and enchanting was a nearly billion year endeavor, and today’s Blue Ridges are the final testaments to mountains that once soared as high as any other in their day. Created by uplifting action from to the collisions of Earth’s tectonic plates, the Blue Ridge Mountains are second in age only to South Africa’s Barberton greenstone belt. While they may be smaller, this grandmother of a mountain range is many times the age of either the Rockies or the Himalayas, both mere geological upstarts in comparison. The Blue Ridge Mountains are living proof to the old adage, “it takes a long time to make something that looks this good.”

2. Explore the rich history of Native American settlements

While many children learn in school about the eastern Virginia Powhatan, in the mountain regions to the west dwelled the Siouan Indians of the Monacan and Mannahoac tribes, living in a confederation that stretched from the James River fall line in Richmond to the Blue Ridge. In these mountains, they grew the “Three Sisters” (corn, beans, and squash) along with fruit orchards, grapes, and nuts. Today, visitors can participate in a Monacan Indian living history exhibit at Natural Bridge State Park where they can learn about traditional cooking, tool production, pottery, basket weaving, gardening, and shelter construction.

Photo from the Virginia Department of Conservation https://www.flickr.com/photos/vadcr/27389921650/in/album-72157669233431052/

3. Visit the “Museum of the Managed American Countryside.”

The National Park Service calls the Blue Ridge Parkway the “museum of the managed American countryside” due to its easily accessible driving tour of historic sites such as the rough-hewn log cabins of mountain pioneers and the visible traces of early logging, railway, and canal industries. From the Humpback Rocks Visitors Center just south of Waynesboro, parkway travelers can walk through the Mountain Farm Trail to explore early settler life in the mountains, with log cabins collected from the surrounding region for easy viewing. During the summer, the log cabins are both open and staffed with historic educators.

Photo from https://blog.virginia.org/2016/08/blue-ridge-parkway-hikes-virginia/

4. Plumb the Depths of Ancient Geology

“Where History Runs Deep” is the apt and inspiring motto for Grand Caverns, a national natural landmark in Grottoes, Virginia. Formed from underground water action in the region’s limestone rock, Grand Caverns claims to be America’s oldest show cave, in operation since 1806. Visitors can stroll through high ceilings and open caverns in their classic tour, or sign up for an “Adventure Tour” through Fountain Cave. Fountain Cave was recently reopened to the public after almost 100 years, and visitors will be treated to a true caving experience that includes no interior lighting, a once-used rugged 1800s pathway, and a full outfitting of helmets, knee pads, and caving gloves. For those seeking a better lit encounter with geologic history, a hiking trail, swimming pool, miniature golf course, and picnic area provide family-friendly complements to the full caving experience.

Photo from https://www.facebook.com/Grand-Caverns-118751574853602/

5. Mile-by-Mile Driving Destinations, for Every Variety of Historic Adventure

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers nearly 500 miles of unfolding adventure, from waterfall walks to roadside historic interpretive signs. This Milepost Guide offers a turn-by-turn description of the cabin getaways, living history exhibits, sweeping vista overlooks, and roadside geologies of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Whether sticking to the Parkway or exploring the small towns and historic destinations in the mountain foothills, the road may be winding but it is never less than breathtaking, historic, and adventure filled.

The Lure of the Outdoors 5 “Ready to Roll” Adventures that Offer Natural Beauty and Easy Access

Late spring is the season of long evening daylight and beckoning weather. Luckily, Waynesboro offers the perfect mountain-town amenities for a sunset jog, a quick afternoon float, or an evening cycle through the Valley. These five adventures promise the mood-boosting benefits of time in nature, while utilizing the accessibility of local parks and backyard trail systems.

(1) Paddle the Waynesboro Water Trail

The Waynesboro Water Trail links five City parks in a four-mile run that includes a mix of Class I and II rapids, wilderness-level solitude, industrial skylines, and downtown take outs. With its surprising views into many unexpected corners of Waynesboro, it’s a unique way of exploring the City while staying cool, shaded, and on the water. Allow 2-3 hours to float the full South River Blueway from Ridgeview Park to Basic Park. A wide diversity of take out options help paddlers break the float into smaller sections or extend their trip to include Grand Caverns Park or the Port Republic confluence with the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.

Recommended water levels for the South River are 2.75’ to 4’ on the USGS Waynesboro Gauge. Or, check with Rockfish Gap Outfitters for the latest water level updates and deals on local kayak rentals.

(2) Stroll through the Parks

There’s not much more satisfying than a run with man’s best friend through open fields past freshly blooming parklands. Coyner Springs Park offers a rustic 145 acres that include nature trails, a leash-free dog park, kite-flying skies, disc golf, and enough wilderness to offer up frequent sightings of red-tailed hawks, woodpeckers, and foxes.

Joggers, baby strollers, and evening walkers find their riverside delights along the South River Greenway, a mile-long stretch of paved walking and biking surface that includes a river overlook, picnic shelter, and downtown access to after-walk drinks and dinner options.

(3) Cycle the Valley

Follow the South River along the base of Sawmill Ridge and the Blue Ridge Mountains in this evening, 12.5 mile bike ride called the Waynesboro Dooms Loop. For a longer, 35-mile pull, the Waynesboro to Grottoes Loop also hugs the river, offering a tour of the inflection between the Valley bottom and Blue Ridge topography, while still promising some of the flattest roads in Augusta County.

Both loops begin and end in downtown Waynesboro, promising enough in-town, gourmet calories to replenish the toughest ride. Cyclists are welcome along all three of Waynesboro Beerwerks Trail brewery destinations.

(4) Downtown Fly Fishing

The dinner-to-adventure jaunt can be shorter than a bike ride, as the South River’s Urban Trout Fishery offers fly fishing opportunities within a block of the downtown cultural core. Rare is the springtime day that a fisherman can’t be seen wading near the improved trout habitat and rock cascades of Constitution Park. Nearby South River Fly Shop offers equipment, gear, guided tours, and “big fish stories,” including a weekly Ties and Lies night. The South River itself offers spring-fed waters, ripping whitewater, easy parking, and exceptional catch-and-release trout fishing opportunities.

(5) Catch the Perfect Sunset (Sunset Park, Humpback Rocks)

Sunset Park, with sweeping views overlooking all of Waynesboro, remains under construction — but don’t be surprised to find weekly contingents of local mountain bikers building trails and readying its amenities for prime time. Outdoor enthusiasts seeking panoramic views needn’t wait, however. The Humpback Rocks trail system offers granite pinnacles in only one mile of climbing, with spectacular views of the Rockfish and Shenandoah Valleys. Longer excursions to Humpback Mountain (2 miles) and to a developed picnic area (4 miles) allows a choose your own adventure that can fit in an after-work nature-reset or expand to an all-day mountain top excursion.

Humpback Rocks trail includes both blue and white blazes, proof of its intersection with the nation’s “premier hiking path,” the 2,000 mile Appalachian Trail that runs from Georgia to Maine. “Day hikers” may encounter thru-hikers part-way through their adventure, with opportunities to swap stories and marvel that some of the mountains’ most breathtaking destinations are but backyard explorations from Waynesboro.

3 Farm Fresh Experiences From Town to Country, Local Food has Never Felt so Close

Meet Your Farmer at the Waynesboro Farmer’s Market

Farmer’s markets are the perfect spot to meet the folks who grow your food. The Waynesboro Farmer’s Market (a producers-only affair, meaning all the farms on-site participate in producing the products they sell) delights with characters, stories, and delicious ways to get to know the growers who are greening our local food shed. Their regular assortment of offerings includes fresh veggies, meat, bread and baked goods, honey, flowers, and a variety of arts and crafts.

Occurring every Saturday from 9 a.m. to1 p.m. throughout the growing season, the Waynesboro Farmer’s Market is a family affair. Located in Constitution Park in the heart of downtown Waynesboro, children and adults are welcome to shop, play along the river banks, or stroll along the nearby South River Greenway.

With so many farms, wineries, bakeries, and local food producers dotting the Valley, there’s no need to wait for a Saturday to explore a regional farmer’s market. The Staunton, North Augusta, Harrisonburg, and Lexington farmer’s markets will keep you munching all week with schedules that include Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.

Cuddle Baby Goats

Nothing says springtime like soft fur and baby goats. Both A Better Way Farm and My Peeps Farm offer goat cuddling sessions that never fail to elicit smiles and shrieks of delight. Pair them with cheesemaking classes, farm tours, or a chance to buy pastured eggs.

My Peeps Farm raises Nigerian Dwarf goats on 10 acres. A Better Way Farm is a small eco-farm and micro-dairy in Augusta County focused on managing their land in harmony with nature. They promise “Happy goats make sweet, delicious milk,” and they let you be the judge by offering goats’ milk cheeses and more in their farm store.

Meet the Cow that Came to Town

The best part of cities nestled in farmland is the locally grown food available to downtown restaurants and retailers. This summer, the City Cow, the latest entrepreneurial initiative of the the owner of the Purple Cow Ice Cream Parlor and Cafe, comes to Waynesboro. Featuring displays from a variety of local vendors, visitors will find farm-fresh produce, items from the Enchanted Apothecary, Stone Cottage Candles, tie-dye, and even cow mugs to match the marketing decor. The City Cow will be one of the first landmarks seen by drivers exiting the Blue Ridge Parkway and heading into Waynesboro.

Visitors will find even more locally grown food at several downtown restaurants. The Farmhaus on Main serves up seasonal salads, sandwiches, coffee, and books, while BlueOregano specializes in catered meals and family cooking classes in their downtown storefront.

However you choose to partake in local food and farms this season, it’s glasses up and cheers to the many growers who are serving up great fare and farm-fresh experiences in the Shenandoah Valley!

Meet the 5 “Boots Optional” Trails Beating a Bold Path through the Shenandoah Valley

Some of the best trails in the Shenandoah Valley aren’t steep pitches that are best tackled with hiking boots. Casual walking shoes will carry you through artisan trails, welcoming farms in fields of gold, and even to the best craft breweries and wineries in the Shenandoah Valley.  We’ve mapped the five itineraries that promise adventure, culture, sweeping vistas, and a nice cold brew.

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