More Than a Scenic Drive Waynesboro is Divinely Placed for LEAF PEEPING ADVENTURE

Sherando Lake photo by Brad Johnson of Impulse Image

leaf peeping

n.The activity of traveling in the fall to areas wooded with deciduous forests to view the changing color of the leaves.

No doubt you’ve heard that the iconic Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway are famous destinations for leaf peeping, and anyone who’s visited Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in autumn  will attest that fall motor touring is spectacular. For those looking for a dash of adventure to round out those scenic drives, Waynesboro, Virginia is the perfect place to start. Here are some ways to take your leaf peeping to a whole new level of fun!

 

Blue Ridge Parkway from Humpback Rocks photo by Brad Johnson of Impulse Image

EXPERIENCE A NATIONAL TREASURE

With the southern entrance to Skyline Drive located just three miles from Waynesboro, start your autumn adventure with a drive through Shenandoah National Park, a designated National Scenic Byway and Historic Landmark. Over 300 species of wildlife and more than 1,400 species of plants are found in the Park.  An extensive network of trails and 75 strategically-placed overlooks provide ample opportunity to experience this protected wilderness.  Ranger-guided tours of President Hoover’s summer retreat, Rapidan Camp, visitor center exhibits, and park programs give visitors an up-close look at the natural and cultural history of the Park.

Photo by Brad Johnson of Impulse Image

ADD HISTORIC PERSPECTIVE

For a mix of scenic beauty and historic perspective, follow the Civil War Trails Route 250 Corridor from Waynesboro’s Plumb House to Camp Allegheny at the West Virginia border. Landmarks, activities, and interpretive signs along the route include a wartime farmstead, overlooks, a walking trail, and quaint towns to explore. Additional Valley Campaign driving tours will help you take full advantage of October’s gorgeous autumn days.

 

Photo of Crabtree Falls from Fun in Fairfax – 8 More Great Fall Hikes in Virginia https://www.funinfairfaxva.com/great-fall-hikes-in-virginia/

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE LANDSCAPE

ON FOOT. Get off the roads and into the wilderness with a family-friendly hike to Saint Mary’s Falls. Virginia’s largest designated wilderness area, Saint Mary’s Wilderness is over 9,800 acres of vistas, waterfalls, fern forests, meadows, and wetlands. With seventeen miles of trails, this is also a destination for those hikers looking for a challenge.

ON HORSEBACK. Travel under, through, and above autumn colors on horseback with a half-day, full-day, or overnight adventure in George Washington National Forest with North Mountain Outfitter. Their gorgeous mountain trail rides include the region’s highest points, ridges, streams, & valleys. Reserve your saddle today to experience the Shenandoah Valley’s fall foliage from a whole new perspective.

BY BIKE. When it comes to autumn bike rides, you have a lot of choices near Waynesboro. For a scenic ride along some of our county’s flattest road miles, Bike the Valley recommends this Waynesboro to Grottoes loop. Up for a bigger challenge? Check out the Big Levels / Sherando mountain biking trail system!  Recommended by the outdoor pros at Rockfish Gap Outfitters, the Sherando Lake Recreation Area in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests offers mountain bikers 20 miles of single track trails and dirt/paved roads.  Reward your efforts by taking the fire road over to the Blue Ridge Parkway and sailing down 6 miles of “America’s Favorite Drive (Ride).”  You also have the option of connecting with U.S. Bicycle Route 76.

To time your Waynesboro visit for peak leaf peeping, check in on the Virginia Department of Forestry’s weekly fall foliage update.

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.

Don’t Miss These Bucket List Views: Breathtaking Vistas for the Young and the Young at Heart

Where the Skyline Drive meets the Blue Ridge Parkway lies basecamp: an outdoor trail town ready to launch unforgettable adventures, with memories for years to come. You won’t want to miss any of these Bucket List Views, which range from the curbside-accessible to all-day mountain adventure, all a short drive from Waynesboro, Virginia.

Spy Rock: 360 Degrees of Grandeur

Described by some as “the best viewpoint in the central Blue Ridge” Spy Rock offers a fully panoramic view including the neighboring mountain summits of the Priest and the Three Ridges. At nearly 4,000 feet of elevation, visitors will breath fresh mountain air while “standing on top of the world.”

Continue reading “Don’t Miss These Bucket List Views: Breathtaking Vistas for the Young and the Young at Heart”

Waynesboro, VA: The Perfect Day Trip/Getaway from Richmond, VA

Stuck in your Richmond office daydreaming about wide open spaces and cool mountain streams?  Idling in traffic and wishing you were high above it all?  Want to trade in that concrete jungle for a forest path? You’re only 90 minutes away from a rejuvenating getaway.  Hop on I-64 West, set your sights on those Blue Ridge Mountains, and before you’ve finished your playlist, you’ll be in Waynesboro, VA, the playground of the Shenandoah Valley.  Here are 6 reasons to jump in the car this weekend.

Continue reading “Waynesboro, VA: The Perfect Day Trip/Getaway from Richmond, VA”

Waynesboro,VA: An Inspiring Playground for All Ages

School may be out, but recess is in!  If you’re an outdoor lover, there’s no better place to spend your summer than in Waynesboro, Virginia.  We’ve got the peaks, the valleys, the water, and all the good nature your body and spirit crave.  Can’t decide where to start?  Check out these summer events you won’t want to miss, then pack those hiking boots, bike helmets, or racing shoes and escape to the Blue Ridge Mountains for an adventure-filled getaway!

Continue reading “Waynesboro,VA: An Inspiring Playground for All Ages”

Spring Hiking in National Parks Near Waynesboro VA

One Visit, Two National Parks

This spring, make Waynesboro, VA your destination for outdoor recreation.  The city is located just 3 miles from the junction of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the south and Skyline Drive heading north through Shenandoah National Park.  You’ll have hundreds of miles of trails to choose from, and with a little planning you can experience two National Parks over one weekend. Continue reading “Spring Hiking in National Parks Near Waynesboro VA”

Spice Up Your Family Holidays with a Trip to WaynesboroVA

Forget the pumpkin lattes and eggnog! Add real spice to your holidays with a family trip to Waynesboro, Virginia.  Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, this city’s vibrant heritage of arts, adventure, and community as well as its close proximity to lots of Shenandoah Valley attractions, makes it an extraordinary backdrop for creating family memories.

Spook Yourselves Silly (or not) This Halloween

Photo credit: http://www.cirquetacular.com/
Photo credit: http://www.cirquetacular.com/

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Get a jump on Halloween at The Historic Wayne Theatre on October 21 when spooks and specters take to the air in the high-flying circus production of Acrobats of Spooktacular: A Halloween Cirque-tacular Show.  And what would Hallows’ Eve be without Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein? The Wayne Theatre offers two screenings of this iconic film on October 31. Continue reading “Spice Up Your Family Holidays with a Trip to WaynesboroVA”

48 Hrs. of Blue Ridge Extreme Sports & Epic #WaynesboroVA Watering Holes

Design Your Own Adventure: Hike, Bike, Paddle, Climb, Crawl 

If you are an extreme sports enthusiast, there is no better place to test your strength, endurance and adventurous spirit than the mountains, rapids and cliffs near the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Whether you come fully equipped to head out on your own, or you need a guide or outfitter, make Waynesboro, Virginia, the base camp for your next outdoor getaway.

Pick two of the following high-octane adventures. Paired with our suggested watering holes, you’ll have 48 hours of spectacular sights, tastes, sounds, and memories. Continue reading “48 Hrs. of Blue Ridge Extreme Sports & Epic #WaynesboroVA Watering Holes”

3×3 Spectacular Bike Rides near the Blue Ridge Parkway + Great Refueling Spots in #WaynesboroVA

It’s Bike Month!

Take advantage of the stunning scenery and mild May weather to get out for a bike ride near the Blue Ridge Parkway during National Bike Month. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or just getting started with your biking adventures, you’ll want to put these routes on your to-do list this month, as well as a couple cool spots to refuel after the ride in Waynesboro, Virginia.

The Routes Continue reading “3×3 Spectacular Bike Rides near the Blue Ridge Parkway + Great Refueling Spots in #WaynesboroVA”