Waynesboro, VA: Good Trails Meet Good Nature in this Appalachian Trail Community

Waynesboro, VA has long been a destination for outdoor adventurers.  Residents and visitors alike share an enthusiasm for the city’s unique access to the beauty and opportunities of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley. One of those nearby natural treasures is the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), the longest hiking-only footpath in the world.

Two Thousand Miles and the Adventure of a Lifetime

September 23-24, 2006. Lightweight backpacking gear has changed the face of hiking and camping. Garry Lenton demonstrates how new technology has provided for lighter weight gear, thus allowing older men and women to more easily handle the rigors of longer hiking trips. In this photo, a hiker passes by a trail marker for the Appalachian Trail.
September 23-24, 2006. Lightweight backpacking gear has changed the face of hiking and camping. Garry Lenton demonstrates how new technology has provided for lighter weight gear, thus allowing older men and women to more easily handle the rigors of longer hiking trips. In this photo, a hiker passes by a trail marker for the Appalachian Trail.

What began as a proposal in 1921 is now a federally-protected national scenic trail stretching 2,190 miles between Maine and Georgia and crossing 14 states. Those miles of trail are protected and managed by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.  It can take 5-7 months to hike the entire A.T., and every year thousands attempt the physically and mentally strenuous journey.  Only 1 in 4 will complete a “thru-hike,” but most will agree that time spent on the A.T. is a life-changing adventure. Continue reading “Waynesboro, VA: Good Trails Meet Good Nature in this Appalachian Trail Community”

Black History Month Spotlight: School was refuge in segregated Waynesboro

This article by , mcalello@newsleader.com, is reprinted with permission from The News Leader.

THE WAYNESBORO STORY BEHIND THE FILM “ROSENWALD”

Five people gather at a former school in Waynesboro and sit down at a table in a room that more than six decades ago was a home economics classroom. A married couple who own businesses in Staunton and Waynesboro, a history professor from Mary Baldwin University, a building supervisor for Waynesboro Parks and Recreation and a retired business owner who now serves on the board of a historical society for the Port Republic community. From this building they have come and made their mark in the world.

Until the school closed in the mid-60s, this was a gathering place for young kids to come and learn. For those sitting around the table this fall afternoon the room is full of echoes: the echoes of children who would arrive in the early morning cold and hungry after walking to school no matter the weather – for there were no buses for the kids who lived in Maupintown; echoes of the teacher who would be waiting there, having arrived early to heat the room’s coal furnace and provide the kids with warm socks and breakfast. The wooden floors and furnace are long gone now. The echoes remain, for those who’ve been here before.

5 Romantic Date Night Ideas in Waynesboro, VA

Located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and snuggled in the arms of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, Waynesboro is the natural destination for those seeking a romantic night or weekend getaway.  With award-winning wineries and breweries, farm-to-table culinary delights, world class entertainment, and scenic beauty at every turn, a visit to Waynesboro, Virginia, is an immersion of the senses.

#1 Feel the Beat: Release Your Inner “Fred” or “Ginger”

Kick off your evening with pizzazz!  Nothing says classic romance like ballroom dancing, and experienced instructor Don Dollins  will help you learn (or brush up on) popular dances such as: the Foxtrot, Swing, Waltz, Cha-Cha and the Rumba. Two different level classes are offered each week, and there’s an open dance session the first Friday of each month.

After getting in a little foxtrot and rumba, swing over to Silk Road Asian Restaurant & Bar.  Savor a night of fine asian cuisine, an elegant atmosphere, and fresh cocktail concepts.

Photos courtesy of Silk Road.
Photos courtesy of Silk Road.

Close out the day by gazing out at the Shenandoah Valley from the comfort of your room or luxury cabin at the Iris Inn Bed and Breakfast. And talk about bliss – you can fall asleep knowing that when you awake, a chef has prepared you a decadent breakfast!

#2 Gather a Taste of Local

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photo courtesy Cabin Creekwood

Enjoy the serenity that comes naturally in Waynesboro and our breathtaking Augusta County with a romantic retreat to Cabin Creekwood.  Choose from nine cabins conveniently located just one mile away from Sherando Lake.  Follow this checklist and then settle in for a quiet dinner and night away from the world.

“Luxurious”…”blissful”…”nourishing”…choose your word.  While you’re at it, choose a cabin and reserve this special time for the two of you!

#3 Feast Your Eyes

The Wayne Theatre. Photo by Kevin Blackburn/kevinblackburn.com.
The Wayne Theatre. Photo by Kevin Blackburn/kevinblackburn.com.

Another romantic date night in Waynesboro could mean sinking into the gracious Victorian comfort of Belle Hearth Bed & Breakfast.  Antique furnishings, gas log fireplaces, wraparound porch with swing, candlelit 3-course breakfast….Belle Hearth has all the trimmings you need for a relaxing getaway.

But once you take a look at this delectable lineup, we think you’ll rally and treat yourself to a night out on the town.  After a colorful and flavorful dinner at Osaka III, head over to The Historic Wayne Theatre.  Nationally known acts are routinely onstage at this beautiful performing arts center.  Music, film, dance, comedy, performance… there is always something new to experience at the Wayne! After the night’s entertainment, head back to your pillows at Belle Hearth. You can drift off knowing that leisure and deliciousness await you in the morning.

#4 Hear Music Among the Stars

Photo credit: Barren Ridge Vineyards
Photo credit: Harold Burnley Photography & Barren Ridge Vineyards

Nothing will make your partner’s heart flutter quite like an evening under the stars at  Barren Ridge Vineyards, a small, family-owned vineyard and winery along the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail.  Experience Barren Ridge’s award-winning handcrafted wines while soaking in the peace of the land.  For a truly memorable evening, plan your visit to correspond with Firelight Friday and Sunsets at the Vineyard!  Take live music, Barren Ridge wines, and delicious fare then mix in cozy fire, sunset, and an evening serenaded under the stars…Voilà!

#5  Don’t Miss the Aromas of “What Are We Smoking?”

Stable Craft Brewing
Stable Craft Brewing

If you’re keeping track of the senses, then you know we’ve hit #5 – the sense of smell. The folks at Stable Craft Brewing are masters at harnessing the power of all the senses, and with the smoker located right outside the taproom, you won’t be able to resist the day’s mouth-watering menu.  And not to worry if one or both of you are a veggie – the chef has you covered with savory scratch-made creations for all appetites.

Check out Stable Craft’s Event Calendar to plan your meat, beverage, or entertainment fix. In addition to “What Are We Smoking?” evenings, Stable Craft’s special events include tours of their organic hop fields, small batch beer releases, Sunday Craft Beer Brunch, and their Winter Craft Beer Dinner Theatre Series.  Or the two of you can simply kick back in their draft room with one of the 16 beers on tap and enjoy the beautiful mountain views.

A getaway to Waynesboro makes it easy to find romance, good nature, and fresh flavors at every turn.  Listen to your heart – plan your stay today!

 

Coffee Shops to Warm Your Winter Excursions

Whether you’re perusing Waynesboro’s downtown boutiques or wrapping up a winter hike in Shenandoah National Park, we have the coffee shops to raise your internal thermometer. Wrap your frozen hands around a cup of hot coffee at one of these favorite cafés, and you’ll soon be warm enough to think about your next adventure!

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Love goes into every coffee creation at The Farmhaus on Main.

The Farmhaus on Main. 908 West Main Street. This 1890 frame house has quickly become a gathering spot for those wishing to taste amazing coffee, surf the Internet, or simply relax in the white, airy rooms. Cozy nooks and plenty of windows make it a great place to escape winter’s spell for a season while sipping a hot beverage. The Farmhaus specializes in Blanchard’s Coffee, roasted in Richmond, and draws as many local ingredients as possible for their one-of-a-kind breakfast and lunch offerings.

Try a Cortado paired with Sweet Toast (honey-whipped goat cheese, fruit, and nuts on sourdough). Continue reading “Coffee Shops to Warm Your Winter Excursions”

Waynesboro, VA: Come 4 the Nature & Stay 4 the Beer

When you’re surrounded by ski trails, hiking trails, and scenic trails, every season offers an outdoor playground.  And that is certainly the case when winter visits the mountains and valleys of Waynesboro, VA. Quench your cabin fever—and your thirst—with these 4 winter wonderland adventures.

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#1 Battle the Best of the Blue Ridge

It’s no wonder Waynesboro’s Mad Anthony Mud Run has repeatedly been crowned “Best of the Blue Ridge.”  This 4.8 mile course is not your typical mud run!  You’ll be running, climbing, and crawling through swamps, tunnels, obstacles, and off-road terrain.

The event pays homage to our city’s namesake, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne, and is held each year on the last Saturday of February.  The weather can be as unpredictable as the General, with temps in the low digits or as high as the 60s. Whether a snow run or a mud run, it’s guaranteed a fun run!

Photo courtesy Waynesboro Parks & Recreation
Photo courtesy Waynesboro Parks & Recreation

Get a glimpse of the messy fun and “battles” you may be in for with this official race video.

Elaborate costumes are “optional but rewarded” during the post-race party and awards ceremony.  Continue your party at Seven Arrows Brewing Company.  Over pints of local brews, relive your battle victories (and your flops) as you exchange stories with your comrades.

Photo courtesy Seven Arrows Brewing Company
Photo courtesy Seven Arrows Brewing Company

#2  Hit the Slopes

Photo courtesy Massanutten Resort
Photo courtesy Massanutten Resort

Take a day trip up to Massanutten Resort!  Just 40 minutes from Waynesboro, Massanutten offers outdoor fun for everyone in your family.  Skiing, snowboarding, tubing, or ice-skating – take your pick!

Photo courtesy Stable Craft Brewing
Photo courtesy Stable Craft Brewing

When you head down off the slopes, warm up at Stable Craft Brewing. Their farm-fresh ales and locally sourced menu are Waynesboro favorites.  Time your trip just right, and you can partake of their Thursday Small Batch Beer Release or Sunday Craft Beer Brunch!

#3  Catch Some Fresh Air & Fresh Beer

 Photo courtesy South River Fly Shop
Photo courtesy South River Fly Shop

The trout don’t take the winters off in Waynesboro! Head downtown to our urban fishery where quality trout fishing is available year-round.  For information on licenses and regulations or to purchase supplies, stop in at South River Fly Shop.

Basic City Beer Co. in Waynesboro on 10/21/16. Photo by Pat Jarrett
Basic City Beer Co.  Photo by Pat Jarrett

Waynesboro is not only Virginia’s Top Trout Town but also home to Basic City Beer Co.  After a day on the water, you’re sure to find refreshment in this taproom.  Craft combines with natural spring water at Basic City Beer Co., and you’ll want to sample their whole lineup. Take your time – food trucks and live music pair nicely with a night of microbrews!

#4  Trailblaze

Photo credit Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail
Photo credit Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail

Waynesboro is perfectly situated at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Head south on the Parkway and you’ll have a vast selection of trails to choose from.  Motor vehicles are not permitted on the trails, so you can hike, snowshoe, or cross-country ski surrounded only by the sounds of nature.  While winter access to the Blue Ridge Parkway can reward you with vistas and solitude, before you head out, be sure to check the real-time road closure status of the Parkway.  If downhill skiing or tubing is more your speed, Wintergreen Resort is off the Parkway and only 23 miles south of Waynesboro.

Photo courtesy Shenandoah Beerwerks Facebook page
Basic City Beer Co.  Photo by Pat Jarrett

When you’re done playing in the snow, head back north along I-81 so you can explore a trail of another flavor – the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail.  You have a choice of 13 breweries so check out the trail map to help you plan your adventure.

This winter make Waynesboro, VA, your playground.  You’ll get the best Nature has to offer and some of the best craft beer in the nation!

 

Four Reasons to Visit the ‘BORO in 2017

1. “B” is for “Brews and Food”

Photo courtesy Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail Facebook Page

The Shenandoah Valley is nationally-renowned for its beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities.  But no matter how many trails you hike, bike, and paddle, no visit to Waynesboro would be complete without experiencing the Fields of Gold Farm Trail, the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail, and the new Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail, featuring 13 microbreweries.

Continue reading “Four Reasons to Visit the ‘BORO in 2017”

Live Like a Local: Top 10 Winter Activities Near Waynesboro, VA

When the weather outside gets frightful, you still have plenty of options for fun in Waynesboro. Check out these winter-friendly activities to make your spirits bright!

  1. Sledding at the Park

When snow falls in Waynesboro, kids beg their parents to drive them to the hill at Ridgeview Park. This monster-of-a-hill offers a steep, long sled run and a wild ride on a toboggan. Enjoy the view of the beautiful South River from the top before you push off. Then hold on tight, because you’re sure to hit some bumps on the way down. For kids, that makes it all the more exciting! There’s plenty of room at the bottom for snowball fights and snowmen. When your mittens get soggy, head to Waynesboro’s newest coffee shop, the Farmhaus on Main, for hot beverages and pastries.

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  1. Hike on the AT

As a designated Appalachian Trail Community, Waynesboro makes a great launching point for an AT hike. One of the easiest places to access the Trail is Rockfish Gap, a mere three miles from Waynesboro, where the Blue Ridge Parkway meets the Skyline Drive. Here, hikers can park just off I-64 and trek south on the AT for five miles to the Paul Wolfe Shelter. An old mountain homestead and a family cemetery are landmarks along the way. If five miles is too far, make it a shorter out-and-back hike. Either way, the bare trees give the trail its own winter beauty. Additional hikes and maps available through the Waynesboro Tourism Office at (540) 942-6512.

Continue reading “Live Like a Local: Top 10 Winter Activities Near Waynesboro, VA”

Living Traditions in Historic Waynesboro, VA

In Waynesboro, Virginia, the city’s deep and vibrant history is a valued resource.  From industry to entertainment, Waynesboro’s heritage continues to impact its community, culture, and growth. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience these wonderful living traditions during your next visit!

Waynesboro: The “Iron Cross”

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Photo courtesy Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel Foundation

In 1856, just a few years before the Civil War began, engineer Claudius Crozet completed the construction of a nearly mile-long railroad tunnel through the Rockfish Gap of Afton Mountain.  The tunnel allowed steam engine trains to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains, opening up an East-West route to transport both freight and passengers. This route later became part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.  With the opening of a North-South connection in 1881 by the Shenandoah Valley Railroad (later Norfolk and Western Railway), Waynesboro became the junction of two railroad lines, giving the town the nickname of the “Iron Cross.”

Continue reading “Living Traditions in Historic Waynesboro, VA”

Live Like a Local: 5 Waynesboro Parks You’ll Love Any Season of the Year

 Just because the thermometer is dropping doesn’t mean you have to stay holed up inside. Waynesboro’s park system invites outdoor play any season of the year. Each park has its own flavor, so read on to find the perfect park for you this fall and winter.

Family Fun

Ridgeview Park

Ridgeview Park. Photo by Stephen Black.
Ridgeview Park. Photo by Stephen Black.

Highlights: Play structure, tennis courts, ball fields, forest trail, sledding

Ridgeview Park hosts numerous festivals and concerts during the summer months and lures crowds to its 50-meter outdoor swimming pool, but when fall comes, a whole new beauty emerges. Cross the iron footbridge and watch the autumn leaves drop into the South River. Enjoy a nature walk through the wooded trail that borders soccer field #3 (across the bridge). Play a game of catch in one of the sunny baseball fields or simply enjoy the gazebo overlooking the serene river. Kids will love the elaborate play structure even on cooler days. And in the winter months, the bare trees and snowy landscape make a lovely backdrop for a walk—a paved path cuts through the center of the park, connecting two neighborhoods and making it easy to access even during snowy weather.

If it snows: Bring your sled, tube, or snowboard and try out the steep sledding hill that has been drawing thrill-seekers since the park’s creation.

Constitution Park’s Greenway Trail.

Continue reading “Live Like a Local: 5 Waynesboro Parks You’ll Love Any Season of the Year”

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”