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!
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.
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.
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”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Ninety years ago, the historic Wayne Theatre opened its doors to the first surge of eager patrons waving tickets. This fall, history repeats itself, but now the theatre is sporting a new facelift and a new outlook.
The facelift has been taking place for years—ever since the late 1990s—when the theatre was a vacant twin cinema with pink-tiled bathrooms. Wayne Theatre Executive Director Tracy Straight at that time served as an elementary school music teacher and musical theatre director. She recalls brainstorming with Lillian Morse of the Waynesboro Players about forming a group of arts-minded citizens intent on saving the theatre. This fledgling group grew into the Wayne Theatre Alliance (WTA). Using a variety of tax credits and other capital, the alliance began overhauling the theatre in 2007. Even then, financial challenges forced construction to stop three times before the work was finally completed in 2016. The process was an arduous one for Straight and the WTA, but she asserts, “I am as engaged as ever!” Continue reading “Open Doors: The New Wayne Theatre Invites a Fresh Take”
Waynesboro has been called “trout central in the Old Dominion” and aptly so. With the South River flowing through downtown and quality trout fishing available year-round, Waynesboro has become a destination for anglers around the world.
This centrally-located, urban fishery also has an allure for families planning their vacation. “There’s something here for everyone,” say South River Fly Shop co-owners Tommy Lawhorne and Kevin Little. “Within 30 minutes whatever lodging you want is here,” says Kevin. “From backcountry camping in the National Forest all the way to RV to cabins to B&Bs to hotels. Same thing with food, same thing with culture, mountain biking, paddling, and hiking. And in the middle of that, we have a trout stream that is large enough to be a destination that can support numerous people a day and is year-round viable.” Continue reading “Waynesboro VA: A Fishing Destination for the Whole Family”
#WaynesboroVA is known for being the gateway to both Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. In every season, the city attracts countless outdoor enthusiasts looking for adventure on the water and mountains surrounding Waynesboro. But Waynesboro is also the perfect place for a leisurely weekend. Whether you need to rejuvenate after a week on the trails or a week at the office, come enjoy the simpler things in life: good food, good art, and good nature.
#1 Saturday Farmers Market
What better way to start a leisurely weekend, than meandering through the sights, tastes, and smells of the Waynesboro Farmers Market! Fresh-baked goodies and local produce will make for a delicious picnic later in the day.
Waynesboro, Virginia has a rich architectural and cultural history reaching back to its founding in the late eighteenth century. Many significant landmarks have been meticulously maintained and restored, and they paint a vivid picture of the city’s history, industry, and heritage.
What’s a rail trail and how can the lore of a railroad-rich destination contribute to a cool walk/cycle/learn/relax getaway? Rail trails are conversions of disused railways to multi-use paths for walking, cycling and sometimes horseback riding. Rail trails are growing in popularity around the country, not only because of unique features, but because they can be enjoyed by families and people of all fitness levels. There are several in the Shenandoah Valley worth investigating, and combining the stories of a region’s railroad history with treks along the mostly flat, often shaded, scenic railways can be a fun way to explore. There are plenty of ways to do just that from a base camp in Waynesboro, Virginia. Continue reading “Walk/Cycle/Learn/Relax on a #WaynesboroVA Rails-to-Trails Adventure”
Summer is here! From mountain biking to camping to whitewater rafting, #WaynesboroVA is the perfect homebase for all your outdoor recreation along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park. Waynesboro is also the hub of a vibrant art, music, food, and local brew scene. And whether you stay and play for a weekend or a week, you’ll soon discover that festivity comes naturally in Waynesboro!