Here’s a handy list to see where we’ve been. If we blogged about it, we’ll link it. Otherwise, we’ll include tips here.
Upper James River
- Glen Wilton to Gala – 2 hours from MHC. We went on this 7.5 mile stretch of the Upper James River with a local church group and blogged about it here. The views are incredible, the water is crystal clear. There is one Class II rapid called “The Squeeze” but it is otherwise an easy paddle.
- Dan River Company – 30 minutes from MHC. We chose Dan River Company based on their website and the fact that they described what to expect on the river in detail. We were most interested in sticking with Class 1 Rapids. They turned out to be a great company to go with. They are smiling, warm people who seem to love their job. They have thought of everything. All you have to do it show up and bring a change of clothes in case you get wet going down the river. Bonus, the Green Heron Ale House is right there when you get out.
The Virginia Creeper (Damascus)
The Virginia’s Creeper Trail is a 34 mile trail open to hikers and bikers. It starts on Whitetop Mountain, runs 17-miles downhill into Damascus and then continues into Abingdon. It’s about a three hour drive from Henry County to Damascus, where there are seven different bike shops that will rent you a bike and shuttle you up the mountain for you to enjoy the 2.5 to 3 hour trip down the first 17-mile stretch. We visited in October of 2016 and it was so much fun that we are definitely going to do this again.
Held in October each year, attendance is capped so buy tickets early at rooserwalk.com/brewster-walk/. This is held in Uptown Martinsville and there were food trucks and limited seating when we went. There’ll be bands on the soundstage so we recommend bringing chairs and kicking back to enjoy the music. Watch your consumption. There’s no overnight lodging within walking distance (except the jail). 2016
Bushels & Barrels (Reynolds Homestead, Critz)
Bushels & Barrels is billed as a beer festival but it is not a beer festival in the same spirit as the other local craft beer festivals. We still highly recommend it but go with the right expectations and you’ll love it. For admission, you get a pint glass and an ID bracelet but you still pay to fill your glass once you get in. Several local wineries were there, as will as a local cider maker. There was one beer tent with five or six brews. It was $5 to fill your glass. Go for the band and the incredible scenery of Reynolds Homestead grounds. Definitely takes chairs or a blanket and wear a hat. The concert is held out on the grassy grounds beside the homestead. Take a camera as the grounds are exceptionally beautiful and there are walking paths all around the homestead.
Buy your tickets before hand at microfestivus.squaresociety.org. Rent a hotel room that you can walk to (we recommend Hotel Roanoke but check the distance from the festival because the festival moves around downtown). Bringing chairs may or may not be a good idea based on the venue. 2016
Mustangs BallPark BeerFest (Martinsville)
An annual spring event held at Hooker Field in Martinsville, attendance is capped even lower than Brewsterwalk (four hundred tickets in 2015 and 2016). Buy tickets at www.martinsvillemustangs.com/beerfest.htm. Hooker Field is very photogenic. Take chairs and a camera. Food is available at the concession stand. There will be bands on the soundstage. There is no overnight lodging within walking distance. 2016