In and Of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Area Attractions

There is so much to do and see in our neck of the woods. Let us help you plan your days with activities and adventures that suit your style. From hiking along the famed Appalachian Trail, to touring the Blue Ridge Parkway, to exploring the Luray Caverns, to visiting one of the many nearby wineries or breweries there is something for every visitor. Whether you just need directions to the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA or need help to plan a full day's activities, our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be more than happy to assist you. In the meantime, the following list should give you a good idea of what the Shenandoah Valley has to offer!


Horseback Riding

New Meadow Farm
By appointment only 540-377-6169 or 540-290-5790

Virginia Mountain Outfitters
By appointment only 540-261-1910


Museums

Cyrus McCormick Farm and Museum
The ancestral McCormick farm is where young Cyrus and his father perfected the wheat reaper in 1831. The farm houses a smithy and a small but interesting museum. Located on Hwy 606 just west of US 11. A great location for a picnic.

Robert E. Lee Chapel and Museum
On the campus of W & L and across from the President's House, the Chapel is where Robert E. Lee and his family lie buried; his beloved horse Traveler is interred just outside. Downstairs is a fine small museum containing his office, just as he left it, and family items from Lee's postwar years here as President of the University.

VMI Hall of Valor
Upstairs is a huge painting of the VMI cadet charge at the Battle of New Market in 1864. Downstairs the museum depicts cadet life and the history of VMI, its many famous graduates and it most famous professor, Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson. It hosts a fine collection of antique firearms.

George C. Marshall Museum
On the VMI campus, this museum honors VMI graduate General Marshall's life and achievements. Huge electronic map traces WW II in Europe.

Stonewall Jackson House
The only home owned by one of the most famous and revered Southern generals in the War Between the States. Slide film and tour of the house and gardens emphasize Jackson's personal life. On Washington Street a block from the Visitor's Center.

Museum of American Frontier Culture
Superb living history exhibit of authentic, reconstructed ancestral farmsteads actually moved here from Northern Ireland, England, and Germany to illustrate the folkways and lifestyles of the first white settlers in the Shenandoah Valley. A typical Valley farmhouse shows how these disparate traditions combined to create the Valley culture. Knowledgeable interpreters in period costumes explain and demonstrate as you walk from farm to farm.

Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Museum
America's World War I president, one of eight president's from Virginia, was born in the parsonage of the First Presbyterian Church, now authentically restored. The museum addresses the history of his era, Wilson's career and shows his immaculately restored Pierce Arrow limousine. The lovely terraced gardens are open to the public.

Statler Brothers Complex
The former public school where the famed music group studied is now a museum and store and traces their career. Call the Staunton Visitor's Center for tour times and shop hours. 540-332-5219


Photography

This part of Virginia provides many varied opportunities to show off your skills.


Swimming

Goshen Pass
Breathtaking mountain gorge. Numerous access points to the water from Rt. 39.
Sherando Lake off the Parkway on Hwy 814 has a swimming beach with a park fee.


Antiquing

Find your special item here. Whether it be fine a rare, fine antique, or just a nice piece of junk, there is a store or mall nearby to suit your tastes!


Berry Picking

Orchardside Berry Farm
Located five Miles west of Raphine on Hwy 606. (540)-348-5220


Bicycling

Carriage Tours of Lexington
There are many opportunities and good circuit trips available from the Lexington Visitor's Center. 540-463-3777 or see our Rockbridge Outdoors booklet in the main Lodge for more information.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is popular but steep grades mean you should be in good shape, with good tires and brakes.


Breweries

Devils Backbone, Blue Lab, Blue Mountain Brewery, and Wild Wolf Brewing Co are all within a 30~45 minute drive. If Craft Beer is your thing, this is a great home base!


Gardens

Boxerwood Gardens just west of Lexington - A collection of mature and unusual trees and shrubs on fifteen acres. Self guided tours March thru November, Thursday - Sunday. Donation suggested. 540-463-2697

Buffalo Springs Herb Farm - West Raphine Road (Hwy 606) Open April thru Mid December Wednesday - Saturday, Sundays, April & May. Free admission. 18th century farmstead offering garden tours & herbal products. Wildflower walk in the Spring.


Golf

Several semi-private & public golf courses within a half hour drive.
The Country Club of Staunton - 540-248-7278
Ingleside Resort - Staunton, VA 540-248-1201
Winton Country Club - Hwy 151 Clifford, VA 434-946-7336
Wintergreen Resort - Two Courses - Tee Times either course 804-325-8250


Carriage Tours

Carriage Tours of Lexington
Located at 106 Washington Street in Lexington. Narrated, horse drawn carriage tours daily April thru October. 540-463-5647


Natural Wonders

Spring Fever
Spring comes to brighten the mountains first with fresh green color that is bright and crisp. Other color begins to slowly emerge with Spring flowers. The Rhododendron usually bloom in May followed by the Mountain Laurel in early June. The wildflowers of our area come and go from May to September.

Fall Foliage
Color begins in September with the scarlet dogwoods, continues with clear yellow poplars and bright red and orange maples, and then finishes about November with russet oaks. Driving the parkway is a spectacular way to see the color.

Natural Bridge - One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World
45 minutes South on Hwy 11 or off I-81 Mammoth limestone span is grand and beautiful. Past the Bridge with Washington's carved initials is a nice walk including a Monacan Indian village (open seasonally) and ending at the Bridal Veil Falls. 800-533-1410

Natural Chimneys
About 1 hour north off I-81 at the Mt Solon Exit. Seven towers of stone rise 120 feet above the meadowlands. Picnic sites and hiking trails. March - October. 888-430-CAMP.

Peaks of Otter
Two high peaks of the Blue Ridge about 1 hour south on the Parkway. Visitor's Center, restaurant, & hiking trails.

Luray Caverns
About 1 hours north off I-81 is Luray Caverns, the largest and best-known of Virginia's many caves. Guide tours, unique "stalacpipe" organ made from stalactites. Car and carriage museum is included. 540-743-6551.

Shenandoah Caverns
Nearby Shenandoah Caverns is smaller but has an elevator and smoother walkways. 888-4 CAVERN.

Endless Caverns
New Market 540-896-2283

Grand Caverns
April - October. Weekends - November - March. 1-888-430 CAVE.

Natural Bridge Caverns
March - November. 800-533-1410


Wine Tastings

There are dozens of wineries within an hour's drive; the closest being only 6 or 7 miles from us! We can help plan a tour for you!
Canoeing, Kayking & Tubing


Kayaking

Twin River Outfitters
653 Low Street, Buchanan, VA 24066 www.canoevirginia.net 540-261-7334


Carriage Tours

Located at 106 Washington Street in Lexington. Narrated, horse drawn carriage tours daily April thru October. 540-463-5647


Equestrian Events

The Lexington Horse Center located on Hwy 39, west of US 11 just north of town offers world class horse shows, dressage, sales, rodeos and other events. 540-463-4300
Also, see Horseback Riding Below.


Fishing

There are several nice lakes, streams, and rivers to fish in the area with lovely scenery. Our area offers Trout, Bass, Catfish, Pan Fish and Fly Fishing. Some restrictions including licenses apply. Please see our Rockbridge Outdoors booklet in the Main Lodge for more information. VA Trout Stocking Hot-Line - 434-525-3474


Hiking

We are located in "Hikers Heaven"! There are far too many nearby hikes to list them all, but here are a few of the more popular ones. Please ask us and we will be glad to help you pick the hike that's right for you!.

Crabtree Falls
Hike next to the highest falls east of the Mississippi, along a moderately strenuous 1.7 mile route one way. The switchback trail offers a series of viewpoints with increasingly steep access next to magnificent cascades that drop a total of 1200 feet. However, the first and very impressive overlook requires almost no climbing. A one mile, relatively Flat walk through woods at the upper end ends at Crabtree Meadows, near the Appalachian Trail.
The Priest An amazing view from the top! It can be accessed form several starting points near us
Spy Rock Located on the Appalachian Trail, this is one of our guests' favorites.

Humpback Rock Trail
North about 20 miles on the Parkway, this very steep but short trail leads to a magnificent vantage point atop bare rocks, with sweeping 360 degree panoramic views.

Yankee Horse Trail
About 7 miles South on the Parkway at Mile Post 34.4. A short 0.2 mile walk to a small waterfall overlooking a reconstructed logging railroad from the early 1900's.

Appalachian Trail
Probably the most famous hiking trail in the world, the AT stretches from Maine to Georgia along the mountains. It crosses the Parkway about eight miles North at County 814 and crosses US 56 about 10 miles east. We'll be glad to help you find one of our several nearby access points.

Chessie Nature Trail
This six mile trail follows very flat old railroad route between Lexington and Buena Vista (Pronounced Bew'-na Vista). Winds along the Maury River past canal boat locks, cliffs and pasturelands. An easy walk.

St. Mary's Wilderness
Encompasses 10,000 acres west of the Blue Ridge Parkway. All levels of hiking experiences.


Picnics

The Blue Ridge Parkway going north or south provides frequent pull offs which are great picnic areas. Seven minutes south, Yankee Horse Gap has a rebuilt section of narrow gauge logging track and a delightful waterfall only a few steps from the picnic benches.

In the valley, just west of Steeles Tavern on Hwy 606 is the McCormick Wayside with a pleasant picnic area next to the pond.
Goshen Pass is another great place to picnic and Hwy 39 is a Virginia Scenic Byway.

And don't forget, Gertie's General Store in Vesuvius or Royal Oaks Cabins at Mile Post 16 on the Blue Ridge Parkway are great for packing picnic lunches.


Skiing

Three ski resorts are located within a half hour to an hour drive from Sugar Tree.
Wintergreen Resort - 804-325-2200
The Homestead Resort - 800-383-1766
Massanutten Resort - 540-289-9441

Location