Sugar Tree Inn

Exterior view of home that looks like a log cabin with brownish red shutters, long porch, and wooden rocking chairs surrounded by tall trees

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Area Attractions

There is so much to do and see in the area of Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia. 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 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 planning a full day’s activities, we would be happy to assist you. In the meantime, the following list should give you a good idea of what the Shenandoah Valley has to offer!

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A pair of light brown hiking boots sitting atop of patch of moss by a tree, next to a black coffee mug.


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 is right for you!


George Washington National Forest

The George Washington National Forest spans across three states – Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky – encompassing approximately 1.8 million acres of forest. Appalachian hardwood and mixed pine-hardwood make up the lion’s share of the forest, which is located in the Blue Ridge, Central Ridge and Valley, Allegheny, and Cumberland Plateau provinces.

Most of the area’s hiking options are in the National Forest. A few noteworthy trails within a reasonable drive from Sugar Tree Inn include:

  • 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.
  • Whetstone Ridge Trail – South about two miles on the Parkway, this trail is approximately 11.3 miles one way and runs along Whetstone Ridge and South Mountain Ridge along an old tramway access road.
  • Yankee Horse Trail – About seven miles South on the Parkway at Mile Post 34.4. This is a short 0.2 mile walk to a small waterfall overlooking a reconstructed logging railroad from the early 1900’s.

Additionally, here is a great interactive map for day hiking within the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. Sugar Tree Inn is located in the Glenwood & Pedlar Ranger Districts.

If you are interested in learning more about the forest, check out a History of George Washington National Forest.

Appalachian Trail

Probably the most famous hiking trail in the world, the Appalachian Trail 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.

Three Wilderness Areas

  • Saint Mary’s Wilderness – Encompasses 10,000 acres west of the Blue Ridge Parkway. All levels of hiking experiences.
  • The Priest Wilderness – Approximately 6,000 acres located east of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The 5.7 mile trail has very rugged terrain and contains large rock outcroppings.
  • Three Ridges Wilderness – Approximately 4,600 acres located east of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The 11 miles of trail are steep and rugged, offering elevations from 1000 to 4000 feet.

Three Waterfalls

  • 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.
  • Saint Mary’s Wilderness – The best way to access the waterfall trail is to park in the Vesuvius parking area for St. Mary’s Trail. After approximately two miles, you will need to forge the Creek a few times before the trail eventually forks. Bear left and proceed approximately a half mile to the falls.
  • White Rock Falls – North about 10 miles on the Parkway. This trail is a moderate loop about five miles long.

Other Hiking Areas

  • Goshen Pass Natural Area Preserve – Over 900 acres containing a chestnut oak forest, cliff, riverside scrub, and aquatic natural communities along the Maury River. Goshen Pass offers multiple trails with varying distances and varying difficulty.
  • Chessie Nature Trail – This six-mile trail follows very flat old railroad route between Lexington and Buena Vista (Pronounced Bew’-na Vista) and winds along the Maury River past canal boat locks, cliffs, and pasturelands. An easy walk.
  • Natural Bridge State Park – A network of trails with waterfalls, HUGE limestone formations, and a Monacan Indian exhibit. TRAIL MAP
A rectangular silver tray holding 20 small glasses of with a variety of beers in different shades of brown.

Wineries & Breweries

Our neck of the woods has a little bit of everything: wineries, breweries, cideries, and even distilleries. We love promoting the three wineries in our county – see our Rockbridge County Wine Tour. We are located smack in the middle of the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail and less than 30 minutes away from Route 151 (aka Virginia’s Weekend Address) AND Brew Ridge Trail.


NOTE:  Please note that we are a rural location, operation season, dates, and times will vary, so PLEASE call ahead or double-check websites for this information.


If craft beer is your thing, Sugar Tree Inn will make a great home base. Check out all the breweries that are 30 – 45 minutes from our Shenandoah Valley bed and breakfast.


A new, but growing industry in Virginia. From dry to sweet, we’ve got it all within a short drive.


There are dozens of wineries within an hour’s drive! We can help plan a tour for you!

We have highlighted the vineyards in our county, which is in the Shenandoah Valley Region of Virginia Wine Country, but we are also within a reasonable drive of the Central Virginia Region, which is located on the side of the mountain, along Route 151 and Route 29 in Nelson County. We are not as familiar with those vineyards, so please go and visit – and share your thoughts with us so we can pass along the word.

A trail leading through a forest of tall evergreen trees with a burst of sunshine coming through.

Outdoor Adventure

You know we have hiking around us. (Check out Hiking if you want more details.) But did you know…we have rock climbing in Rockbridge County? You can also explore the mountains via horseback. Looking for water adventure? We have that, too: go kayaking and tubing along the Maury River or Upper James, or cast a line in many of the streams and creeks in our area where trout abound.


Seeking something a little milder, but still outside? Come birding. Bird on our property full of barred owls, hawks, scarlet tanagers, and of course, our hummingbirds. We are also near the Thomas Jefferson Loop and Rockbridge River & Ridge Loop birding trails in Virginia.

Still not impressed? How about rockhounding, geocaching, or bicycling? See below for more details.

Horseback Adventure

Water Adventure


Rock Climbing

Mineral Hunting/Rockhounding



Empty paved road surrounded by beautiful green and yellow trees.

Scenic Driving

Whether you are interested in winding mountain roads with vistas and scenic overlooks, the rolling hills of bucolic farmland, or something in between, we have it all. After a hearty breakfast at our Lodge, just hop in your car and pick a direction.  North, south, east, or west, there is a beautiful drive ahead. If you let us know your preferences, we can help!

  • Blue Ridge Parkway – It is hard to beat our access to the Parkway; we are just one mile off (Milepost 27). The Parkway’s 469 miles offer an array of color beginning in spring with wildflowers and ending with the reds, yellows, and glowing embers of fall.
  • Appalachian Waters Scenic Byway/Route 39 – Running through Goshen Pass, this scenic byway snakes beside the Maury River. It also takes you within tasting distance of two Rockbridge County vineyards: Lexington Valley and Jump Mountain Vineyard. In addition to vineyards, there are numerous picnic sites available, great fly fishing spots, and even reported bear sightings.
  • Route 11 – Looking for something a little straighter? Route 11 is the road that travelers took pre-interstate. It was a major north and south thoroughfare through Virginia and today you can still see evidence of old Americana. Head south on Route 11 and you will find yourself in Lexington; head north and you will end up in Staunton.
  • Heritage Loop – Though not an “official” byway, this is a driving loop we often recommend to our guests because it takes you through Virginia’s farmlands, mountains, and rural towns. The scenic tour includes vineyards, antiques, gristmills, a lavender farm, and so much more. Create your own itinerary based on your interests.
Large red barn next to other farm outbuildings in a green crop with a cloudy blue sky above.


Our part of Virginia is perfect for getting a behind-the-scenes look at where your food comes from. Explore area grist mills, a lavender farm, vineyards, and so much more. Take a peek!


And take a moment to chat with the people who help put food and drink on your table.

Grist Mills

  • Wade’s Mill – Founded in 1750, Wade’s Mill is the oldest continuously operated grist mill in the Shenandoah Valley. You find stone ground flour, grits, mixes, and so much more. Definitely worth a look! 55 Kennedy Wade’s Mill Loop, Raphine, Virginia 24472, 540-348-1400,, MAP
    Wednesday – Sunday, 10a – 5p
    OPEN, March 30 – December 22, 2019
  • Cyrus McCormick Farm – Also known as Walnut Grove Farm during the days of Cyrus McCormick (inventor of the grain reaper), McCormick Farm is now operated by Virginia Tech as a research center. The site is open to the public year-round and includes a grist mill, manor home, smokehouse, school room, housekeeper’s quarters, and smithy. 128 Cyrus McCormick Circle, Raphine, Virginia 24472, 540-377-2255, MAP
    Daily, 8a – 5p

Specialty Farms

A long empty train track surrounded by tall green trees and grass against a grey sky.

Historic Interest

In case you didn’t know, history in Virginia is HUGE. Virginia was home to settlers, wars (both Revolutionary and Civil), founding fathers, and presidents. Whether you are above or below the Mason Dixon Line – or have no idea what the Mason Dixon Line is – Virginia can provide you with a glimpse of things past.


Rockbridge County

  • 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.


  • Virginia Military Institute
    • 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.
    • 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 its 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.
  • Washington & Lee University
    • 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.

Staunton/Augusta County

  • Museum of 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 presidents 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.
  • Camera Heritage Museum – With the growth of Instagram and everyone learning the art of photography, why not take a peek at the history of it all. With a collection of over 6,000 cameras and accessories, see the progression of photography and glimpse some of the stories behind the equipment we use everyday.
A vendor's set up at an antiques market selling vintage wooden boxes, greenery and a circus sign.

Antiquing & Cool Used Stuff Shops

Whether you’re shopping for kitschy or classic finds, a little something for your bookshelf or your front yard, let us be your home-base while you hunt for your treasure.


Quick Note:

  • If you are interested in shopping farmed products, such as grits, soaps, and honey, pop over to Agritourism.
  • If you are interested in shopping boutique stores, pop over to Small Town Charm.

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!

Antiques & Cool Used Stuff Shops

Antique Malls

  • Stuarts Draft Antique Mall – 3304 Stuarts Draft Hwy, Waynesboro, Virginia 2980, 540-946-8488, MAP
    Monday – Saturday, 10a – 5p
    Sunday, 12p – 5p
  • Factory Antique Mall – 50 Lodge Lane, Suite 106, Verona, Virginia 24482, 540-248-1110, MAP
    Monday – Thursday, 10a – 5p
    Friday – Saturday, 10a – 6p
    Sunday, 12p – 6p

Or plan your own trail with the help of Virginia’s Antiquing Map.

As-Seen-On-TV Note: If you are obsessed with Black Dog Salvage, we are only about an hour away from Roanoke. Just saying.


If you’d like a little more information about these Antique Shops, we’d encourage you to read our blog Top 3 Cool Used Stuff Shops in Rockbridge County.

A square, red sign with the text

Small Town Charm

We have mountains. We have valleys. We have farmland. So of course we have small towns, villages, and communities. Discover the appeal of quaintness and see why Virginia loves its small towns.


Vesuvius, Virginia 

Village of Fairfield (Right along Rt. 11 South)

  • 3 Seasons Antiques & Unique Treasures – 5562 North Lee Highway, Fairfield, Virginia 24435, 540-784-9349, MAP
    Sunday – Monday, CLOSED
    Tuesday – Saturday, 11:03a – 4:03p
  • The Quiltery (Quilting Patterns and Supplies) – 5499 North Lee Highway, Fairfield, Virginia 24435, MAP
    Monday – Saturday, 10a – 5p
    Sunday, 12p – 4p (June – Sept)
  • AbellaPaca Boutique (Alpaca Products) – 1458 Sterrett Road, Fairfield, Virginia 24435, 540-255-9200, MAP
    Saturday – Sunday, 12p – 4p

Brownsburg Village – An old carriage town. One of the main hubs of the day. 

  • Brownsburg Museum – 2716 Brownsburg Turnpike, Brownsburg, Virginia 24415, 540-348-1600, MAP
    Monday – Friday, CLOSED
    Saturday, 10a – 4p
    Sunday, 1p – 4p

Northern Rockbridge County – To keep from being too redundant, we will refer you back to the Agritourism section, which pretty much encompasses the charm of this part of our county.

Lexington, Virginia – Located just 30 minutes south on Rt. 11. Enjoy the scenic drive through rolling farmland and the Village of Fairfield. Drive through the campus of Virginia Military Institute or Washington & Lee, or park and explore the downtown by foot or horse drawn carriage.

There are so many great shops and places to eat, there is no way we could list all of them here. So, we will let Lexington tell you about itself.

Staunton, Virginia – Located just 30 minutes north on Rt. 11. Enjoy more rolling farmland, pass through the larger communities of Greenville and Stuarts Draft as you make your way to Staunton. Home of Woodrow Wilson and Mary Baldwin University, Staunton is slightly larger than Lexington, but still one of Virginia’s noted small towns.

Nelson County – Over on the sunrise side of the mountain, you will run into Nelson County, home of Crabtree Falls and Rt. 151. You will also find more farms, more hiking, more scenic drives, basically more of what we LOVE about Virginia.

Augusta County – You will actually weave in and out of Augusta County while you drive up our mountain. Augusta encompasses both Staunton and Waynesboro, so you will have more, more, more of the Shenandoah Valley to love.

A small circular glass marble with a landscape scene being held between two fingers.

Unique Attractions

From bizarre attractions to natural wonders to fun area events. We couldn’t pass up an opportunity to highlight some of the unique attractions in and around our area.



  • Righteous and Rascals of Rockbridge – Discover those who left their mark on Rockbridge County.
  • Lexington Carriage Company – Learn about the history of Lexington via a narrated horse-drawn carriage ride.
  • Haunting Tales Ghost Tour – Inspired by the Jack the Ripper tours in London. Tour Lexington at night and experience legends and folktales that will keep you entertained.
  • Traipse – Explore Staunton while using this app and turn your tour into a puzzle challenge.
  • Thomas Jefferson Tour – Monticello to Poplar Forest, or vice versa. Travel Rt. 29 from Jefferson’s homestead to his retreat and all the places in between.
  • Virginia’s BBQ Trail – New and super exciting. Located near Shenandoah Valley Trail AND Central Virginia Trail.
  • Wilderness Road – Follow the migration route of early immigrants as they traveled south through Virginia.


  • Queen City Mischief & Magic – An annual Harry Potter themed festival in downtown Staunton usually around the end of September. Wizards and Muggles alike appreciate the streets lined with characters, store fronts adorned with magical displays, and of course, Platform 9 and ¾!
  • Balloons Over Rockbridge – This year, Lexington held an Independence Week Festival over the 4th of July. Balloons, live music, food festivals, and more.

Natural Wonders 

  • Natural Bridge State Park – Fairly new to the State Park system (2016), Natural Bridge has hiking and biking trails, waterfalls, a Monacan Indian exhibit, and the bridge itself, a limestone structure which was underwater hundreds of millions of years ago. TRAIL GUIDE
  • Crabtree Falls – If you would like more information, check out our Hiking section.


  • Dinosaur Kingdom II – Haven’t you ever wondered how the Civil War may have been different if Stonewall Jackson discovered dinosaurs in our Appalachian mountains? Well, creator Mark Cline answers just that question in his attraction reminiscent of mid-century America’s roadside attractions, located down by Natural Bridge.
  • Virginia Safari Park – Located down by Natural Bridge. Whether you walk through the Village, drive through or take a wagon ride through the Park, the animals are not shy about coming over to welcome you, and eat whatever you have. And would you believe they have African penguins?
  • Hull’s Drive-In – Established in 1950. The Lexington and Rockbridge Community rallied together in 2000 to keep this legacy alive and Hull’s became the nation’s first non-profit, community-owned drive-in theater.
  • Frontier Culture Museum – An outdoor, living history museum located on this side of Staunton that features original farm buildings from West Africa, England, Ireland, Germany, and Virginia.
  • American Shakespeare Center – Located in downtown Staunton, the playhouse is “the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater.” Shakespearian plays, new plays, and Shakespeare’s New Contemporary plays are performed.
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Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail