Rent a canoe and sail down the Roaring River this Spring and Summer! Not only will you get to enjoy the challenge of canoeing, but the canoe launch is also set on an historic site, one of the oldest grist mills in Wilkes County. You can also fish along the river, as small mouth, large mouth, red eyes, and catfish are especially prosperous. The rates are very reasonable; for example, a trip up to three hours is only $20 per person.
Find more renting information at the website: http://www.roaringrivercanoe.com/
Mount Airy, NC is famous for being the inspiration for the fictional community of Mayberry in The Andy Griffith Show. It is less known for bluegrass music, but bluegrass is equally at home in “Mayberry” as is Andy Griffith. Especially important in Mount Airy and in the bluegrass scene is WPAQ 740 AM, the “Voice of the Blue Ridge,” one of the only truly bluegrass and old-time music radio stations still broadcasting. It is one of the reasons Mount Airy has such a large bluegrass presence; the station helps to bring in fiddlers, pickers, bluegrass bands and jam sessions. The programming includes more than just traditional bluegrass, as it also plays bluegrass gospel music and has a bible hour. If you’re in the area, tune in to 740 AM. WPAQ is truly a cultural gem.
There is an undisturbed park embedding a cascading waterfall on North Deep Creek in Yadkin County, North Carolina. Numerous walking trails weave through the Shore-Styers Mill Park, which contains two gardens and steep hills sprinkled with ferns and mountain laurel. The powerful waterfall has been home to several mills in the past, including a sawmill, corn mill, and a flour mill.
Shore-Styers Mill Park is a haven for those looking for quiet, rustic hikes and pastoral views. It is comprised of 4.41 acres of forest along North Deep Creek and is located 4 miles east of Yadkinville between Shacktown Road and Old Highway 421.
For more information and a history of the mills along the creek, visit http://www.shacktownnc.com/ShoreStyersMillPark.php
It’s not very often that beautiful historic buildings and sites are put to use for productive modern day use. The Palmer Mill Playhouse in Saltville of Smyth County, VA is a rustic mill that houses working mechanisms from the oldest Plantation style mill in Washington County, Virginia and presents theater plays to the local community. The plays often invite the community to participate and have included performances such as Steel Magnolias, Everybody Loves Opal, and Annie.
Scene from "Everybody Loves Opal" in the old mill
If you’re in the area, visit this website to see performances and times: http://palmermill.com/thepalmermill.html
The Shelton Vineyards boasts the title “The Premier Winery in the East.” It has also earned the title of the largest family owned winery in North Carolina. Located in Dobson, NC, the Shelton Winery includes a tasting bar, deli and cheese shop, and gift shop, as well as luscious scenery with picnicking spots. In the summer, concerts are shown on an outdoor stage.
The vineyards produce several wines, such as the esteemed Cabernet Sauvignon of Yadkin Valley, as well as Chardonnay, Merlot, and Riesling. If you enjoy wine, cheese, or fine food, the Shelton Vineyards and Winery are not to be missed.
See their business webpage http://www.sheltonvineyards.com
Rock Castle Gorge sits just under one of the many overlooks you can find along Rock Castle Gorge Trail, which travels along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, near Roanoke. The 11-mile moderate loop contains constantly evolving scenery, with plenty of mountain top views, and leads you through everything from cow pastures and meadow scenery to rippling streams. Wildlife has a large presence throughout the trail, and you might glimpse the broad-winged hawk or wild turkey. Red fox, coyote, bobcat, and black bear make a home nearby but are rarely seen by hikers. Be prepared for a few climbs, but also keep in mind that any steep parts are well worth the view ahead.
You can find a detailed description of the trail here: http://www.planetanimals.com/logue/Rokcastl.html, and directions and information at this site: http://www.virginia.org/Site/description.asp?AttrID=39349
The Cascade Highlands is an area rich with scenic hiking and equestrian trails, but each trail sets itself apart in a unique and interesting way. The Bull Mountain Trails is a set of ATV and equestrian trails, but it is not your traditional woodsy trail. It is chock full of wide open spaces, meadows, grassy knolls, and large ponds to camp around. Nevertheless, it certainly does not lack variety, as there are long, steep climbs, loop trails, as well as scenic areas. It is most known for ATV and equestrian trails, but the camping and picnicking opportunities should not be overlooked.
For a gallery of pictures and contact information, see http://www.bullmountaintrails.com/index.htm
“Alive After 5: Downtown Marion Second Fridays ArtWalk 2010” is an art event occurring the second Friday of every month beginning in April, and continuing through October. It takes place in downtown Marion and weaves through local businesses such as Handsome Molly’s Bistro and Small Wine Shop, the Black Rooster Gallery, and Song of the Mountains Museum & Gift Shop. The ArtWalk includes arts, crafts, jewelry, music, and food, and begins at the Appalachian Spirit Gallery next to Town Hall. Find more information and a route of the art walk here: http://www.appalachianspiritgallery.com/artwalk/
The Black Rooster Lounge and Gallery, a stop along the Art Walk
While most wineries aim for a classic, often swanky and elitist image and label, RagApple Lassie Vineyards shows they’re here for a good time. The developers wanted to set themselves apart, with “no field scenes with a cow behind a fence” on their label like everyone else. Instead, a chic cow sits on the moon and sips wine on RagApple’s label and logo, and proves to be accurate because the taste sets the wine apart just as much. With a large selection of Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Blush, Zinfandel, Merlot, and many more, RagApple Lassie Vineyards makes a variety of some of the best wine of North Carolina. The winery also boasts exciting tastings and visits, and is located in Boonville, NC.
Purchase RagApple Lassie wine and find winery events at the website, http://www.ragapplelassie.com/new/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
Follow them on Twitter for current updates and stories: http://twitter.com/RagappleLassie
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries sets aside special areas where wildlife is especially prominent in order to preserve it and to allow wildlife and nature lovers to visit. The Crooked Creek Birding and Wildlife Trail is one such area, and is most popular for its trout, black-throated blue warbler and hooded warbler, ovenbird, turkey, black vultures and red-tailed hawk, white tail, and luna moth, as well as butterflies, bobcat, and black bear in their respective seasons. As far as the land itself, the area includes streams, shrubs, rhododendron, hardwood forests, clearings, and grassy meadows.
The trail and park are open daily, cost a small admission fee, and are located in Woodlawn, VA.
The trail and park are open daily, cost a small admission fee, and is located in Woodlawn, VA.
More information can be found at the website: http://www.virginia.org/site/description.asp?attrID=33641