Everyone is looking for some summer fun! I recently ran a poll to our Facebook friends and Newsletter Subscribers where I asked them to vote on their favorite summertime activities when staying in our Virginia mountain cabins at Cabin Creekwood. Here are the results!
A Three-Way Tie – Summer Fun Activities #4, 5, & 6
Look for Wildlife on the Skyline Drive
The Skyline Drive is one of my personal favorites. Because it runs through the Shenandoah National Park where hunting is not allowed, deer are everywhere! And the black bear, which is normally such a recluse, can often be seen from the road. I have such fond memories of watching black bears climbing in trees, eating berries, and turning over logs to look for grubs. I’ll also never forget the time Deb and I were hiking back from a waterfall, and met this big old bear who was coming toward us on the same path we were on! Knowing bears have poor eyesight and he probably didn’t see us, and knowing that the worst thing we could do would be to startle him, we started talking very loudly to let him know we were there. He stopped, looked at us for a bit, and then meandered off through the woods.
If Antique Shopping is your thing, you’ll be excited to know that the largest antique mall in America is just 20 minutes from Cabin Creekwood. The Factory Antique Mall in Verona has 130,000 square feet of antiques on one floor, and they’re still growing! You could literally spend several days browsing all the different vendors, and still not see everything!
Visit a Local Brewery
Over the last number of years, breweries have sprouted up in central Virginia like weeds in a flowerbed! From Blue Mountain Brewery, to Devil’s Backbone, to Wild Wolf, to Starr Hill. All are within a short drive from Cabin Creekwood. In fact, the entire “Brew Ridge Trail” featuring six separate breweries is within an hour of Cabin Creekwood. The closest is Devil’s Backbone at 7 miles.
Of course, if you’re going to be visiting breweries and tasting of their wares, please protect yourself and others by arranging transportation. You’ll have a better time knowing you don’t have to worry about navigating our mountain roads after having a few. The Brew Ridge Trail website even provides a list of drivers, from limousine services, to buses, to normal size cars.
Summer Fun Activity #3 Visit a Local Vineyard/Winery
Central Virginia has been known for its wineries many years. The climate is good for grapes, and numerous vineyards have taken advantage of that by developing wineries onsite, even dating back to the 1770’s when Thomas Jefferson attempted to make wine at his home in Monticello.
The Nelson County Wine Trail features five wineries, one cidery, and three breweries/restaurants along Route 151 through the incredibly gorgeous Rockfish Valley. As with #4 above, please be safe and support the local economy by hiring a driver if your tour will include sampling.
Summer Fun Activity #2 Hike to a Waterfall
Waterfalls abound in the Blue Ridge Mountains. My wife Deb and I hiked to all ten of the waterfalls along the Skyline Drive in one year, but our favorite is still the White Rock Falls just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. This waterfall is a short 15-minute drive from Cabin Creekwood, followed by a hike of 9/10 mile. The spring and early summer are especially beautiful, with heavy moss covering the rocks, and gushing water pouring into the pool below.
Another nearby waterfall is Crabtree Falls, the highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi. This popular waterfall features five cascades, and is great for those less inclined to hike. The bottom of the falls can be accessed via a paved, handicap accessible trail about 100 yards from the parking area. If you want to see more, you will need to leave the paved trail and work your way up the switchbacks alongside the waterfall. You’ll see plenty of beauty, even if you only venture to the top of the first cascade.
Summer Fun Activity #1 Hike to an Overlook
There’s a desire within every one of us to get to the top of the mountain where we can see far into the distance. Although incredible views are accessible from car along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive, there’s nothing quite like hiking to the top. Hikes to overlooks, by their very nature, are strenuous. But ahhh… the satisfaction, the sense of accomplishment, and the reward for conquering the climb.
Humpback Rocks on the Blue Ridge Parkway is a favorite among our guests. The view into the Shenandoah Valley is absolutely incredible! This trail is located just a few miles from Cabin Creekwood.
Another great hike is Spy Rock in Nelson County. About a 30-minute drive away, this hike provides a 360 degree panorama of unspoiled wilderness. We’re told that Confederate Soldiers used this vantage point as a lookout, and when you get to the top, you can certainly see why.
Now you know 6 great reasons to visit our Virginia mountain cabins.