Whether by foot, bike, boat, kayak, or motorcycle, you can cruise throughout Martinsville-Henry County, Virginia this season to admire the fall colors.
Enjoy the path less taken along some of the many trails that make up the Smith River Trail System. For a more leisurely walk, try the Fieldale Trail, which travels 2.4 miles along the bank of the Smith River, and gives walkers and hikers the opportunity to experience beautiful views of the river and an abundance of wildlife in the historic town of Fieldale. Perhaps a more natural and wooded trail is more your taste. If so, head over to the Richard P. Gravely, Jr. Nature Preserve. This preserve is a 75-acre park located along the Smith River in Henry County, Virginia. Two miles of wooded trails are on the property that wind down along the river and include stops at charming sites such as historic tobacco buildings from the early 1900s, a family cemetery from the Burgess Family plantation of the 1800s, a rhododendron tunnel and more.
Cruise down the Dick & Willie Passage Rail Trail, which is part of the former Danville and Western Railroad line. Train enthusiasts will enjoy reading stories about the history of the rail line that’s featured on the many signs located along the trail. The D&W Trail is also great for walking, running or rollerblading. Sound a little too tame? Enjoy the thrills of mountain biking at Mountain Laurel Trails, voted the best mountain biking trail in Virginia by SingleTracks.com. Situated on 100 acres, the trails currently stretch for over 12 miles and encompass varying levels of difficulty for beginners as well as seasoned bikers to enjoy. The intermediate trails feature 600 feet in elevation gain along with plenty of elements to provide for an exciting ride for all.
If getting on the water is your favorite way to explore the colors of the season, then Martinsville-Henry County has you covered. Enjoy the lake life experience at Philpott Lake where nine boat launches await to get you out on the water. Philpott Lake offers pleasure boaters and paddlers a variety of places to explore including hidden waterfalls, scenic rock outcrops and three islands. Another option is to hop in your kayak, raft or canoe for an exciting journey down the beautiful Smith River. Along the Smith River Trail System, eleven public boat ramps are available for use by paddlers and anglers. If you enjoy whitewater, canoeing or kayaking the river during peak generation from Philpott Dam is the optimal time to plan your ride. If a relaxing flat water paddle is more your speed, put your boat or SUP in further downstream. Regardless of the speed of your journey, beautiful fall foliage can be enjoyed all along the river banks.
Prefer a cruise with a rumble? Motorcyclists can start with a journey along HWY 57 that will take riders along the Smith River as it winds its way through the county. Take a pit stop and explore some of our Smith River Small Towns such as Fieldale and Bassett. Hop back on 57 and continue the fall experience with a stop at the Philpott Lake Visitor Center. There you can learn more about the history and wildlife of the area and experience the breathtaking view from the overlook; one of the best fall views in Martinsville-Henry County and the region. After that, continue your fall experience with a regional adventure to explore the famous Blue Ridge Parkway. By following 57 to Route 8, you will wind your way through the mountains and on to the Parkway via the Rocky Knob Loop. Be sure to stop off at a local apple orchard such as Wade’s Orchard in Floyd, a part of “The Crooked Road,” Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. Rich music heritage can be experienced at Floyd Country Store’s Friday Night Jamboree or County Sales – home of the world’s largest collection of traditional bluegrass and old-time music.