Nelson County, Virginia
On Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 10:00 am, a group of local Nelson County residents and County officials will officially open the Nelson Scenic Loop, a 50-mile auto and biking tour route through the picturesque and historic landscape of northwestern Nelson County. Please join us in experiencing the natural and cultural wonders of the LOOP, which scales the heights of the Blue Ridge Parkway and encircles 3 Ridge Mountain, and connects the verdant valleys of the Rockfish and Tye Rivers.
Ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the Nelson Scenic Loop are set to take place at Spruce Creek Park on June 12 at 10:00 am and will include jugglers, antique cars and many other activities. This event will anchor Grand Discovery Days, June 11-13, 2010, a three-day festival of events highlighting local history, nature, and culture in Nelson County. All events on June 12 are free and open to the public.
The Nelson Scenic Loop is the vision of the Rockfish Valley Foundation and its founder, local resident Peter Agelasto. He said the idea for the LOOP grew out of his family’s own discoveries around the LOOP over 30 years and from conversations he had with local business owners, long-time residents, and County officials about how to support the wide variety of enterprises in the County and to showcase its rural lifestyle and natural resources. “The Nelson Scenic Loop is the best way to spend time outdoors and visit the thriving businesses and local artisans, while enjoying local food and wine in our restaurants and markets. I don’t know of a place like it in Virginia.”
Connie Brennan, chairman of the Nelson County Board of Supervisors and
Central District representative, sees the Loop as a unique opportunity to introduce visitors to the exciting intersection of history, nature, and culture that is Nelson County. “Driving the Loop will be so enjoyable that we know folks will want to return. Many will be surprised at all we have to offer, and our hope is that they will be inspired to commit to preserve this beautiful and special part of Virginia.”
Comprised of four Scenic Byways, the Nelson Scenic Loop can be accessed at many places on the route which stretches from Route 151 in Nellysford up Route 664 to a 13 mile stretch along the Blue Ridge Parkway, then closing “the loop” along Routes 56 and 151. Along the way are sites of interest such as Crabtree Falls, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Montebello Fish Hatchery, and the Appalachian Trail, among others.
To learn about the LOOP, go to www.nelsonscenicloop.com, which displays a detailed map and guides to historic, natural, and cultural spots along the route together with businesses offering local food and local products. Also on the website is a detailed description of the events along the LOOP on this first Grand Discovery Days weekend.
The opening of the Nelson Scenic Loop is just one event in Grand Discovery Days, a festival of events designed to kick-off the summer vacation season with an emphasis on making local “discoveries.” “More and more folks are opting for a “stay-cation” this year,” says Agelasto. “Grand Discovery Days will showcase what makes Nelson County great right in our own backyard. The Nelson Scenic Loop is the perfect entry point to experiencing the best of our County.”
On Friday, June 11, an old-fashioned country Square Dance will be held and sponsored by the Nelson County Community Fund to raise money for its grant making in Nelson. The dance will be held from 7 pm to 10:30 pm at the Rockfish Valley Community Center in Nellysford. Have fun raising funds. Tickets are for sale at the door, though www.nelsonfund.org or by calling 434-226-0078
Saturday, June 12, marks the opening of the Nelson Scenic Loop. Many venues along the route will be holding events including the Love Mountain Festival in Love, the Piney Mountain Music Festival at Beech Grove, Pharsalia and Elk Hill farm tours, hikes along the Appalachian Trail, 80th anniversary events at the Montebello Fish Hatchery, and a rally of the Piedmont and Skyline Antique Auto Clubs.
On Sunday, June 13 from noon until 4:00 pm, celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway at a special event held at Skylark Farm, a one-of-a-kind property on the Parkway which has a 360 degree view of the Appalachian plateau. This celebration is sponsored by the Oakland Museum, Washington and Lee University, Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Rockfish Valley Foundation. Carlton Abbott, whose father Stanley Abbott designed the Parkway, is a featured speaker. The public is invited to attend the program and conference center exhibits. Picnic with the music of Jimbo Cary, Benny Dodd and Curtis Matthews at three different venues within the 350 acre farm. A $5.00 donation per person is requested.
About the Nelson Scenic Loop: The Nelson Scenic Loop is a 50-mile auto and biking tour route through the scenic and historic landscape of northwestern Nelson County. The Loop connects several local wineries, breweries, orchards, craft studios, and restaurants. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the historic, natural, and cultural attractions of Nelson County. For more information and updates on events, visit: www.nelsonscenicloop.com (note our site is currently under construction but will be completed before June 12.)
About Grand Discovery Days: Grand Discovery Days is a weekend of festivities in Nelson County on June 11-13, 2010. The weekend will feature music festivals, antique car rallies, historic farm tours, and other rural activities and will promote the opening of the Nelson Scenic Loop. Enjoy local food, wines, and beers of Nelson County. Discover all that Nelson County has to offer.
I look forward to that the next time I get the chance to ride my motorcycle on the blue Ridge Parkway!