Discover Floyd, Nature’s Mountain Paradise – Virginia Is For Lovers

On the crest of the Blue Ridge, Floyd County’s lush mountainscapes portray the diversity and beauty of the mountain plateau and present a natural playground whether your fun is hiking, biking, fishing, camping and/or photography.

Never traversed by a four-lane road or rail-line, Floyd County’s heritage and natural beauty are remarkably well-preserved. Chosen for 40 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s among the most beautiful counties in Virginia with scenic overlooks, picturesque working farms, and historic sites, including the famed Mabry Mill, which is maintained and operated by the National Park Service and serves as a visual centerpiece of the Parkway and tourism magnet for the region.

Hike up Buffalo Mountain, part of a 1,000-acre Natural Area Preserve that stands nearly 4,000 feet in altitude. Enjoy panoramic views of the forest, fields, sunrises and sunsets. This mountain was once part of a large land grant given to Robert E. Lee’s father, “Lighthorse Harry” Lee for his military service. Along the hike on the Rock Castle Gorge National Recreational Trail, you’ll see tunnels of rhododendren and other thick mountain foliage, a splashing stream, and high open meadows.

via Discover Floyd, Nature’s Mountain Paradise – Virginia Is For Lovers.

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Discover Floyd, Nature’s Mountain Paradise – Virginia Is For Lovers

On the crest of the Blue Ridge, Floyd County’s lush mountainscapes portray the diversity and beauty of the mountain plateau and present a natural playground whether your fun is hiking, biking, fishing, camping and/or photography.

Never traversed by a four-lane road or rail-line, Floyd County’s heritage and natural beauty are remarkably well-preserved. Chosen for 40 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s among the most beautiful counties in Virginia with scenic overlooks, picturesque working farms, and historic sites, including the famed Mabry Mill, which is maintained and operated by the National Park Service and serves as a visual centerpiece of the Parkway and tourism magnet for the region.

Hike up Buffalo Mountain, part of a 1,000-acre Natural Area Preserve that stands nearly 4,000 feet in altitude. Enjoy panoramic views of the forest, fields, sunrises and sunsets. This mountain was once part of a large land grant given to Robert E. Lee’s father, “Lighthorse Harry” Lee for his military service. Along the hike on the Rock Castle Gorge National Recreational Trail, you’ll see tunnels of rhododendren and other thick mountain foliage, a splashing stream, and high open meadows.

via Discover Floyd, Nature’s Mountain Paradise – Virginia Is For Lovers.

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Reflections on fall in the mountains.

We have split our trip to the North Carolina mountains in two with a few days in Virginia where I sit in the Hotel Floyd blogging right now. The weather for the most part has been glorious, the people have been friendly, and the drive has been a joy. Everyone keeps telling me that the leave color is not up to par but from this boy from the Texas coast, I ain’t ever seen color like this in the fall.

Asheville was beautiful as was the drive to and from. The colors were vivid all the way to Charlottesville. The drive back down the Blue Ridge Parkway gave us the opportunity to enjoy a bit of snow as well.

Here is a slide show of what we have seen…

Reflections on fall in the mountains.

We have split our trip to the North Carolina mountains in two with a few days in Virginia where I sit in the Hotel Floyd blogging right now. The weather for the most part has been glorious, the people have been friendly, and the drive has been a joy. Everyone keeps telling me that the leave color is not up to par but from this boy from the Texas coast, I ain’t ever seen color like this in the fall.

Asheville was beautiful as was the drive to and from. The colors were vivid all the way to Charlottesville. The drive back down the Blue Ridge Parkway gave us the opportunity to enjoy a bit of snow as well.

Here is a slide show of what we have seen…

Waiting for fall

Reading the muse from South Carolina has me holding out hope. There is a chance yet that our drive up the Blue Ridge in November might have a bit of color left…

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been searching for signs of fall — with no luck.

Where the heck is autumn?

I need some crisp air, crunching leaves, shivery nights.

I need to dig sweaters out of the back of the closet. Take a walk for no reason other than the weather is especially fine. Breathe air that smells of wood smoke and ripe apples.

During the 25 years I lived in Florida, I got used to having no fall to speak of. Signs of autumn there are so subtle, they’re pretty much lost amid the traffic jams at the beach, the blaze of sun on white sand. Oak trees in the Sunshine State don’t lose their leaves until January.

Here, it’s different. These are the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place that could be called Fall Foliage Central. Autumn is practically a sacrament here. People make pilgrimages to the mountains year after year, so they can stand amid blue spires and inhale the beauty.

They lean against the railing at Parkway overlooks and try to put it all into words.

It will definitely be a different kind of drive. Going from the remnants of summer on the Gulf Coast into what should be the beginnings of winter in the mountains of Virginia. We will be running north up half the length of the Blue Ridge. Catching it in Georgia and leaving it somewhere in Virginia.

We aren’t planning to stay in any one place this time. Just wandering along the Blue Ridge for a week or so before wandering back to Texas.

Wish us luck in our search for Autumn.

Waiting for fall to bathe us in color : Columns : Anderson Independent-Mail

Can you describe the Floyd lifestyle?

One of the places that was on the list for a visit on this year’s Blue Ridge Mountain trip was (and is) Floyd, Virginia. I have made the acquaintance (virtually) of a few residents of Floyd County over the past couple of years and I feel the need to feel that little piece of the Blue Ridge Country under my moccasins. I have been intrigued ever since I first started reading Fred First’s blog, which led to Colleen’s, then I found Doug’s, then it was David’s. Between the four I almost feel like I live in the neighborhood.

Doug posted an essay that I really found quite interesting, I thought I would point a link at it during this, my virtual vacation trip…

Floyd is the young husband getting up at 4 a.m. to feed the animals before he has to drive an hour and a half to his job at the Volvo truck plant two counties away.

Floyd is the farmer up at the same hour, preparing for a long day cutting hay, mending fences, slopping hogs and worrying about the weather and the price of beef on the hoof at

Go read the rest …
Source: The Floyd lifestyle | Blue Ridge Muse

There seem to be a few things that Floyd County Virginia is famous for:

  1. Mabry Mill – The most photographed spot on what must be the most photographed road in America. Here’s my version from a rainy day in June of 2004…
  2. Fred’s Barn…the most photographed barn in the Blue Ridge Mountains (mostly by Fred).
  3. The Floyd Country Store

    The Floyd Country Store is more than a store. For generations it has been a place where people gather,conduct business, and enjoy each other’s company.

    About 25 years ago the store became known for its Friday Night Jamboree, an evening of traditional Appalachian music and dancing. Old-timers and new visitors come together to celebrate the local heritage and experience the joy of an old-fashioned family night out.

  4. Cafe del Sol – Hangout of the Floyd Bloggers. That’s Bloggers with a “B” not Cloggers with a “C”. Though I am sure a lot of Clogging goes on on the weekends…
  5. FloydFest 2007

    We are all travelers across the way; sometimes along the journey we come to a place so profound we must look more closely. Such a place is Floyd, home to magic and The Floyd World Music Festival. A crossroad for those searching and finding… perhaps themselves! Come across the way and if you listen you will hear.

Do you have a “Famous Floyd” fact or location I should add to my itinerary? Leave it in the comments…