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Rich Creek Day Trip

Rich Creek Town Co Branded Logo 2018Suggested Itinerary | Rich Creek Day Trip

 

Rich Creek is a small town in Giles County with a population of 760 people. Accessing Rich Creek is very easy by car as it sits on Route 460 almost to the West Virginia state line, as well as Route 219 from Peterstown, WV. The charming main street welcomes visitors and is a relaxing home to residents.

 

To start your day in Rich Creek consider The Corner Market or Burger Boy. The town is situated in such a way that much of the activity is walkable. Enjoy a stroll through the heart of town to enjoy old homes and churches that make up Rich Creek. Daniel Shumate and Milly Callison with their three sons settled Rich Creek and built their first log home in 1780. Later in 1787 Daniel received a land grant for 387 acres and built his second log home near a large spring knoll overlooking the river. The people of Rich Creek came to know this home as “Riverside, home of the Hardin Shumates” until 1981 when it was sold to Emory and Louise Eaton. However, white settlers came across Rich Creek back in 1671 when the Batt and Fallam Expedition came to a halt when Indian guides refused to go any further. They burned their initials in a tree and claimed the territory for King Charles II of England. The early settlers in Rich Creek were Scotch, Irish, Germans, and Englishmen.

storefront of the Corner Market in Rich Creek
The Corner Market in Rich Creek. Photo from their Facebook page. Be sure to visit!

Shopping in Rich Creek could include consignment and flea markets as well as a stop in to Allen’s Furniture and Gateway Gifts, part of Smith’s Pharmacy.

 

Lunch- Enjoy lunch at regional favorites Pizza Plus or Queen’s Pizza. The Corner Market also has fresh produce to make a picnic lunch. The public boat landing along the New River Water Trail is just east of Rich Creek and would be a nice place for an outdoors lunch, overlooking the New River.

 

Enjoy lunch and a walk or take the children to play at Woodland Park located above the downtown area. This park features a walking trail, picnic pavilion, and playground equipment. After an afternoon recess you should visit the Rich Creek Public Library, also home to the Town Hall and Community Center. They have Visitor Guides and other information to help plan your time in Giles.

town park

 

End your day with a nostalgic meal of good proportions at Central Restaurant. Located on the banks of Rich Creek (the creek by which the town gets its name) this family friendly establishment is a must for visitors or travelers. To stay in Rich Creek, one would enjoy Gentry’s Landing RV Park and campground. There is also a Budget Inn Motel near the Town Hall. Other nearby lodging properties could be found at gilescounty.org/lodging.

 

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Giles County, Virginia is located in Southwest Virginia approximately 40 minutes south of Roanoke and just west of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech. With easy access to the New River, world class dining and lodging properties, and historical attractions for the entire family, Giles offers adventure in Virginia’s Mountain Playground™. Come find your playground at our Visitors Center located at 203 N Main Street, Pearisburg, VA 24134 or find us online at gilescounty.org or by calling 540-921-2079. For interviews or onsite visits, please contact Cora Gnegy, Tourism Marketing Director. We can arrange and assist with any media needs. For more information about planning your visit to Giles County or about activities and events, please visit www.gilescounty.org or contact us at tourism@gilescounty.org.

Bicycling, Mountain Biking, & More along the NRWT

Bicycling, Mountain Biking, & More in Giles

 

Tucked in Southwest Virginia with easy access from major cities and interstates, Giles County, Virginia bodes well for your cycling destination. The rural county with a population of just under 17,000 people, has 37 miles of the New River Water Trail, 62 miles of the Appalachian Trail, 92 square miles of Jefferson National Forest, and five small towns to enjoy. Road cyclists, mountain bikers, competitive riders, leisure riders, all can find their adventure in Giles. The New River Valley has an organized group of cyclists that support route development and promote cycling through the region. The New River Valley Bicycle Association boasts that they support some of the best riding, ‘with scenic valleys, rolling hills, challenging climbs, and (often) low traffic.’

Narrows…Naturally

In Giles County you need to add the Town of Narrows to your riding destination list. The Town is situated along Route 460, at the junction of Route 61, the newly designated Twin Depots Scenic Trail. There you will also find access to the New River, Mill Creek, and Wolf Creek. This charming town is home to an historic hotel, The MacArthur Inn, the county’s only brewing company, Right Turn, Clyde Brewing, and a local deli, the Blue Moon Café. Narrows is naturally beautiful and a natural place to stay, shop, and serve as base camp for your ride. In the fall the roadways and surrounding mountains burst with colors enticing you to explore this small Americana hometown. Right Turn Clyde often hosts food trucks out front of their establishment, or you can grab a quick bite at the Blue Moon Café. Resting at the Town Park or by the Duck Pond to listen to the sound of Wolf Creek tumbling onto the New, heightens the connection with your surroundings.

 

Right turn Clyde
Photo by Nathan Cooke

Road Routes in Every Direction

Route 61 is a vehicle traffic road but sits on the route of an old railroad. This makes the Bluefield Century Loop one of the flattest and fasted in the region. The 100.8 mile century loop starts at the Narrows Town Park. There is parking, open restrooms, even a playground and swimming hole in Wolf Creek. Enjoy shade under sycamore trees and picnic beside sweetgum saplings. Traveling down Route 61 on the last part of your trip, you ride alongside Wolf Creek on a gentle slope. The entire loop has rolling hills with one long climb. Historical tidbit, at approximately mile 92 on Route 61 on a side road running parallel, you will find marked graves of the first white settlers in the region.  Another worthy road route is the Elgood Loop. Also starting at the Narrow Town Park off of Monroe Street, just past the downtown business district, this 44.5 mile loop takes the rider west towards Glen Lyn and the West Virginia line. The terrain is explained as ‘long, steep climbs, and switchbacks’ by the New River Valley Bicycle Association.

In Glen Lyn, approximately eight miles away, a new trail system at the Town Park and Campground offers riders plenty of options. There is a convenience store and gas station nearby to refuel and head onto the campground which also borders the New River Water Trail. The Moore Trail is a 4.5 mile paved trail around the open grounds of the park. The newly established Mary Ingles Trail (the MIT) follows the New River downstream for approximately 7 miles before entering into West Virginia. This out and back off-road trail is flat and well maintained. This is one of the few places you can bike alongside New River in a totally undeveloped area. Riders won’t see cars, trains, or electrical lines. They might pass another trail user or see a raft of fishermen floating on the waterway.

Getting Technical on Single Track

Coming back into Narrows, the mountain biking enthusiast can’t miss one of the best trail systems in the region. ‘Up Mill Creek’ as many say, riders will find over 20 miles of trails, plus three waterfalls, and a native trout stream. The Mill Creek Nature Park can be found by turning onto Route 100 in Narrows, then turning onto Northview Street. Traveling to the end of the road, pull into the dirt road and large parking area. From here you can review a map of the property and trails or download one before from the Town of Narrows website. The area has a picnic pavilion and open space to enjoy. Historical tidbit, one of the oldest engineered structures in the region is the dam on Mill Creek at the Appalachian Spur Trail and shelter, a short walk from the parking area. Fall foliage and wildlife abound in the woods and grassy field at Mill Creek. Mountain bikers will find tight single track and accessible double track, with options in-between at this property that is free and open to the public. This area, much like what you will find in the region has no shortage of mountain views, tumbling streams, and vistas to enjoy. Mill Creek Nature Park does have some steep and technical trails that are identified on the map, but worth the attempt.

Mountain biking at Mill Creek Nature Park

 

Just under 19 miles away, mountain bikers can also enjoy the Mountain Lake Wilderness and the off-road action in this vast wilderness area. Visitors to this area can purchase a parking pass and connect with the Mountain Lake Outfitters for maps and suggested routes. This area has over 22 miles of trails throughout the 2,600 acre Wilderness. While at Mountain Lake enjoy Stoney Creek Tavern or Harvest Restaurant. The Mountain Lake Outfitters has rentals available, expanding beyond mountain bikes to include, disc golf equipment and orienteering equipment. Historical tidbit, the film Dirty Dancing was filmed at Mountain Lake 30 years ago.

Competitive Spirit

Giles County is home to multiple spring cycling events that may entice you to come and play. The Spring Up Wolf Creek is hosted by the Narrows Lions Club and is held every spring. The ride is an out and back and follows the Twin Depots Scenic Trail, also known as Route 61. Total distance is 42 miles of flat, flat, flat beautiful spring surroundings. This annual event is great for all riders, families included. The Mountains of Misery bike ride event is a challenging, timed event starting and ending at the Newport Recreation Center on the eastern side of the county. This popular century and double century ride sells out fast and is always a popular late spring event.

 

Planning Your Trip

Take time to enjoy Giles County and the many parks and scenic roadways. The five charming towns, Pembroke, Pearisburg, Narrows, Rich Creek, and Glen Lyn all have public parks to enjoy loop or out and back rides. In the town of Pearisburg you will find ample public parking and residential areas connecting you to the Town Park that also features a one mile River Sculpture Trail. This trail has five permanently installed sculptures created by local and regional artists and made entirely out of debris collected from the New River during the ReNew the New cleanup event. Riders will find Whitt-Riverbend Park just outside of town limits. Parking is available at the Ripplemead Boat Landing, along the New River Water Trail. Restrooms are also available. The park has a paved loop trail and an off-road trail right alongside the New River. Riding from town down to the park is a short 4.5 mile trek, but has a steep grade descending in the park area. In the Village of Newport riders can enjoy access to Route 42, a scenic byway with plenty of parking at the Village Green or Recreation Center. Super Val-U Grocery has Visitor Guides mapping the 30 mile ride to New Castle and back. Swing past the Sinking Covered Bridge on route 601 for a photo and to sign the guest book.

Fishing at The Narrows Town Park

The Town of Narrows in Giles County, Virginia is a must to visit for your biking adventure. One local enthusiast has said Giles has both ends of the spectrum. Something for those looking for ‘easy relaxed’ and ‘adrenaline junkie.’ There are a multitude of resources to help plan your trip to Virginia’s Mountain Playground™. We look forward to seeing you cruise the backroads, enjoy technical terrain, or explore our community parks and public places. To plan your trip, visit these resources:

SWVA Bike logo

 

On or Near the New River Water Trail

Things to do… Giles A > Z

 

Giles County offers a multitude of things to do and places to see. We have something to suit the needs of everyone. Giles County does have an extensive option of outdoor activities: floating on the New River Water Trail, hiking to one of our beautiful waterfalls, or camping by the New River. But, we also have a versatile array of other non-outdoor activities. Whether you want to enjoy an outdoor activity or one of our non-outdoor activities, Giles County will surely have something for you. However, all of the available options can send you down a spiral of online searches that leave you more confused than when you started. To make things a little easier, here is a sampling list of things to do and places to see from A to Z.

 

Andrew Johnston House

This one is for you, history lovers! The Andrew Johnston House in Pearisburg, Virginia is the oldest surviving brick house in Giles County. Today, it is a museum, and it is home to the Giles County Historical Society. Tours are offered when the house is open, and the staff can help with genealogical services in their Research Center. There is also a gift shop to find something to remember your visit.

 

Barney’s Wall

In your search and experience with Giles County, it is likely you have stumbled across or heard of the well-known Cascade Falls hike in Pembroke, Virginia. Barney’s Wall, set directly above the Cascades, offers a scenic mountain view for hikers who are willing to go the extra distance to get there.

 

Corner Market

On your A-Z journey of Giles County, make sure to stop at the Corner Market in Rich Creek, Virginia. You can fill up your gas tank, purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, or grab a quick snack.

OR

Castle Rock Golf Course

Surround by views or the mountains, Castle Rock Golf & Recreation is open to the public with an 18-hole course recently recognized as a top public course in Southwest Virginia. Visit them today, book an event at the 19th Hole, or consider a membership to enjoy the pool and other amenities.

 

Disc Golf

Enjoy an evening of disc golf in the Town of Narrows, Virginia at Camp Success Campground. This disc golf course is comprised of 18 holes located throughout the campground. You are sure to have a good time!

 

Eggleston Springs Campground
Eggleston Springs Campground, located in Eggleston, Virginia, is a great place to camp or access the New River Water Trail for the day for a small fee. It is a family oriented campground that offers some of the best fishing. Bring your tackle and see for yourself!

OR

Eggleston Public Boat Landing

Put your tube, boat, kayak, or canoe on the New River Water Trail access in Eggleston, Virginia. This section of the New River is recognized as one of the most scenic floats in all of Virginia, with the historic Palisades Cliffs downstream on the right of the access ramp.

 

Farmers Markets

In both Narrows and Pearisburg you can find local farmers markets, boasting fresh produce, crafts, events, and activities. In Pearisburg, the Community Market happens every third Thursday beginning in May, at the Pearisburg Community Center. In Narrows, vendors can be set up at the Farmer’s Market from 8 AM to 1 PM on Thursdays and Saturdays April 1st through October 31st. They also host special events on the second Friday’s of the month.

 

Glen Lyn Town Park

In Glen Lyn, Virginia you can find the Glen Lyn Town Park. The park is along the New River Water Trail, and there is a public boat landing next to the RV access inside the park. There is also playground equipment for the youngsters to enjoy. The Glen Lyn Town Park is also home to Giles County’s destination event, the Muddy ACCE Race.

 

Hunting

Giles County contains 92.4 square miles of Jefferson National Forest, so Giles County is often busy in the fall once hunting seasons begin. There is an abundance of whitetail deer, wild turkey, rabbit, and raccoon for hunters and sportsman. Find out more about hunting licenses for the Commonwealth and where to hunt in the Jefferson National Forest.

 

Inn at Riverbend

For those of you looking for a place to relax and unwind on your trip from A to Z, take a stop at the Inn at Riverbend in Pearisburg. The Inn is a bed and breakfast with seven appropriately named rooms for places in Giles County for guest to recharge during their visit. You’ll be sure to enjoy your stay!

Jam Sessions

Music lovers, we even have something for you! On Tuesdays, you can find an old time music jam inside Campo Verde in Pearisburg. Campo Verde is a Mexican-style restaurant. If you’re looking for even more music to enjoy, you can find another old time jam session on Thursdays at the MacArthur Inn. The MacArthur Inn is a historic hotel located in Narrows. These jam sessions are enjoyable and entertaining.

 

Kelly Knob Overlook

To get to Kelly Knob Overlook, you hike two miles along the Appalachian Trail near Newport, Virginia. Once you get to the overlook, there are beautiful views to enjoy. The elevation is from 3,300 to 3,800 feet, and the hike is considered to be of moderate difficulty.

 

Lovework

Virginia is for Lovers! You can find two LOVEwork displays for a fun photo opportunity in two of our beautiful communities! One is in Newport at the Newport Recreation and Community Center. The other one is at the Mill Pond, also known as the Duck Pond, in Narrows. Stop by and enjoy the creativity that went into these displays, and snap a quick picture while you’re at it to share on social media. (Be sure to use #GilesCoVA & #LoveVA)

 

Motorcycle Tours

Great views intertwined with a fun ride! GearHead Moto Tours located in Pearisburg can give you just that. They can help you with a rental, or you can bring your own bike. They take care of everything, like lodging, dining, and getting you to the beautiful views, so all you have to do is enjoy the ride.

New River Water Trail

Giles County is home to 37 beautiful miles of the New River Water Trail. There are many public and private access points to get on the river. River guests can enjoy tubing, canoeing, rafting, swimming, standup paddle boarding, fishing, and kayaking. There are outfitters and guides who can help you rent gear and guide your trip along the stunning New River.

 

Oktoberfest at Mountain Lake Lodge

Oktoberfest at Mountain Lake Lodge is a yearly event that promises authentic food, beverages, and entertainment for those who come out to enjoy the weekend. Although no details have been released as of yet for Oktoberfest 2017, we are waiting anxiously to hear about the details for this year’s good time event!

 

Palisades Restaurant

The Palisades Restaurant, located in the former Pyne’s General Store, in Eggleston offers contemporary, sophisticated cuisine with southern hospitality. Most of their pork, beef, trout, and produce are locally grown in the New River Valley. The Palisades offers dinner daily and Sunday brunch. Plus catch live music every weekend!

 

Queen’s Pizza and Subs

Another yummy place to eat on our tour from A to Z is Queen’s Pizza and Subs. With locations in Pearisburg and Rich Creek, it is convenient to grab a pizza, burger, or sub to enjoy on your trip through Giles County. You can dine in, carry out, or have your food delivered to where you are staying.

 

Right Turn, Clyde Brewery

Right Turn, Clyde Brewery is a local brewery located in Narrows in a former bank building. The owners make every attempt to bring the best quality and most interesting beer to their patrons. They also work with local farmers and bee keepers to support the local economy when crafting their delicious beer. Stop by for a taste!

 

Sinking Creek Bridge

The Sinking Creek Bridge is located in Newport. The bridge has been standing since 1916, making the bridge over 100 years old! The bridge is 70 feet, and a bright, beautiful red color. Because of its beauty, it has been the subject of many photographs and paintings throughout the years. It is open to the public for you to enjoy on your trip from A to Z.

Treasure Island

Located within the Pembroke Park in the Town of Pembroke, Treasure Island playground is sure to make the youngsters on your trip happy. This playground will be loads of fun for them as they run, climb, and play. Pembroke Park also has a walking trail and a picnic shelter to enjoy on your visit.

 

Underground Caving

The Giles County Historical Society has held an informational session about Giant Caverns in the summer of 2016. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation also will hold occasional caving opportunities for experienced cavers to enter caves. Giles has over 250 registered caves. Please be respectful and extremely cautious when considering entering a cave. All caves require permission to enter from landowners.

 

Virginias Walk Trail

The Virginias Walk Trail in White Rocks Campground meanders 1.3 miles around the campground. Its name comes from the fact that the trail travels from Virginia into West Virginia and back again. The trail begins at campsite #9 and ends at campsite #26. It is a pleasant stroll to enjoy!

 

Walker Creek Retreat

Walker Creek Retreat is situated along nearly a mile of unspoiled creek frontage of Walker Creek in Pembroke. There are five waterfront vacation rentals with rustic-chic cabin décor. This is the perfect retreat for those looking for a peaceful place to stay on their journey from A to Z in Giles County.

X Country Skiing

Yes, we even have something that begins with the letter X! Cross country skiing, or X country skiing, is something to enjoy during the wintertime in Giles County. The Mountain Lake Conservancy has areas for skiers to enjoy. The Jefferson National Forest can also be a place you may see skiers enjoying the terrain.

 

Yoga

Need some time to relax? The Giles County Wellness Center offers group yoga classes, as well as many others group exercise classes. The Wellness Center also has cardiovascular equipment, free weights, weight machines, and full locker room facilities for gym guests to use.

 

Zorb Racing at Mountain Lake Lodge

Our last stop from A to Z in Giles County is Zorb racing at Mountain Lake Lodge. You climb into giant bubble balls to roll around the adventure center, in a similar fashion to a hamster in a hamster ball. You can also race an opponent thought the Zorb Racing Course. Hop in for a spin!

 

 

17 Picnic Locations for 2017

17 Picnic Locations to enjoy in Giles County in ’17

 

Need something new to do with the family? As summer arrives, take a day to go out and enjoy a picnic together. A picnic would also be a great way to spend time with friends or to have a date. All your picnic necessities can be conveniently found locally at independently owned grocery stores, Grants or Corner Market, or one of our two farmers markets in Narrows and Pearisburg. From parks with playgrounds to hiking trails, there is always a spot for a picnic.

 

Following are 17 picnic locations for 2017:

 

 

1. Newport Community Park

Situated along Sinking Creek in Newport, Virginia with a pavilion, playground, paved walking trail, sounds of rippling water, and the Newport Jamboree occurs throughout the summer. This location would be perfect for relaxing with a book and a picnic or spending quality time with the family.

Photo from Newport Jamboree Facebook page.

 

2. Village Green

In ‘downtown’ of the Village of Newport, the Village Green is a community green space open to the public. Enjoy your picnic here inside the large, white washed gazebo. Many spring and summer weekends you will also find wedding ceremonies taking place in this peaceful setting. Recently, a little library was installed too!

 

3. Cascade Falls

Enjoy a picnic before or after hiking up to view the Cascade Falls in Pembroke, Virginia. Bring your dogs and have a snack at the conveniently located picnic tables while taking pleasure in the beautiful scenery around.

 

4. Treasure Island

Perfect for families, Treasure Island is a park located in Pembroke, Virginia. Space for many activities and a playground are available as well as picnic tables for anyone hoping to have a meal. A hidden gem that’s easy to access!

 

5. Glen Alton

A beautiful setting for a date tucked up in the Jefferson National Forest, Glen Alton is located in Pembroke, Virginia. Explore multiple trails and then end the day with a picnic. Also, remember to take pictures as this location has endless beauty. Glen Alton also hosts weddings and educational events throughout the year.

6. Whistle Stop Playground & Picnic

Out in the Jefferson National Forest, on the side of Big Stony Creek Road, Whistle Stop Playground & Picnic area is a perfect place for young families. At the picnic area there is a wooden replica train that the youngsters are sure to enjoy after their snack.

7. White Rocks Campground

While the mailing address is Ripplemead, White Rocks Campground is located almost on the Craig County line. At this picnic location, find yourself in the midst of big trees with access to the Virginia’s Trail for a family friendly hike into West Virginia and back.

 

8. Whitt-Riverbend Park

Located in Ripplemead, Virginia, Whitt-Riverbend Park is a low-impact, public area that consists of 28 acres along the New River Water Trail. This would be ideal for anyone who enjoys relaxing by the water. While a permit is required for camping, there are many other activities that are open to all: fishing, bird watching, walking, and picnicking.

9. Farley Wayside

Farley Wayside is located on Route 100 in Pearisburg, Virginia, heading towards Staffordsville. At this location is ample amount of space for families to enjoy a picnic as well as many activities and fishing along Walker Creek.

 

10. Pearisburg Town Park

The town of Pearisburg, Virginia provides the public with sheltered picnic tables as well as a large playground area at the Pearisburg Town Park. This would be the perfect location for spending time with friends or family or even having a celebration.

 

11. Walnut Flats Campground

Just past White Gate, almost on the Bland County line, you’ll find access to Walnut Flats Campground. With Dismal Falls just before the campground, turn your picnic outing into a full morning trip with the short hike along the Appalachian Trail.

 

12. Camp Success

Camp Success is located at the confluence of Wolf Creek and New River in the Town of Narrows. Enjoy tent camping and a picnic while also taking part in bank fishing or even the new 18-hole disc golf course along the banks of the New River Water Trail.

 

13. Duck Pond

Narrows, Virginia offers the perk of having ducks as entertainment at its Duck Pond. Enjoy watching or feeding the ducks while also fishing, picnicking, or walking. Many have even seen a bald eagle here living on the banks of Wolf Creek.

14. Narrows Town Park

Narrows Town Park, also referred to as “The Boom,” is located in along Route 61 in Narrows, Virginia. This location includes places for swimming, basketball, playing games, and picnicking. It is also a great place to start a road bicycling adventure up the popular Route 61.

 

15. Mill Creek Nature Park

Mill Creek Nature Park, located in Narrows, Virginia, provides many trails with a variety of levels of difficulty leading to scenic falls. Reward yourself to a picnic after hiking what could be the shortcut of 0.33 miles or the Long Shot of 3.4 miles.

Photo by Billy Bowling.

16. Woodland Park

Located in Rich Creek, Virginia, Woodland Park is often used for community gatherings at the large picnic shelter. Picnicking while also enjoying the mountain top and playground with friends or family would be ideal here!

 

17. Glen Lyn Town Park

Glen Lyn, Virginia offers a quiet town park with a paved walking trail that would be good for an easy stroll along the New River. Camping, fishing, walking, launching a boat, or finding a spot to picnic are all possibilities when visiting here. This is also home to the Muddy ACCE Race held annually on the third Saturday in September.