Day Trip to Franklin County Fall Edition

Start Your Fall Adventure in Franklin County

If you're visiting Virginia's Blue Ridge, a NASCAR race at Martinsville Speedway, or a college football game this fall be sure to add a day trip to Franklin County to any adventure. Franklin County offers a wide range of activities for fall travelers of all ages and interests. Located along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, Franklin County serves as the southern entrance to Virginia's Blue Ridge and the "Eastern Gateway" to Southwest Virginia and The Crooked Road: Virignia's Heritage Music Trail.


Fall foliage at Waid Recreation Area leading into the park. Courtesy Matt Ross.

Travel Back in Time at the Booker T. Washington National Monument

Franklin County is home to the birthplace of noted educator, famed orator, author, and advisor to U.S. Presidents, Booker T. Washington. Born into slavery in April of 1856 on the Burrough Plantation, Booker T. Washington would experience enslaved life on the plantation, the joy of emancipation and the eventual drive and determination for furthering education.

Visitors to this national park can view and experience life and times on the Burroughs Plantation and learn of the life of Booker T. Washington following his emancipation from slavery. The park offers an interactive visitors center, the Plantation Trail, a 1/4 mile loop through the historic area; the Jack-O-Lantern Branch Heritage Trail, a 1 1/2 mile trail through fields and forest; a recreated 1850's tobacco farm and garden, as well as a picnic area to enjoy a quick lunch. The park is open to visitors daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

DSC_0165Booker T. Washington National Monument. Courtesy Virginia's Blue Ridge and Jennie Marie's Photographie

Taste Southern Hospitality at the Homestead Creamery Farm Market

The Homestead Creamery Farm Market located minutes from Smith Mountain Lake on Booker T. Washington Highway in Burnt Chimney offers fall travelers the opportunity to sit back on the rocking chair front porch and enjoy a scoop of award-winning ice cream, pick up fresh produce and meats, shop for local goods or grab a sandwich in the deli.

The Farm Market is open 6 days a week (Monday to Thursday - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday to Saturday - 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and the deli/sandwich shop is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for that quick lunchtime pick me up.

DSC_0146Front porch sitting at The Homestead Creamery Farm Market. Courtesy Virginia's Blue Ridge and Jennie Marie's Photographie

Visit the Scarecrow Trail in Historic Rocky Mount

The Scarecrow Trail is the brainchild of "Community Partnership", a volunteer organization with a mission to celebrate the community. The trail features a wide range of scarecrow interpretations that highlight local businesses, non-profits and organizations. The trail continues to grow each year with increased community participation. Scarecrows are highlighted through the month of October and help to kick off the fall season in Rocky Mount.

Visitors can begin their "scarecrow trail" in Downtown Rocky Mount and venture outwards in any direction. Be sure to take a selfie with your favorites and tag the associated business.

DSC_0032A "Scarecrow Wedding" at the Early in at the Grove. Courtesy Virginia's Blue Ridge and Jennie Marie's Photographie

Take a hike, ride a bike or sit back and relax at Waid Park

Waid Park has earned the nickname "Crown Jewel of Franklin County Parks" featuring over 5 miles of multiuse trails traveling alongside the Pigg River, through the hills and across farmlands. You can choose your fall adventure at Waid Park by playing a round of disc golf on the brand new 18-hole pro-level wooded course, taking on one of the many jumplines including "Old Buzzard and Baby Buzzard" or for more experienced riders trying your hand at the Skeletor Trail. Waid Park features 25 different trail options to forge your own path.

For families, Waid Park offers multiple playgrounds and opportunities for a picnic at one of the many shelters. The park is open year-round, dawn to dusk.


Finish up your fun fall day with a little "Chaos"

After an exciting day of experiencing fall in Franklin County, slow things down by traveling to the base of Cahas Mountain in Callaway for a visit to Chaos Mountain Brewing. Joe and Wendy Hallock, owners of Chaos Mountain Brewing, by their own admission "doesn't take anything too seriously, except making high quality, enjoyable craft beer." Beside amazing craft beer, the brewery features local food trucks and music in the taproom every Friday and Saturday Night from 6 to 9 PM.

A tip from locals... If you keep your eyes peeled, you may catch a glimpse of a "mountain creature" at Chaos Mountain Brewing.

Chaos-Mountain-Brewing-Company-Franklin-County-Virginia-17Chaos Mountain Brewery, located in Callaway at the base of Cahas Mountain, serves locally brewed craft beer. Courtesy Virginia's Blue Ridge and Jennie Marie's Photographie