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Adventure Around Every Turn in Franklin County, Va.

Calling all trail riders, road cyclists, and adventure seekers to Franklin County, Va. Explore an area rich in beautiful scenery and culture in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Get your adventure started at Waid Park, a 500-acre park featuring over 16 miles of trails. You’ll ride sections of technical singletrack, river crossings, wooden ramps, and rock gardens, plus you can test your abilities on a jump line, riding skills loop, and more. Along the way, you’ll encounter active farms and the Pigg River Blueway flowing through the park. You can even hop on a section of the Historic Old Carolina Road Trail, a roadway settlers used in the 1700s. 

Then head out to Jamison Mill Park for an additional 300 acres and six miles of interconnected loop trails. Located on the sprawling Philpott Lake, you’ll have views for days, plus easy access to a quick cool down in the water. You can even stay at the campground, open from April through October, for easy access to the trails. 

If you’re looking for a quick jaunt, the 1.5-mile Maurice Turner Trail in the charming town of Boones Mill is the perfect escape into nature. Or, if road cycling is more your jam, the Franklin County Freewheelers Bicycle Club can help you find the best back roads around for picturesque views and challenging climbs. Franklin County hosted the 2023 USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships in June 2023. Cyclists can ride the National Championship Course through the hills of western Franklin County and compare their times to the best in the world.

Make your way into Rocky Mount for a stop at one of the many dining, drinking, and lodging options. You can’t go wrong with Rocky Mount Burger Company or Rocky Mount Smokehouse for some much-needed home cooking and NC-style barbecue. Quench your thirst with local spirits from Twin Creeks Distillery, featuring weekly old-time jams, or with freshly made cocktails from Anastasia’s Speakeasy, and a prohibition-themed experience. For the history buffs, the Booker T. Washington National Monument and the Blue Ridge Institute and Farm Museum are worth a visit. Wind down the day next to Smith Mountain Lake with a concert at Coves Amphitheater, world-class fishing, and lakefront lodging.

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