Nelson County is a gorgeous, rural county nestled into the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia. Opportunities to enjoy the outdoors abound. From pastoral, riverside hikes along the Rockfish River to all- day loops (thanks to Hiking Upward for that trail description) with huge vertical elevation change, you’ll find awesome hikes throughout the county. The county provides this list of notable trails that pass through the county. Nelson County Parks and Recreation also publishes a great list of local hikes here.
The Wintergreen Resort – Five Peaks is fortunate to be contained within the boundaries of Wintergreen, a four seasons destination resort featuring 30 miles of hiking trails, 27 holes of (nearly) year round golf at the Rees Jones designed Stoney Creek Golf Course, and the 18 hole mountaintop Devil’s Knob Golf Course open in Spring Summer and Fall.
The Rockfish Valley Foundation operates the wonderful Rockfish River Trail, just a few miles south of the village of Nellysford. You’ll see the parking lot to the right just after you cross the South Fork of the Rockfish River bridge. Dogs can be off leash, but must be under voice control. It’s a wonderful, easy hike along the river and pastures, with great Blue Ridge views and swimming holes for your dogs – and maybe you during the hot summer months. Stop by the Bold Rock Cidery for an ice cold cider after your walk. Its just across the river.
The Blue Ridge Parkway – What can you say about the Parkway? It is a world-class beautiful drive, with loads of hiking trails accessible, gorgeous overlooks into the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding valleys, and very close to Five Peaks.
Here’s a great scenic loop that you can combine with some wine, cider, and beer tasting:
Starting from Five Peaks, head south on route 151 and check out the Wild Wolf Brewery and Restaurant. Continue a few more minutes to the south and stop by the Bold Rock Cider tasting room. Continue a few more minutes south to the turn up to the Parkway on route 664 (you’ll be headed west, straight into the Blue Ridge), and stop by the Devil’s Backbone Brewery and Restaurant. A few more minutes to the west you’ll find the Blue Toad Cidery in an absolutely gorgeous setting. Now that you’ve responsibly tasted some of the local beverages, or irresponsibly gotten a bit too relaxed from all the tasting and letting your designated driver handle the driving, continue up the mountain until you intersect the Blue Ridge Parkway. Head north (turn right) on the Parkway and amble along, stopping to enjoy the views when you feel like it. Continue north on the Parkway until you intersect the Skyline Drive at the Rockfish Gap. Head east (turn right) down route 250 until you reach route 151 and head south (turn right). Continue south about 8 minutes and stop at the Blue Mountain Brewery on your way home to enjoy the sunset from their fantastic terrace. Continue about 15 minutes further south on route 151 and you’re back in Nellysford, and your idyllic retreat at Five Peaks.
Skyline Drive begins at the Rockfish Gap, a 15 to 20 minute drive to the north.
The Nelson County Loop is a self-directed drive along four scenic byways around Nelson County.