In the center of Nelson County is the village of Nellysford, an affiliate Virginia Main Street community. It is another convenient hub for day trips along the Nelson 151 craft beverage trail, or a stay at Wintergreen Resort. Nelson 151 offers the craft beverage lover spectacular views and award winning beverages at fifteen locations along the twenty-mile stretch of one of Virginia’s scenic byways. Nelson 151 is Virginia’s Long Weekend Address, with five wineries, a meadery, four breweries, three cideries and two distilleries. For the outdoor recreation enthusiast, there is the Rockfish Valley Loop Trail, which follows the South Rockfish River. Golfers can enjoy the course at Stoney Creek, the valley course owned by Wintergreen Resort. There is ample shopping along the corridor, as well as locally owned restaurants and lodging opportunities.
At the northern most corner of the County is the village of Afton. Home to several wineries and breweries on the Nelson 151 craft beverage trail, it is soon to be known for another outdoor recreation destination, the Blue Ridge Tunnel. In 2001 Nelson County undertook the project that has resulted in the restoration of the historic tunnel and trails. The Blue Ridge Tunnel restoration project is perfectly positioned to function as a key part of a greenway system that connects the counties of Albemarle, Nelson, and Augusta. Located at the threshold between the Shenandoah Valley and the Virginia Piedmont, the tunnel serves as a recreational gateway between these two historic regions. The tunnel is also strategically located at the convergence of the southern entrance of Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive, the northern entrance of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail, and U. S. Bicycle Route 76. Both Interstate 64 and U.S. 250 cross over the tunnel at Rockfish Gap.
Traveling through the long, dark tunnel is a stirring experience for a variety of visitors from across the Commonwealth and beyond: this shared-use trail is for hikers and cyclists of every level, wildlife watchers, history enthusiasts, railroad buffs, heritage tourists, school children on field trips, and nearby residents. Interpretive signs spread along the trail relay the history of the tunnel from the visionary engineer behind it (Claudius Crozet), to the Irish immigrants and slaves who labored through illness and lived in shanties.