Welcome to Nelson County

Welcome to Nelson County – on the Sunrise Side of the Blue Ridge! Here, among the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll find outdoor recreation, mountain views, fresh farm and orchard produce, historic sites, artisan products and more. With award-winning wineries, cideries, distilleries and breweries, quaint eateries, plus cozy cabins, bed & breakfasts and other lodging, Nelson County is the perfect spot for a relaxing getaway!

Learn more about Nelson County

Birding in Nelson County

Nelson County is a wonderful destination if you love to spend time with the birds! During the fall, you have a special opportunity to watch the birds as they begin their migration journeys.

Each fall over 25,000 raptors migrate over Rockfish Gap and the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch identifies and counts them all! You are welcome to join the Hawk Watch which is located top Afton Mountain on the southern side of Rockfish Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Bird & Wildlife Watching in Nelson County


Hiking in Nelson County Virginia



  • More of the APPALACHIAN TRAIL passes through Virginia than any other state and 45 miles of the Trail are in Nelson County – with moderately challenging to rugged terrain.
  • Outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities make the BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY one of the most visited sections of the National Park System. In Nelson County, be sure to get to Humpback Rocks and the Mau-Har Trail.
  • Crabtree Falls, the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River, is a popular attraction located in Nelson County, just six miles off the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 27. The Falls feature a series of five major cascades and a number of smaller ones that fall a total distance of 1,200 feet.
  • The newest (and coolest!) hike is the Blue Ridge Tunnel! The Blue Ridge Tunnel was constructed between 1850 and 1858 beneath Rockfish Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia. CSX Transportation generously donated the tunnel to Nelson County in 2007. The Tunnel is open to the public now and is a must-visit for hikers, history buffs, and nature lovers.
  • For those that like to combine hiking with biking, we have the Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail in Piney River with its Kids in the Parks Trail which is great for introducing children to hiking and nature.
Learn More About Hiking in Nelson County
Get Outside
Orchards and Farms in Nelson County
Kids activities