Nelson County is nestled in the heart of  Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Within this bounty of natural beauty are miles of hiking trails, crystal-clear fishing streams, historic family orchards and farms, and award-winning craft beverages.

Nelson’s northern border is the first 30 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway; its southern border is the mighty James River. All points between showcase the county’s mountainous terrain that offers vistas of the mountains along with the deep green splendor of the George Washington National Forest. Be sure to visit the Blue Ridge Tunnel – an engineering marvel and the coolest hike in Virginia!

Come to hike, bird-watch, fish,  kayak or tube while enjoying a diversity of wildlife which abounds along our streams, valleys and mountaintops. Nelson County is the perfect getaway for those who enjoy fresh air and spending time in the great outdoors!

Learn more about Nelson County
Map of 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. The Tunnel is open to the public from dawn to dusk daily 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