When the leaves start to change in the fall, visitors take a trip to Nelson County’s Massies Mill & Tyro areas for autumn beauty, orchard fun, good food, and craft brews. Start with a scenic drive along the North Fork of the Piney River, which gifts tourists with views of the Piney River washing over large rocky formations. If you decide to get up-close-and-personal with the Tye, check out its swimming holes or fish the stocked mountain streams.
For the outdoor sportsperson, there is Priestview Hunting Preserve, which offers stocked pheasant. The preserve owners also raise Brittanys and quail. Relaxed and safe, Priestview hunting Preserve is a beautiful experience. Visitors may use their own dogs or those provided by Priestview to hunt quail, pheasant, and chukar.
If you’ve brought a railroad enthusiast with you on your trip, check out the Virginia Blue Ridge Railroad, a short line that connected Massies Mill to the larger Southern Railway at Tye River Depot. The line was abandoned in the 1980s but has been developed as part of a “rails-to-trails” project. In fact, part of the old line is now part of Kids in Parks TRACK Trails, which is an interactive nature experience for kids. Take a walk along the trail, and bring your camera! Visitors to Nelson have been immortalizing Nelson’s autumn beauty for decades, so why should you be any different?
Speaking of photo opportunities, check out Crabtree Falls, which fills the forest with the sound of rushing water after fall rains, or Humpback Rocks, which offers an incredible, birds-eye view of Nelson’s fall splendor- the Blue Ridge Mountains overlayed with bright autumn leaves. Another gorgeous view is waiting for you at Silver Creek & Seamans’ Orchards. What is fall without an orchard visit? Silver Creek & Seamans’ packing shed offers many types of delicious, crisp apples, along with apple butter, cider, honey, and jelly. The orchard offers pick-your-own apples and pick-your-own pumpkins, too.
When the evenings get chilly, warm up with some spicy fare from Margarita’s the Flavor of Mexico. If you’re in a hurry to get back and watch the game, grab a pizza from Chirio’s to take home. If you need a relaxing drive, check out the Nelson Scenic Loop, a 50-mile road circuit that begins at Spruce Creek Park and the Rockfish Valley Foundation Natural History Center.