“IT'S THE TIME YOU SPENT ON YOUR ROSE
THAT MAKES YOUR ROSE SO IMPORTANT”
–ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXPERY
Community defines the Blue Ridge culture. Spending time interacting in local gatherings is sure to build great character, memories and friendships!
Some ways to have fun at community events are noted below.
Thank you for your interest in exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains! All events on this page are examples of fun community gatherings that help people spend more time with nature. Some of these events are led by a guide. Group size is limited on guided events and registration is required. More information about registration.
In addition to this Community page, you can find even more recommended experiences on the following pages:
Scheduled Events (guided outings, hanging out with locally-grown creatives, etc.)
New Year's Day Hike
New River Trail State Park
Cliffview Campground Access, Galax, VA
January 1, 9:00am
Enjoy the first day of the new year with a ranger-led guided hike along Chestnut Creek from the Cliffview campground to Chestnut Falls. Learn about the history of the Norfolk and Western Railroad and the significance of the industries that the railroad supported while enjoying the scenery as you walk along Chestnut Creek. It will be an approximately 4 mile hike along the old railroad bed. Strollers and leashed pets are welcome. Please dress for the weather.
A nice thing about the tradition of hiking on New Years Day is knowing there are millions of others hiking in groups today across the globe.
VA State Parks is hosting this event (and events at other parks). The park's description (link below) says 3 miles but it's more like 4 miles to the falls and back. FYI, parking fees are waived at all VA State Parks on New Years Day.
Most Days, June-October, 12:00pm - 4pm
Mid-Day Mountain Music
Blue Ridge Music Center, Galax, VA
As part of the Music Center's educational mission, live music is performed by local musicians for free in a covered breezeway that seats about 40 people, socially distanced. In addition to the music, musicians will offer short historical and social tales in between some of the songs. Depending on current pandemic practices, the adjacent museum inside offers a wealth of information in the form of text, photographs, video, audio, and musical instrument displays depicting the origins of Appalachian music and people, history and how all that relates to current places, music and life in the mountains. In addition, there are hiking trails behind the center that offer an abundance of indigenous species, some of it rare and found nowhere else.
Bicycling along the New River
Galax - Foster Falls, VA
A beautiful, peaceful, relatively flat bike ride along the New River Trail State Park is available to you year-round. There are 10-20 mile guided options from Galax, Fries and Foster Falls. Although these events are free, group size is limited to 10 and pre-registration is required.
Friday Night Backyard Jamborees
Floyd Country Store, Floyd, VA
A great way to see regional old-time and bluegrass musicians perform. Although much of the musicians and audience will be local, don't be surprised if you meet people from lands as distant as Europe and New Zealand!
Music inside the store starts at 8pm. In mild weather, you will also find sidewalk music jams throughout town.
Hiking Along the Blue Ridge Parkway
Various locations in Southwest Virginia
Hike 3-6 miles on beautiful trails off the Parkway. Guided location options are Fisher Peak, Cumberland Knob or Rocky Knob. Mileage and location to be determined by participants. These events are free although group size is limited to 10 and pre-registration is required.
Free mountain music is performed at the Music Center (Fisher Peak location) noon-4pm during summer months.
Saturdays, June-September, 7:00pm
Summer Concerts at the Pavilion
Blue Ridge Music Center, Galax, VA
Although this venue's top-tiered performers and 3,000 person audience may seem large in print, the staff and musicians do wonders with making you feel like you are part of a small intimate community, sharing a special time under the stars.
Saturdays & Sundays, May-October
Art in the Park
Blowing Rock, NC
Once a month (usually second weekend, but check web page for dates), downtown Blowing Rock comes alive with afternoon locally created arts, crafts, and music.
Various Dates & Virtual
John C. Campbell Folk School
This school offers weekend and week-long classes for adults in the folk arts including crafts, music, dance and more, as well as community events such as contra-dancing, singing and festivals.
Various Dates & Virtual
Penland School of Craft
Drawing on the talent of instructors across the globe, Penland offers week-long workshops and residencies for adults in various crafts such as books and paper, clay, drawing and painting, glass, iron, metals, photography, printmaking and letterpress, textiles, wood, and other media in the folk arts traditions.
For more recommended experiences visit the following pages:
By participating in events noted on this page, you agree to the terms below:
EVENT PARTICIPANT WAIVER OF LIABILITY
I acknowledge that this website serves only as an information guide to certain events, activities and venues and has no connection or relationship with these entities. In addition, I fully realize that hiking and other activities noted on this website could involve risks of personal injury, property damage, or loss of my person or property. I hereby for myself, my heirs, executors and administrators, and same for persons with whom are in my party, waive and release any claims or rights against the owners of this website, all associated leaders, guides, other volunteers and participants for any and all injury, damages or loss to my person or property incurred during this activity. I also understand that the owners of this website, all associated leaders, guides, other volunteers and participants are not required, nor should it be assumed that they are CPR/First Aid/Wilderness Survival Certified and I am responsible for my own personal safety.