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Monday October 21, 2019

Day 1:  You can begin your journey at Philpott Lake. Nestled among the rolling foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge, Philpott Lake is a scenic wonderland. The lake covers 3,000 acres with 100 miles of shoreland. Visitors to the lake are always amazed at the natural beauty of the area. Most areas are under forest cover. There are numerous recreational opportunities, including: boating, swimming, picnicking, hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, and wildlife observation.

Enjoy lunch just a few miles away at the locally owned Italian favorite, Papa’s Pizzeria, before jumping on the Smith River Trail System. Below Philpott Dam, a 44.5-mile section of the Smith River bisects Henry County, Virginia, as it travels from Philpott Lake down to the North Carolina border. Known as the Smith River Trail System, this network includes a scenic blueway with 10 river access points and more than 20 miles of greenway. Travel through history as you explore the Smith River through the towns of Bassett, Stanleytown, Fieldale, Martinsville, and Ridgeway, once the heart of furniture and textiles in America. Explore the rock outcrops, rapids, scenery, and Native American fish weirs still intact on sections of the river. Didn’t bring your gear? No worries, just call Smith River Outfitters. Offering equipment rentals, shuttles and guide services, this area business can help you enjoy a fun day of canoeing, kayaking, tubing, rafting and biking.

Now it’s time to relax and unwind at the brewery. Kick back in the peaceful serenity of Mountain Valley, Henry County and enjoy a locally brewed craft beer! At Mountain Valley Brewery, you can troll through the hop yard, tour the small brewery, chat in the cozy taproom, listen to live music outside under the new pavilion or play yard games while enjoying the beautiful views. 

Day 2: Travel around the streets of Uptown Martinsville. Covered in historic sites, museums and public art, uptown is sure to have your camera busy for all of the beautiful photo ops offered. Take advantage of the numerous photo ops created through murals, including: The Circus muralOld Glory, the June German Ball and others. How many will you find? After all of the exploring everyone is sure to be hungry. You can grab a bite to eat at Shindig Bistro. The renovated, 1920s restaurant/event facility features a 29-ft x 100-ft room with 2-story tin ceiling, a 29-ft x 12-ft interior balcony, a gorgeous custom-made 35-ft oak bar, and hardwood floors (a perfect place to capture even more photos to share). Don’t forget to stop by our state certified Visitor Center for all the “need to know” activities and a guide for MHC. You can even pose for a picture with the “LOVE” letters located inside. If “LOVE” letters are on your list of to-do’s, then you will want to check out the sports themed LOVEworks at the Smith River Sports Complex!

Still have time before heading out of town? Another must-see is Hamlet Vineyards. Family owned and operated, with a deep connection to Martinsville-Henry, County, Butch & Virginia Hamlet began Hamlet Vineyards in 2010. The property features 3,500 grapevines among rolling hills and a Tasting Terrace. Their historic home, called Eltham Manor, is listed among the National Register of Historic Places as well as the Virginia Landmarks Register. This is sure to deliver a relaxing, yet, picturesque environment to conclude your trip.

Make sure to like our Facebook page @VisitMartinsville and be sure to tag us in of the beautiful backdrops you discover here in MHC.

Tags: Art, Hamlet Vineyards, Martinsville Uptown, MHC Visitor Center, Mountain Valley Brewing , Philpott Lake, Smith River Outfitters, Smith River Sports Complex, Smith River Trail System