Martinsville, Virginia


Get Outdoors in MHC This Fall

Attention fall lovers! It’s officially your season. The weather is perfect to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Temperatures are no longer sweltering hot and not yet frigid cold, but rather ideally comfy for outdoor activities. Fall also signals that less than perfect weather conditions, and dwindling day light will shortly come along, limiting the time to enjoy the outdoors. Temperatures are dropping and leaves are falling, it’s one of our favorite times of the year to soak up the open outdoor air. So, with winter’s cold, brisk breath just around the corner, get out and enjoy the great and wonderful outdoor activities mentioned below in Martinsville-Henry County this fall.

One of our favorite outdoor attractions, the Smith River bisects Martinsville-Henry County, running nearly 45 miles from Philpott Dam in the northwest to the North Carolina border in the southeast. This section of river is home to the Smith River Blueway, which includes a scenic riverway with 10 access points and more than 20 miles of greenway. This fall, enjoy a calm float or a more adventurous paddle on the river, with Class I, II, and III rapids with Smith River Outfitters. Kayaking, fishing, hiking, and many other outdoor activities can be found on the Blueway. While exploring the Smith River this fall, visit the Smith River Small Towns of Bassett, Stanleytown and Fieldale to explore the history of American textiles and furniture manufacturing that help built MHC.

With its full completion in 1953, Philpott Lake emanated from the Smith River as a result from the construction of the Philpott Dam, and quickly boasted an abundant of outdoor activity opportunities. Philpott Lake is host to 100 miles of pristine undeveloped shoreline and surrounded my 7,000 acres of forested land owned and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Adjoining the lake is Fairy Stone State Park with nearly 5,000 acres of predominately forested land and another 5,500 acres of Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) forest. The water and forests of Philpott offer a variety of recreational opportunities for every sportsman and outdoor recreational enthusiast. Fall outdoor activities (but not limited to other seasons) include swimming, boating, camping, hunting and fishing, and hiking.

Martinsville-Henry County is home to the Smith River Trail System with over 20 trails that offer a vast variety of outdoor activities. Walking, hiking, cycling, bird and wildlife viewing, and nature observing such as fall foliage are some of the fun-loving outdoor ventures to be had this fall in MHC. Our longest public trail, to date, is the Dick & Willie Passage Rail Trail which connects neighborhoods to opportunities for shopping, dining and entertainment along a current 4.5 mile long paved path, with a 2.44 mile long extension nearing completion. This extension connects the original D&W trail to the Smith River Sports Complex, where you can find the Paw Path. The Paw Path, as the name suggests, was designed with your four-legged friends in mind. The path runs alongside the adventurous Smith River at the Smith River Sports Complex. At 0.5 miles long, the Paw Path features many engaging canine activities such as a fire hydrant and a balance beam that are perfect for a fall outdoor outing with your beloved furry friend.

As a result of temperatures descending, fescues, specifically those of golf courses, go dormant until spring. Combine that with non-ideal playing temperatures and conditions, fall is one of the last preferable times of the year to get a round of golf in until warmer weather arrives. Martinsville-Henry County is home to several 18-hole golf courses and driving ranges. Chatmoss Country Club, which is open to members and guests of members, was recently named the Best Golf Course in Southwest Virginia by the readers of Virginia Living Magazine in 2019. Other courses include Forest Park Country Club and Beaver Hills Golf Club.

We are undoubtedly in love with MHC all year round, yet the fall season here has a special spot in our hearts. It will in yours too after getting outdoors this fall in Martinsville-Henry County. Plan your trip with us today by visiting or by calling the Visitor Center at 276.632.8006.