Summer shimmers in Nelson County. Hiking, great food, and interesting people make Nelson’s Massies Mill & Tyro areas a Central Virginia hidden gem. The perfect day begins with a hike at nearby Humpback Rocks. From the top, you’ll wonder at the view of azure skies and the deep forest greens of the Blue Ridge. For a more low-key outdoor experience, take a picnic lunch to Tye River Park. Travel to Seamans’ Orchard in June for pick-your-own cherries and blueberries, all with amazing mountain views.
One of Nelson’s most popular destinations is Crabtree Falls. As higher elevations tend to have lower temperatures in the summer, a hike near the Blue Ridge Mountains is refreshing when the temperatures rise. Wildlife abounds at Crabtree Falls during the summer months, and rhododendron sprinkles the woods with pink flowers. Forest birds call as you wind your way up the trail with waterfall views the entire way. If you’re looking for a camping spot, stay at Crabtree Falls Campground after your hike.
Did you bring the kids? That’s awesome! Take them to the Kids in Parks TRACK Trail at the Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail. Kids and their families can learn more about birds, trees, insects, and other nature along the 1.8 mile trail (but no worries, there is a longer trail ahead if you need to get their energy out before hopping back in the car).
If you’re enjoying a girls’ weekend or outing, visit Pharsalia. Once a plantation, it is now a private residence on the historic registry that offers special events, parties, weddings, tours and workshops. Pharsalia’s flower-arranging workshops are famous, and you’ll get to make arrangements with flowers from Pharsalia’s impressive gardens.
If you’ve brought Fido along for the day, stop by Bold Rock Hard Cider, which offers river views, music, and even special events for the family dogs, like Bold’s Rock’s Barks at the Barn. If you’re in a hurry to get back, grab a pizza from Chirios or Giuseppes Ristorante Italiano to take home.
You may want to learn more about the flooding from Hurricane Camille in 1969. Tyro & Massies Mill were the most severely affected by the storm. An unprecedented amount of rain fell at once during the night of August 19, 2020. Learn about the tragedy at the Oakland Museum in Arrington and take the self-guided tour of landmarks associated with the Flood of ’69.
- LGBTQ+ Friendly
Last Updated: 09/10/2020
Cabins at Crabtree Falls
Tyro, VA 229760.01 MI
Crabtree Falls Hwy
Tyro, VA 229760.01 MI
5529 Crabtree Falls Hwy
Tyro, VA 229760.35 MI
3464 Pharsalia Road
Roseland, VA 229670.98 MI
728 Harper's Creek Lane
Tyro, VA 229761.51 MI