Tag Archives: Highland County

Fairlawn Farm celebrates fall in Highland County

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????If you left Fairlawn Farm this weekend and weren’t in the fall mood, there’s not much more that could be done because it doesn’t get much better than all the activities offered by Highland County’s Sheriff Tim Duff and his wife Terry. They were celebrating autumn in a big way with friends and visitors at their farm just south of Monterey near Mill Gap and, just as he does during March’s Maple Festival, Tim was teaching the old ways from the past by using vintage equipment with a little help from his friends.

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Autumn travel and leaf peeping in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley

By Lynn R. Mitchell
Originally published in the Washington Examiner, October 4, 2010 – Updated

Blue Ridge Parkway at Humpback Rock.

Now that autumn has arrived in the Shenandoah Valley, October’s calendar is full of festivals and events for those who wish to enjoy cooler temperatures and colorful leaves. If waiting until the fall color show hits its peak, be sure to check out Virginia Tourism’s Fall Color Hotline at 1-800-424-LOVE or check the Fall Color report.

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Early autumn lunch with Barb and the wisdom of Dove chocolates

??????????By Lynn R. Mitchell

As we enjoyed the warm autumn afternoon, my friend Barb and I caught up on all the goings-on in the area as well as life in general. We were at an outdoor table at McAlister’s Deli in Waynesboro, soaking in the warm breeze and relishing the second day of October over iced tea — sweet for her, unsweetened for me — and sandwiches.  It was a long, leisurely, much-needed catching-up, a respite in the middle of busy days and, for her, moving to Fishersville from north of Waynesboro.  I like the new abode because it’s closer to our circle of friends, not that distance has ever kept us apart.

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2014 Highland County Hands & Harvest Fall Festival this weekend

??????????By Lynn R. Mitchell

Celebrate the beauty of autumn at Highland County’s annual Hands & Harvest Fall Foliage Festival this weekend Virginia’s “Little Switzerland.” Held Saturday and Sunday, October 11-12, this event offers two full days of activity and entertainment to observe the mountain forests of Virginia’s Western Highlands transformed into a rich palette of russet, gold, and scarlet.

Seasonal foods, including apple dumplings, barbecues, Allegheny Mountain Trout, and homemade baked goods will be available in the historic districts of Monterey and McDowell. Take time to explore the back roads by enjoying one of Highland County’s Scenic Driving Tours or Barn Quilt Trails.

2014 EVENTS

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Highland County: The quiet beauty of driving over Jack Mountain

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????A small mountain road covered with colorful autumn leaves, an elevation in excess of 4,000 feet, breath-taking views … and not another person in sight. That was the highlight of our Sunday wanderings in Highland County as we drove up and over Jack Mountain. These are just a few of the photos I took at our frequent stops to take in the beauty of what was around us. See also October color and back roads in Virginia’s Highland County, Finding autumn in Highland County, Full color in western Highland County, and Evelyn’s pantry is hometown deli on Monterey’s main street.

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October color and back roads in Virginia’s Highland County

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????Leaving Augusta County at 7:30 Sunday morning, we headed to Highland County a short 20-30 minutes west to see how much autumn had advanced in the five days since we were last there. Rain and high winds over the weekend had blown leaves that were at peak on Tuesday off the trees so we were anxious to see how far east the color change could be found. We drove to the western border of Highland on the West Virginia line where color had been at peak on Tuesday and found some trees were bare and others were nearly so. As we checked out various back roads, the brightest leaf color seemed to be higher elevations closer to Monterey. We were not disappointed at the continuous display of trees showing off their vivid palate of autumn red, gold, burgandy, yellow, and orange, reminiscent of New England with sugar maples in all their fall glory.

??????????Sheep sheep sheep. They are one of the mainstays in this part of western Virginia. For more photos taken last week of Highland County autumn colors, see Finding autumn in Highland County, Full color in western Highland County, and Evelyn’s pantry is hometown deli on Monterey’s main street.

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Evelyn’s Pantry is hometown deli on Monterey’s main street

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????Autumn was on full display on the patio of Evelyn’s Pantry on Monterey’s main street the last day of September 2014. The warm days of fall are an invitation to visitors and locals to take their lunch outside and enjoy the beauty of Virginia’s “Little Switzerland” that looks more like New England at this time of year. On a cold day, a bowl of owner Donna Hooke’s homemade hot vegetable soup hits the spot sitting at a table in front of the stone fireplace. On a warm day, a deli sandwich and a scoop of frozen yogurt or ice cream is in order. Evelyn’s is our go-to eatery in Monterey year-round so we’ve seen it in all seasons and even when trudging through snow to get to the door … nothing fancy … just an informal gathering place. (See also Finding autumn in Highland County, Va, more than four dozen photos of vivid fall colors 2014).

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Finding autumn in Highland County, Va.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????The word trickled over the mountains from Highland last week that autumn leaves were starting their show. On Tuesday we drove west chasing autumn on the last day of September through Highland County in Virginia, and Pocahontas and Pendleton counties in West Virginia. Our journey was not in vain … we were rewarded with a stunning display of maple trees in all their glory. Even though Highland is known as Virginia’s “Little Switzerland,” the fall views were like stepping into the dazzling autumn displays of New England.

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Full color in western Highland County, Va.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????Western Highland County mountains around 4,000 feet altitude where autumn colors are at full peak.

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October 2014 … 20 things to do in and around Staunton, Va.

Staunton 3

Historic Wharf District in downtown Staunton.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Voted as one of America’s Top 20 Main Streets by Travel and Leisure magazine, the central Shenandoah Valley city of Staunton was also recently named one of the 20 Best Small Towns in America by Smithsonian magazine as well as Virginia Living magazine’s Best of 2012. Known as the Queen City, Staunton was founded in 1747 and was named for Lady Rebecca Staunton, wife of Virginia’s Governor William Gooch.

With views east toward the Blue Ridge Mountains and west toward the Appalachians, Staunton is an historic slice of Virginia that offers restored Victorian homes, cozy downtown shops, and small-town atmosphere. Patriotic holidays find her streets lined with American flags, and the always-popular Christmas parade takes place each year on Beverley Street, the main thoroughfare that is lined with restaurants, store fronts, the Dixie Theater, the city courthouse, and old-fashioned lamp posts.

There are many things to do during the leaf season that peaks in October so here are some places and events you may find interesting. Check back often … this list will be updated throughout the month. It’s autumn in western Virginia.

1. Trolleys
A great way to get around downtown, Staunton’s two trolleys are inexpensive, and pick up and discharge passengers at stops located throughout the city. More information can be found at the Staunton Visitors Center on New Street.

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