Tag Archives: Monterey

October leaves

??????????Vivid maple tree on Courthouse lawn in Monterey, 2015.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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Mountains, maple syrup, sheep … 2016 Highland Maple Festival begins next weekend

By Lynn R. Mitchell

That’s my child bonding with a sheep.

It is known as Virginia’s Switzerland, this rural, mountainous, southern-most location for gathering maple syrup, and it is right here in our back yard. Just 45 miles west of Staunton, picturesque Highland County hosts its 58th annual Maple Festival during the weekends of March 11-13 and March 18-20.

Make plans to meander back roads, stuff yourself on pancakes drenched with locally-harvested maple syrup, or fill up on mouth-watering maple chicken. Be entertained by local cloggers and bluegrass bands while enjoying the wildly popular fresh maple donuts made by the local Ruritans. Stroll the main street of Monterey, population 150, to check out the many vendors peddling crafts, maple products, and Kettle Korn. Take in the beauty of this rural setting populated with sheep and cattle. Relax. Slow down. Breathe the cold, fresh, mountain air.

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Back roads, sheep farms, mountain vistas of Highland County

By Lynn R. Mitchell

32Highland County is also known as Virginia’s “Little Switzerland” because of its mountains and sheep. Sparsely populated, the vistas year round are exceptionally stunning but in the fall vibrant oranges, reds, and golds make the mountain slopes come alive with color. These photos were taken on September 30 when only the far western part of the county was at peak but the next week will see big changes as the autumn color show moves east. (For more photos see Fall colors brighten western Highland County.)

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Mountains, syrup, sheep … 2015 Highland Maple Festival begins this weekend

By Lynn R. Mitchell

That’s my child bonding with a sheep.

It is known as Virginia’s Switzerland, this rural, mountainous, southern-most location for gathering maple syrup, and it is right here in our back yard. Just 45 miles west of Staunton, picturesque Highland County hosts its 57th annual Maple Festival during the weekends of March 14-15 and March 21-22.

Make plans to meander back roads, stuff yourself on pancakes drenched with locally-harvested maple syrup, or fill up on mouth-watering maple chicken. Be entertained by local cloggers and bluegrass bands while enjoying the wildly-popular fresh maple donuts made by the local Ruritans. Stroll the main street of Monterey, population 150, to check out the many vendors peddling crafts, maple products, and Kettle Korn. Take in the beauty of this rural setting populated with sheep and cattle. Relax. Slow down. Breathe the cold, fresh, mountain air.

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Highland Inn hopes to reopen for Maple Festival

By Lynn R. Mitchell

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Highland Inn. Monterey, Virginia. October 2014.

The doors were closed to the Highland Inn located in Monterey, the heart of Highland County in western Virginia, at the end of October when the owners sent out a press release notifying the public that it was for sale. The stately building that sits on the main street has been a staple since 1904, serving overnight guests who enjoyed the porches and vintage interior as well as diners who patroned the restaurant. Perhaps one of its busiest times is during the Highland Maple Festival that is held annually on the second and third weekends in March.

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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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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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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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