A few days in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia

Fall was in the air when we arrived in Virginia. In just a few days we went from hot and muggy to crisp and cool. Our shorts and tee shirts were traded for jeans and sweatshirts. The air conditioner was turned off and the windows were open to let the fresh air in. And the best part was campfires at night.

We love to stay at Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin, Virginia when we visit our daughter’s family. We had a great time hanging out with our grandkids in their new home and meeting their two new kittens. Watching our granddaughter’s swim team practice and our grandson’s soccer game were the highlights of this trip and the reason we came up here.

Morning walk at Claytor Lake State Park
Morning walk at Claytor Lake State Park

 

 

Sadly, we couldn’t spend every minute with the family so we spent some time exploring the area. This was our fifth stay at Claytor Lake and wandering on the many trails in the park is always one of my favorite activities.Trail at Claytor Lake State Park

Trail at Claytor Lake State Park

Wildflowers in the woods at Claytor Lake State Park
Wildflowers in the woods at Claytor Lake State Park
An early morning walk in the woods
An early morning walk in the woods

One day we decided to take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. In order to get to our destination, the Rocky Knob Visitor’s Center at milepost 170, we had to drive about 30 miles on a narrow country road through beautiful farmland. After a stop at the visitor’s center to get my National Park Passport stamped we had lunch in the picnic area. A narrow one way road winds through the picnic area which has picnic tables scattered around the hills.

Rocky Knob picnic area on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia
Rocky Knob picnic area on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia
Rocky Knob picnic area on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia
Rocky Knob picnic area on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia

After lunch we enjoyed our short drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The views from the overlooks were spectacular

Blue Ridge Parkway from overlook at Rocky Knob Visiter's Center
Blue Ridge Parkway from overlook at Rocky Knob Visiter’s Center
Buffalo Mountain from the Saddle Overlook on Blue Ridge Parkway
Buffalo Mountain from the Saddle Overlook on Blue Ridge Parkway

We only drove about ten miles on the parkway before exiting to the town of Floyd for a return visit to the Floyd Country Store. I posted about our visit to their Sunday Jam Session in this post from 2013.

Floyd Country Store
Floyd Country Store

Saturday morning before driving to Roanoke to our grandson’s soccer game I walked down to the lake to watch the start of the Claytor Lake Triathlon. An 80 year old man, his 50 year old son and his grandson all participated in the event. After watching the swimmers take off, I walked to the beach to see them exit the water and run to their bikes to begin the bike race.

On our last morning at the state park I woke up to see four deer in the campground.

Deer visited the campground on our last morning at Claytor Lake
Deer visited the campground on our last morning at Claytor Lake
Two fawns in the campground
Two fawns in the campground

On Sunday afternoon our daughter’s family came out for a visit. So much fun sitting by the fire, going for a walk, playing ladderball, and sharing a meal of burgers, hot dogs and of course  s’mores. A perfect end to our stay at Claytor Lake.

23 thoughts on “A few days in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia

        1. Oh I love Mt. Airy! Be sure to visit the Andy Griffith Museum, walk along main street, and visit the jail and gas station. So much fun! The last time we were there Floyd’s barber shop was closed because the owner was sick. And eat as the Snappy Lunch. Lots of memorabilia there. You are also close enough to Mabry Mill to take a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see it.

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          1. It’s a favorite of ours! We’ve been there several times. We stay in Mayberry Campground. We love the all the hiking, too. After seeing the museum, etc., we just wanted to watch all his movies….they should have a TV station dedicated to him. We usually don’t eat out-but we may try Snappy’s next time. We did discover a bakery….I didn’t indulge but my husband really enjoyed the Red Velvet cake. Such warm and wonderful people there!

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      1. We’ve not been traveling so thought why not start to share our fellow blogging travelers excitement and beauty! I’m taking a blogging course and it’s emphasized how important it is to post regularly!

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  1. Sounds like a perfect visit with perfect weather. We are going to VA to see Jessica and her family in two weeks. I hope this wonderful weather stays around.

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  2. Those two fawns are adorable. I’m sure spending time with daughter and grandkids was very enjoyable as was taking in the beautiful scenery. I’m sure fall is in the air and the colors will soon be popping. Enjoy!

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  3. How great that you were able to visit your family and see your grandchildren participate in their activities. A time you will always cherish. You got some beautitul photos of the views:)

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