September 26, 2023: This blog post, which was originally published in September 2022, was updated to reflect current information about fall activities on this list.
New River Valley, VA – Fall is a beautiful time to be in the New River Valley. Daytime temperatures remain summer-like, while crisp evening air subtly transforms the rich green hillsides, mountainsides, and roadsides into vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and red. Autumn is the perfect time of year to gather with friends and family and explore the region’s many wonders. So, join us as we explore a fall in the NRV! The list below has a little something for everyone, from exciting events to scenic adventures.
Celebrating its 32nd season, the fan favorite Sinkland Farms puts on a Pumpkin Festival that is unrivaled in the region. This year, the festival runs every weekend from the end of September to October 29th and celebrates all things Fall. Featuring live music, local vendors, hayrides, and a dizzying corn maze, the Pumpkin Festival is an NRV staple that has something for everyone.
Apples have been grown on Doe Creek Farm for over 100 years. The pick-your-own apple orchard is perfect for kids and the “dwarf trees” allow even the smallest family member a piece of the action. Doe Creek is open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday in September and closes when the fruit has been cleared from the trees. Check their website before you go to make sure you are up to date on hours and accepted forms of payment.
It can’t just be a coincidence that football rhymes with fall! Gameday in Blacksburg is one of the town’s great experiences. Even those not into the sport can enjoy the sights and sounds of 66,000 dedicated fans cheering on the Hokies. The fervor created during the team’s entrance song, Metallica’s famous Enter Sandman, has registered as a small earthquake on the Richter Scale.
Celebrating its 26th year, the Highlanders Festival is a partnership between the City of Radford and Radford University. The festival began in the mid-1990s. It has since tripled in size since the original festival, and now attracts an estimated crowd of 10,000. NRV’s fall leaves provide a beautiful backdrop for the festival and the events are awe-inspiring! The 2023 festival is held on 10/14 and is open to the general public with free admission.
5. Mabry Mill
Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, the sights and sounds of rural Appalachia fill the air at Mabry Mill during the fall. The old mill makes for a great “leg-stretching” spot for Blue Ridge Parkway travelers and features cultural demonstrations, and a decades-long tradition of Sunday afternoon music.
Randolph Park in Pulaski County hosts a spooky light show that is set up to Halloween themed music. The lights will turn on October 9th at 7pm and run every night through Halloween. Plan your visit at daklights.com.
St. Albans Sanatorium was constructed in 1892 just across from the City of Radford overlooking the New River. It first functioned as an elite Lutheran boys school. In 1916 the property became a hospital with innovative treatments for psychiatric patients. The Sanatorium has received many paranormal investigators over the years, and they say that some of the patients have yet to leave the building. Every year the St. Albans Sanatorium opens for a haunted house experience. Tickets are available for every Friday and Saturday in October.
New River Trail is a 57-mile linear park that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way. The park parallels the scenic and historic New River for 39 miles and passes through four counties and the Town of Pulaski. The trail’s gentle slope makes it great for visitors of all ages to hike, bike, and ride horseback.
This Arts & Craft Festival has been sponsored by the General Federation Woman’s Club since 1982. This year over 180 artisans and craftsmen will offer their handcrafted wares for sale including ceramics, quilts, afghans, hand-woven baskets, and many other uniquely crafted items. You don’t want to miss this single day event happening in Floyd County on Oct 7, 2023!
The Scarecrow Festival kicks off with a scarecrow trail and will run from October 2nd through November 1st . The scarecrows are scattered around the Town of Pearisburg for all to enjoy. The Scarecrow Festival is on Saturday, October 7, 2023 from 10am until 3pm. With contests like best pet photo, the cutest baby, or the best Halloween costume contest; there is fun for all ages! Find out more here.
Find more things to do each day on our Community Calendar powered by Next3Days.
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Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.