Great Ways to Turn Fall into Fun in the NRV

New River Valley, VA – September is a beautiful month 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 Fall in the NRV! The list below has something for everyone, from exciting events to scenic adventures.

1. Sinkland Farm

Image courtesy of Sinkland Farm

Celebrating its 31st season, the fan favorite Sinkland Farms puts on a Pumpkin Festival that is unrivaled in the region. This year, the festival runs from September 23rd to October 30th 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.

2. Doe Creek Farm

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 Saturday beginning 9/9 and ending 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.

3. Virginia Tech Football

Image courtesy of Virginia Tech Athletics

It can’t just be a coincidence that football rhymes with Fall! Gameday in Blacksburg is one of the Towns 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.

4. Highlanders Festival

Image courtsey of Radford University

Celebrating its 25th year, the Highlanders Festival is a partnership between the City of Radford and Radford University. The festival began in the mid-1990s with a modest crowd of 3,000. It has since tripled in size, and now attracts an estimated crowd of 10,000. You don’t even have to be of Scots-Irish origin to attend (although if you plan to don a kilt, it helps). The Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia provide a beautiful backdrop for the fall festival and the events are awe-inspiring! The festival is held on 10/8 and is open to the general public with free admission.

5. Mabry Mill

Image courtesy of Jeremy Riffe

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 Parkway travelers and features cultural demonstrations, and a decades-long tradition of Sunday afternoon music.

6. Iron Heart Winery

Stock Image

Iron Heart Winery lives on a farm and was founded by a father-son team. Located in Pulaski County and built from the ground up, the farm’s history dates to America’s Industrial Revolution, circa 1882. The winery is a model of agro-tourism with a diverse array of activities and experiences that can be tailored to fit the needs of just about any guest. From cabin rentals to weddings, Iron Heart Winery is a must-see for a Fall trip in the NRV.

7. Pete Dye River Course

Fall is the perfect time of year to hit the links. The NRV is home to the stunning Pete Dye River Course. Located near the City of Radford, the 18-hole course is one of the best in the region. Sunshine, cool air, and fairways bordered by the beautiful New River make the River Course an easy pick for our Fall list!

8. New River Trail State Park

Image courtesy of Jeremy Riffe

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.

9. Floyd Music in the Mountains Concert Series

Image courtesy of the Town of Floyd

Music in the Mountains is a concert series that is sure to capture the ear of the music lover in your life. Fall in Floyd is perfect and the addition of local artists serenading as the sun sets is about as good as it gets. Put a priority on this series as the last date is at the end of September. Do not fret if you miss it this year however, the series wil be back in full swing beginning June 2023.

10. Hiking the Applachain Trail

Photo courtesy of Alyssa Moody

Giles County is an outdoor lovers mecca. The county boasts multiple access points to the Appalachian Trail and offers hikes for all skill and ability levels. For those who would like to notch off a piece of the AT without breaking a sweat, the Pearis Cemetery Trail is a fantastic option. Located just outside of the Town of Pearisburg, the trail is level and mostly gravel. There are even a couple of benches for sitting and soaking up the Fall colors. Budget about an hour (at a leisurely pace) for the out-and-back trail.

Find more things to do each day on our Community Calendar powered by Next3Days.

Click here to find out why the NRV is a great place to live, work, and do business.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small-town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

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.

Blacksburg Announces Affordable Housing Fund

Montgomery County, VA – The Town of Blacksburg recently announced that it has established an Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) that aims to serve the moderate to lower-income segment of the population. The fund will utilize money from the American Rescue Plan Act, which was established to aid communities grappling with the economic impacts of COVID-19.

The announcement clearly addresses the issue saying, “The town of Blacksburg faces a growing deficit of housing of all types, with a particular need for new homes for low- to moderate-income households.” 

The announcement goes on to say, “Because creating affordable housing is not very profitable, affordable housing projects often require financial investment from multiple public sources. An AHF provides a flexible source of local funding to leverage other public, private, and philanthropic investments in affordable housing or support investments (fill gaps) that would not otherwise be filled through existing public programs”.

The town specified that the fund will aim to incentivize housing developers and builders who can demonstrate that their project will achieve one or more of the goals listed below:

  • Increase the supply of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households near services such as schools, employers, and public transit.
  • Promote the “diversity and vitality” of neighborhoods; and preserve existing affordable housing through renovation & repair. 
  • Retrofit existing affordable housing through renovation and repair.

To qualify for funding, the town’s website details that the developer/builder applicants must have a “demonstrated track record” of prior residential development experience, preferably within the affordable housing sector.

Learn more housing in Blacksburg, a community in Virginia’s New River Valley  here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

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.

Business Facilities Ranks the NRV #8 in Recovery Jobs Growth for 2022

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA (also known as Virginia’s New River Valley or the NRV) made the Business Facilities list of top-ranked locations (metro) in the category of Best Recovery Metro Areas.

The region secured the #8 spot on the list with a strong showing in the “Recovery Metro Areas” category. The ranking comes by way of the largest percentage gain in total employment from May 2021 to May 2022 based on U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics data.

Image courtsey of Business Facilities

The state of Virginia posted a strong showing in BF’s 2022 State Rankings Report, earning a #2 spot for Best Business Climate, #1 for Best Tech Talent Pipeline and Best Cyber Security, and #2 For Best Customized Workforce Training.

The NRV has an excellent workforce that is fueled by great higher education institutions like Virginia Tech, Radford University, and New River Community College. Plus, the endless lifestyle amenities make it an excellent place to live.

For more information, visit Virginia’s New River Valley.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

 

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.

 

Montgomery County Earns Top 10 Ranking for Best School Districts in VA

Montgomery County, VA – Inside NOVA recently published an article detailing the top ten Virginia school districts using Niche rankings. Niche ranks school districts based on various criteria, including academics (SAT/ACT scores and state proficiency tests), teacher salaries, expenses per student, and access to extracurricular activities. According to the data, Montgomery County Public Schools has ranked # 10 on the list for 2022.

It is no secret that great schools attract great teachers. Research shows that engaged teachers can dramatically impact students’ academic goals and interests. Students leaving high school with a basic understanding of what they want to pursue academically and personally are far more likely to secure advanced degrees in a field they deem rewarding.

This impact has far-reaching effects, including higher lifetime earnings. The article references U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data saying, “Bachelor’s degree holders will earn an average of roughly $26,000 more each year than high school graduates. And for those who decide that pursuing a college degree is not the best postsecondary option, a good school will provide students with the tools and support to make that choice and the foundational skills necessary to succeed in the workforce.”

Good schools are also a reflection of great communities. In addition to the excellent schools in Montgomery County, the cost of livingoutdoor recreation opportunities, proximity to higher education, and plentiful jobs all play a major role in the overall health of the educational ecosystem.

#10. Montgomery County Public Schools (Christiansburg)

– Number of schools: 21 (10,016 students)

– Graduation rate: 93% (81% reading proficient and 86% math proficient)

– Average teacher salary: $52,281 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)

 

Learn more about Montgomery County in Virginia’s New River Valley here.

Learn more about the quality of life in Virginia’s New River Valley here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small-town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

 

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.

 

Financial Agreement Reached in NRV Passenger Rail Expansion

Montgomery County, VA – A press release by the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) and Norfolk Southern Corporation recently announced the financial closing of the agreement which will expand passenger rail service from Washington, DC to the New River Valley.

“The closing of the Western Rail Agreement is great news for Virginians as this is a big step forward in our mission to expand passenger rail to the New River Valley,” said DJ Stadtler, executive director of VPRA.

The agreement brings the Commonwealth one step closer to realizing its plans for expansion into the New River Valley. The new service is expected to add approximately 80,000 passengers in the first year once it is extended into the New River Valley.

Read the full press release here.

Learn more about Christiansburg, a town in Virginia’s New River Valley, here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small-town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

 

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.

 
FloydFest Featured in 2022 Blue Ridge Festival Guide

FloydFest Featured in 2022 Blue Ridge Festival Guide

Floyd County, VA – FloydFest is considered one of the “best events in the Blue Ridge” this summer according to Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine. The festival was featured in the magazine’s 2022 Blue Ridge Festival Guide. The 2022 festival will take place from July 27-31.

Here’s what the Blue Ridge Festival Guide had to say about FloydFest:

“The multi-stage musical blowout features one of the best curated musical line-ups in the region—mixing national mainstays with regional upstarts… Set on a beautiful 80-acre mountain plateau right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, FloydFest also offers a nice variety of adventure programming, including mountain biking, trail running, hiking, disc golf, and a wilderness skills workshop.”

Explore the 2022 Blue Ridge Festival Guide from Blue Ridge Outdoors here.

See the full FloydFest ’22 festival lineup here.

Learn more about Floyd County, a community in Virginia’s New River Valley, here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small-town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

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.

Top Ten Posts of 2020

Giles County Hikes with Views Featured in Go Hike Virginia

Giles County, VA – Sweeping vistas, fresh mountain air, and abundant wildlife are just a few reasons to get out and explore Giles County. Go Hike Virginia recently featured an article detailing a trio of trails that are sure to please those yearning for picture-perfect panoramas.

Here’s a list of the Giles County trails featured in the article:

Kelly’s Knob: A Scenic Appalachian Trail Hike Near Blacksburg, Virginia

All elevation gain is experienced within the first .5 mile of this 4-mile gem located just outside of beautiful Blacksburg, VA. The out and back trail is pet friendly and is rated as moderately difficult.

Sugar Run Mountain: A Vista-Filled Trail Near Pearisburg, Virginia

This 10.8-mile loop hike offers rewarding views of the beautiful blue ridge mountains near Pearisburg, VA. The hike is strenuous and offers 2000 vertical feet of elevation gain! Budget at least 5 hours for this one and bring plenty of water!

Angel’s Rest: Big Views in Pearisburg, Virginia

This 5.0-mile hike is far from easy, but the double dose of far-reaching views makes this hike an absolute must-do when in mountainous Giles County.

Read the full article, including expanded details about each of the trails, here

Find out more about outdoor activities in Virginia’s New River Valley here

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities while retaining the charm and benefits of small-town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

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.

Photo credit- Habitat for Humanity

World’s Largest 3D Printing Project Finds a Home in Pulaski County

Pulaski County, VA3D Printing Industry.com recently published a piece designating Pulaski County as home to the “world’s largest 3D printing project”. Project owner, Alquist 3D has dubbed the groundbreaking initiative “Project VA”. The project will be a multi-phase 200-unit housing development that is proposed to be constructed over a three-year period using only 3D printing technology.

Per the article, Alquist CEO Zachary Mannheimer explains why Pulaski was the perfect fit for the historic project.

“With migration patterns shifting due to the pandemic, climate, and economic concerns, smaller communities like Pulaski have a huge need and an amazing opportunity to develop affordable housing for new residents. By 3D printing these homes, Alquist and our partners will be accelerating Pulaski’s ability to harness current trends and attract new workers to this wonderful community in southwestern Virginia.”
Alquist 3D is in a perfect position to attract workers in industry-rich Pulaski County. Pulaski is situated in the heart of Virginia’s New River Valley, one of the fastest-growing regions in the US for tech jobs.

Alquist, in a partnership with Virginia Tech, completed 2 homes in Pulaski earlier this year as a proof of concept. The first phase of the project officially kicked off on April 29, 2022, with a tech demo in Pulaski near the site of the 2 previously constructed spec homes.

With a top speed of up to 9.8″ per second and 12-hour continuous operation capabilities, the state-of-the-art 3D printer can build 1,000 sq. foot structures in under 20 hours!

Per the article, Mannheimer alluded to future collaborations with the goals of producing the most cost-effective and sustainable homes utilizing green technologies.

“Concrete 3D printing reduces the amount of waste that is typically found on a job site, and our energy savings are significant. Still, concrete is far from the most environmentally friendly material, and we are working with partners to create a greener material in the next year. We also hope this new technology will be another way to build more affordable homes for families.”

Learn more about advanced manufacturing in Virginia’s New River Valley here.

Learn more about Virginia’s New River Valley here.

 

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

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.

Regional Partnership Creates Two-Phase River/Trail Center in Giles County

Giles County, VA – Giles County has announced a partnership with the New River Valley Regional Commission and the Friends of Southwest Virginia on the development of a new River/Trail Center.

The project will be located on the grounds of the historic Mountain Lake property, and will serve as an information hub for the plethora of outdoor recreation opportunities and services in picturesque Giles County.

Those who opt to add an activity such as mountain biking or paddling to the day’s adventures can rest easy knowing that logistical considerations have been made. Per the announcement, “Shuttle services are slated to connect visitors to hiking trails, mountain biking systems, and paddling launch locations throughout the County”.

Photo Credit: Giles County

A second planned phase of the project proposes the construction of a new trail connecting the Center to Mountain Lake Lodge and the peak of Bald Knob. “The New River Valley Regional Commission will be supporting the project by assisting with environmental coordination and other regulatory compliance requirements”.

Learn more about outdoor recreation in the NRV here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

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.

Passenger Rail Station Proposed for Former NRV Mall Site in Christiansburg

Montgomery County, VA – The Roanoke Times has published an article regarding the proposed location of the New River Valley’s proposed rail station.

Per the Roanoke Times, the new station will reside at one of two proposed sites near Christiansburg’s Uptown development, formerly known as the New River Valley Mall.

According to the article, “The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) began a feasibility study this past fall to look at potential station locations in the New River Valley and then conducted a survey that ran from Dec. 22, 2021, to Jan. 31, 2022. The survey garnered over 2500 responses from area residents. In addition to location-specific information, the survey also revealed that “public transit access to the station and student access” were both considered important issues.

In May of 2021, former Governor Ralph Northam touched on the economic impact passenger rail could have on the region; “Bringing passenger rail service back to the New River Valley will fuel tourism, drive economic growth, and create new opportunities for the region’s 180,000 residents and 40,000 college students.”

Read the full article about the proposed station here.

Learn more about Christiansburg, a town in Virginia’s New River Valley, here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

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.