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Copyright 2021 Our State Magazine
Copyright 2021 Our State Magazine

Why LYH: AN Overview of the Region’s Best Outdoor Recreation & Adventure Offerings

James Black

It’s hard to believe that summer is winding to an end and schools across the Lynchburg region are starting classes again. As an organization that not only champions business and economic development but which also strives to empower individuals across the region to achieve an extraordinary level of quality of life throughout the year,, the Alliance’s blog highlighted a series of unique and unforgettable opportunities for members of the region to get out and enjoy the outdoors. So, as summer draws to a close, one last effort is being produced to highlight the best of the best, highlighting why the Lynchburg region is replete with opportunities for outdoor fun and adventure.

Each of the localities in the region, including Amherst, Bedford, Campbell, and Appomattox Counties, and the City of Lynchburg, has its own set of outdoor recreation opportunities perfect for both families and individuals across the region to enjoy, often developed by partnerships between a specific locality’s parks and recreation and economic development initiatives. For example, a brand new disc golf course at New London Technology Park, designed by three-time disc golf world champion, Paul McBeth, wouldn’t have been made possible without a partnership between the Bedford County Economic Development and the county’s parks and recreation department. Bedford County is also home to the scenic and iconic Peaks of Otter, and a countywide park system, for both adventure lovers and for those who’d like to take life at a slower pace.

Neighboring Campbell County also features a variety of parks, including the 90 acre Community Park, complete with baseball, basketball, and softball fields, an amphitheater, picnic areas, and trails. While independently owned, Patrick Henry’s Red Hill, located in the southern portion of the county near Brookneal, is an iconic historical attraction celebrating one of America’s founders and the first governor of Virginia who famously uttered, “Give me liberty or give me death!”

Located just east of Lynchburg, Appomattox County features a similar slate of unforgettable attractions celebrating critical moments in U.S. history, such as the Appomattox Court House National Park. However, Appomattox County is also home to two scenic state parks that are a frequent draw for tourism in the area, Holliday Lake and James River State parks. Of the two parks, the former is located right next door to the Holliday Lake 4-H Educational Center, an educational and recreational facility located in the 20,000 acre Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest that hosts the Alliance’s Pull for the Business event twice a year.

Located on the northern edge of the Lynchburg region, Amherst County is known for its breathtaking mountain vistas, but also has a quaint county park system that can be enjoyed by both residents and visitors. The county’s mountainous northern and western sides feature a variety of scenic hiking trails, including the historic Virginia Blue Ridge Railway trail, which follows the banks of the Piney and Tye rivers, and the iconic Old Hotel Trail, which follows the meadows across the summit of Cole Mountain, offering fantastic views of the Amherst foothills and the western valley, and many more!

Of course, an overview of the excitement and adventure offered by the Lynchburg region wouldn’t be complete without an in-depth dive into Lynchburg itself. From Percival’s Island accessible via the Riverwalk Trail alongside the James River to the sprawling Blackwater Creek Trail system and nearby Hollins Mill ParkLynchburg Parks & Recreation has something that nearly any outdoor lover would enjoy. Also, nestled above Liberty University and providing an incredible view of the region is the vast Liberty Mountain Trail System, featuring hundreds of miles of gravity-driven hiking and biking trails that are free to use by the general public. Located right next door to the same trail system is the Lynchburg region’s only year-round ski slope, the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre which offers an exciting experience that can be enjoyed by both beginner and advanced ski enthusiasts. Also, you can’t mention Lynchburg and adventure together without highlighting downtown’s incredible dining scene, featuring All-American family favorites like the Market at Main, casual options like Waterstone Pizza, and the White Hart Café, with even more dining options located in other areas of the city.

As the sun sets on Summer 2021, the Alliance wants to give you one final reminder to continue enjoying all the exciting opportunities that make the Lynchburg region a great place for both work and play!