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Fairy Stone State Park & SW Virginia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by BvilleBud, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. BvilleBud

    BvilleBud Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    Strasburg
    My wife and I took the V-Strom to SW Virginia last weekend. We went from Strasburg VA and drove south through Front Royal then picked up 522 South through Flint Hill and Washington VA through Sperryville and went South on Fort Valley Road (Rt. 231) to Madison VA. This is always a nice drive, great mountain views, gently turning roads, little to no traffic. We then took Rt. 29 South through Charlottesville to Lynchburg where we picked up Rt. 460 West. I have lived in Virginia for most of my life and I don't know why I made this rookie mistake. Rt. 29 stinks, too much traffic, too many lights, bad drivers, etc. Looking back I should have taken some back roads to continue southwest. After a grueling hour on Rt. 29, we took 460 to Bedford then Rt. 122 West through Moneta and over Smith Mountain Lake, Rocky Mount, and stopped at the (closed for COVID) Blue Ridge Institute and Museum on the Ferrum College campus. I look forward to returning post-covid, but it was a nice spot to get off the bike for a few minutes. We took Rt. 40 West to Fairystone Lake Drive and to Fairy Stone Park.

    If you have never been to Fairy Stone park it is well worth a visit. A very nice drive to get there and a beautiful little lake and small beach. Of course there are Fairy Stones to hunt there. My grandmother grew up very close to this place and when I was a child her and my great aunt told me the legend of the Fairy Stones and how they used to look for them in the forest when they were little girls. We rented a canoe and spent some time relaxing on the lake then followed a tip and instead of hunting for Fairy Stones in the park we drove down the road about 2 miles to the Fairystone Pit Stop gas station to gas up and hunt for relics behind his store.

    Now a little on the local interaction. The folks at the Fairy Stone state park were not rude or obnoxious, but they also were not the least bit accommodating and did not really act like they cared if we were there or not. We had ridden many miles, it was boiling hot and my wife wanted to change clothes so we asked the park office / gift store if there was someplace she could change. I was hoping to hear, "sure use the room in back" or some other good recommendation, the two gals shrugged, and suggested she use the porta-potty in the parking lot. I also asked if we could stash our helmets while we visited the park and of course the answer was no. I really didn't expect a yes to the help with our gear, but I am spoiled by the rangers in Shenandoah National Park; those folks make you feel welcome and are always positive even if they can't accommodate. The girls at the park office were not at all like this. To top it off, once we got inside the park (after the porta-potty) there was a full size bathroom with AC that would have been 100 times better than changing in a plastic box. Getting ready to pay entry fee, the girls at the gate told me “take this receipt and put it on your dash so we don't ticket you when you park…” I reply (while sitting on the motorcycle) "I am riding a motorcycle, what dash?" They looked at me dumbfounded like they had never had a motorcycle in the park before. For contrast the man at the Fairystone Pit Stop was just awesome. I rode up, he looked over my bike, talked about motorcycling, laughed and joked a little, he was a great representative of the Old Dominion. This guy treated me and my wife like we were his favorite guests. He told us where to go to find stones, told us where his property ended and encouraged us to enjoy ourselves and let him know if we needed anything.

    We left Bassett VA and took Fairystone Park Highway (Rt. 57) South to Woodwine Highway (Rt. 8) to Floyd where we got dinner at El Charro Mexican Grill. The drive on Rt. 8 never disappoints, plenty of turns, the road is maintained well, mountain and valley views, just beautiful. If you have never been to Floyd VA, it is a fun place to visit. Floyd is a strange mix between old Appalachian history and culture a 60’s vibe. Floyd it is a little redneck and a little bohemian, and everyone seems to get along; I like it! and El Charro was delicious with great service. A quick drive Northwest on Rt. 8 took us to the hotel in Christiansburg.

    The following morning we went to eat in Blacksburg and we visited the beautiful Virginia Tech campus. I have visited VT many dozens of times, (I’m a wrestling coach who brought a team here every summer to camp) but I have never seen it this quiet due to the pandemic. The campus was as beautiful as always. If you visit make sure you see the War Memorial statues as you enter the campus, but also see the chapel below the statues. Walk the drill field and sit under the beautiful shade trees. Go to the duck pond and feed some ducks and geese and read the amazing story of Mary Draper Ingles a early pioneer who was abducted there in a Indian massacre and taken to Lower Shawneetown on the Kentucky / Ohio boarder where she escaped and walked more than 500 miles home through uncharted wilderness.

    After our tour of Virginia Tech we headed east just north of Christiansburg turning off of 460 onto Mt. Pleasant Road, going through Alleghany Springs and Simpson then heading north on Rt. 221 toward the Blue Ridge Parkway. This was a beautiful drive; a little gravel, but mostly pavement, passing a beautiful waterfall at Cooks Branch; plenty of turns, elevation changes, views and almost no other vehicle traffic. We picked up 221 north heading toward Roanoke and took the Blue Ridge Parkway most of the way home. The Blue Ridge Parkway is amazing, we rode it for maybe 3 hours and maybe saw 20 cars (maybe 30 motorcycles, ha!) It has more beautiful views than I can describe. If you are ever in the area a visit to both Shenandoah National Park (Skyline Drive) and the Blue Ridge Parkway are required.


    Fairy Stone Park


    My grandmother grew up near Fairy Stone State Park and told me the legend of the Fairy Stones as follows... More than a thousand years before Chief Powhatan ruled over the land that is now Virginia, fairies lived in the virgin forests. They danced and played in the woodlands, and fields and splashed in the clear rivers and streams. One day the sad news of Christ's crucifixion was brought to the fairy nation. When they heard the story, they wept and as their tears fell to the ground they instantly formed the stone crosses so that Christ’s sacrifice could never be forgotten. We can find those crosses to this day.

    Martha Virginia Koger 1909 - 1998 (my grandmother)


    Virginia Tech


    Alleghany Springs to Blue Ridge Parkway


    View attachment 3022332
    #1
  2. tallbob

    tallbob Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    Butt Mt. VA
    Nice RR. I live west of Blackburg and am familiar with your route. You described it very well. It's a fantastic area to ride!
    #2
    BvilleBud likes this.
  3. DustyS

    DustyS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    57
    Location:
    Blacksburg, VA
    +1 :beer
    #3
    BvilleBud likes this.
  4. tireatr

    tireatr Let's go for a ride

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,045
    Location:
    Little Switzerland NC
    It’s a beautiful area with great roads. It’s a shame local law enforcement treats riders with presumed guilt because you are on two wheels. 2 years ago we were followed from Floyd to the county line at the BRP on VA8 and tags all checked while rolling on US58 4 lane section. I can spend my tourist money anywhere in Appalachia. I won’t spend it here.
    #4
  5. KennyV

    KennyV Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Republic of Floyd, Va
    My wife and I live in Floyd. Been here 8 years now and love it! Your description of Floyd is spot on and there is a LOT of fun riding. I really appreciate being able to hop on the bike and ride for two or three hours or all day on fun pavement and or gravel.
    #5
    BvilleBud likes this.
  6. MarkVeeMarkADV

    MarkVeeMarkADV sharing misinformation and useless trivia

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    267
    Location:
    at the MA/VT/NH border
    Floyd County, the town of Floyd, all in one! Thank you for this report.My memories of
    1997-98 come back to me with a smile.
    I lived in C-burg, worked in construction raising another level and the roofs on the dorms
    at VTech/Blacksburg. and then I operated crane and other equipt in the raising of the huge
    timberframe (90' post&beams) ChateauMorrissette Winery off the BRP nearby Meadows of Dan.
    I also learned about Popa from a local crewmember, the commercial shit that sells as moonshine
    nowadays in the retail market is NOTHING like that was.
    I gotta re-visit with the strom. soon.
    Ride Safe,
    Sully
    #6
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  7. Adventure Horizons

    Adventure Horizons Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2020
    Oddometer:
    128
    Location:
    Roanoke VA
    Floyd is a good ADV destination. Not alot of rough roads but, a bunch of gravel.
    #7
    BvilleBud and KennyV like this.
  8. Keyf

    Keyf 5 o'clock World

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    NC
    I was at Fairy Stone last Sat. (6/5) riding up from just outside Winston-Salem. I agree, the two women at the gate were nice but not too much. They gave me a 15 min pass so that I could drive around the place and take a gander. So, I just sat on the pass and pressed it into "my" shape. I had been there before but this was the first time I had been stopped at the gate. They were very busy but once in it was not overly crowded. A worthwhile trip even if I pushed the 15 min pass by an hour. Nice place to visit and nice roads nearby.
    #8
    BvilleBud likes this.
  9. tallbob

    tallbob Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    Butt Mt. VA
    Wow, that's pretty bad. I have been riding 2 wheels in that area for years and haven't experienced anything like that. I have been pulled over for speeding a time or two. :waysad
    #9
    BvilleBud likes this.
  10. BvilleBud

    BvilleBud Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    768
    Location:
    Strasburg
    CG_6438.jpg Stones_6413.jpg VT_6432.jpg Creek5e3.jpg BRP_6435.jpg
    #10
    KennyV likes this.