The Nelson Scenic Loop is a 50 mile auto and bike tour that features Nelson County’s bounty of natural, cultural, and historic attractions.

Comprising Route 151, Route 664, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Route 56, the Nelson Scenic Loop traverses both the lower foothills of the Piedmont as well as the summits of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

Scenic and natural wonders abound. Hike the Appalachian Trail, visit Crabtree Falls, or stop at scenic overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Along the way visit breweries, cideries, apple and peach farm markets, pumpkin patches, and more. Shop for crafts. Eat local food and enjoy the views from the many local restaurants.

Begin your loop journey at the Rockfish Valley Foundation’s Natural History Center on Route 151 in Wintergreen, VA. Directions ›

Photos from the Loop

Nelson Scenic Loop Facts

  • Consists of four Virginia Scenic Byways

  • Rises in elevation from 850 ft to 4050 ft

  • Bisected by Rockfish and Tye Rivers and traverses three Blue Ridge Mountain watersheds

  • Blue Ridge Parkway was a WPA project and built in 1935

  • Known for its colorful fall tree foliage and the spring floral display of native azaleas, rhododendrons, and mountain laurel.

  • The Appalachian Trail crosses the Loop at Reids Gap and along the Tye River

  • At 1,214 ft, Crabtree Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River

  • Monticello Fish Hatchery raises the trout that stock the local streams

  • Grace Episcopal Church in Massie’s Mill survived the 1969 Hurricane Camille Flood when one percent of the population in Nelson County perished.

  • Nelson County was founded in 1808 and named for Gov. Thomas Nelson Jr.