About the Nelson Scenic Loop

New to the LOOP? Read the LOOP for beginners post.

Attention history buffs, naturalists, architectural hounds, hikers, and wine aficionados! The Nelson Scenic Loop—comprised of four scenic byways—is a 50-mile auto and bike tour that features Nelson County’s bounty of natural, cultural, and historic attractions.

Encompassing the Blue Ridge Parkway, Patrick Henry Highway (VA Route 151), Beech Grove Road (County Route 664) and Crabtree Falls Highway (VA Route 56), the Nelson Scenic Loop traverses both the verdant foothills of the Piedmont as well as the summits of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

Commence your journey at the Spruce Creek Park Visitor Center on Route 151 in Wintergreen, Virginia. The Visitor Center showcases the loop and its associated points of interest. While there, learn about the 1969 tragedy of Hurricane Camille, and stroll the adjacent Rockfish Valley Foundation trails.

Discover History

Along the loop, you can encounter the landscape that was shaped by the clash of two planter cultures – the Scotch-Irish and Anglicans – who left a legacy of diverse farming practices, architecture, and local craft. There are a number of registered national historic landmarks.

Experience Natural Wonders

The Nelson Scenic Loop extends along the steep, narrow valleys and wider floodplains carved by the Tye and Rock fish Rivers. The region’s fertile soils have been used to raise a special dark leaf tobacco and distinct apple varieties popular around the world. Today, apple orchards, wineries, and breweries along the loop perpetuate Nelson’s agrarian heritage.

Scenic and natural wonders also abound. Hike the Appalachian Trail, visit Crabtree Falls, or stop at a scenic overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway, while witnessing colorful fall foliage or abundant spring floral displays of native azaleas, rhododendrons, and mountain laurel.

Support Local Enterprise

The Nelson Scenic Loop is your ticket to visit local potters, painters, and burl wood artists in their studios, while enjoying local food and wine in our restaurants and markets.

The total loop is 50 miles. In addition there are many scenic spurs and related points of interest.

Submitted by the NELSON SCENIC LOOP development team consisting of Rockfish Valley Foundation, Bluewall LLC, Jesus Najar, Liz Sargent, and Stephen Tuso

4 thoughts on “About the Nelson Scenic Loop

  1. WOW! I’ll mark my Calendar for the June 2010 event in celebration of the Nelson Scenic Loop.

    It’s exciting for me to have a connection back to Virginia, and UVa… When I drove down to Charlottesville from Boston way back in 1988, we detoured over the Blue Ridge Parkway, just to see it. I remember being awestruck by the natural and cultural beauty over there on the west side of the state.

    Looking forward to seeing Nelson County, and also Carlton Abbott (!!) again. Thanks for the invite!
    Alice Bojanowski
    UVA MLA Class of 1991.

    • Blessings on your trip! It was wonderful to meet you on Sunday, Sept. 25 at Munsey Church and we were plaeesd to have you join us. I hope our exhuberance was not overwhelming! We have had several members hike the AT and we were glad to return the hospitality to strangers (but now friends)!

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