Paddle, Hike and Celebrate
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Paddle, Hike and Celebrate

No matter your home turf, the Heart of Virginia Festival will have you feeling like you’ve always belonged right here. Once a year, Farmville launches a big-time celebration of all the classic year-round goodness of small town life. Food, music, arts and crafts – and more than a little hometown pride. Combined with hiking the High Bridge Trail and paddling the waters of the Appomattox, this is an adventure in heartland living. Plan your adventure for early May to catch the Festival.

One Weekend in May – the Best Small Town Festival in the World!

On Day One, wake up in one of Farmville’s many hotels or delightful B&B’s, stretch out and smell the coffee perking downstairs.  After a leisurely breakfast and a walk down High Street admiring the historical buildings along the way, you come to the Heartland Regional Visitor Center where the folks there can point out all the things to do and see, including the annual Heart of Virginia Festival which will be getting underway about that time.

So much to see and do! Elegant artwork, one-of-a-kind crafts, exotic fruit drinks, and perhaps a little jazz or bluegrass.  Rock, soul, oldies, rap, barbecue, Italian sausage, funnel cakes, antique car show, drama, talent shows, 10-K run…. Well, you get the idea – all kinds of activities, all day long, all over downtown Farmville.

In the evening the fun moves to the Farmville Airport with more great food and back-to-back bands until dark. Then begins the most spectacular fireworks display – sizzlers, whistlers, twirlers, stars, big bangs, colors on colors, dazzling white, just about every variation you can imagine.

Hike like you mean it.

Rise early on Day Two, heading out to High Bridge Trail State Park for a brisk walk out to the historic bridge. It’s a 5-mile hike, so be sure to bring good walking shoes! Watch the sun rise over the bridge and get some wonderful pictures at this site of two of the last skirmishes of the American Civil War. If you look down on the left-hand side of the bridge, you might be able to see the moorings from the wagon bridge that the Confederates unsuccessfully tried to burn to keep the Union Army from making it across. The Union Army stopped the fire and used the bridge to continue the chase into Farmville, preventing the Confederates from re-arming and re-supplying, hastening the final end at Appomattox Surrender Grounds a few days later. On the way back from the bridge, stop at one of the little bistros on Main Street to enjoy a bagel or a full breakfast meal.  After breakfast, spend the day in and amongst the antique shops that carry something for everyone!

Stop for a late lunch, then rent a canoe or kayak and take a lazy trip down the Appomattox – if you time it right, you can get some wonderful pictures from under the High Bridge. The wildlife along the river is always ready to pose, too!

Recovery plan.

On this last morning, do what you deserve. Sleep in!  When you’ve checked out of your hotel or B&B, enjoy brunch sitting over the Appomattox River before you decide it’s time to head back to your world.  Load the car with all your wonderful purchases.  While driving out of town, review the images on your digital camera – you know you’re going to want to come back again!

Birdwatching at Holliday Lake State Park in VirginiaHolliday Lake State Park

With a 150-acre lake surrounded by lush forest, this camping-friendly park offers boating, fishing, swimming, hiking and cycling trails – yours to explore.

Camping at Bear Creek Lake in VirginiaBear Creek Lake State Park

In the heart of Cumberland County, you’ll find the perfect outdoor getaway. Fishing pier, boat rentals and a swimming beach provide easy access to the picturesque lake, while two nature trails make great hiking and biking paths. Cabins and lodges available.

Scenic view in Twin Lakes State Park in VirginiaTwin Lakes State Park

It’s twice as nice to have two lakes in one park – here you can swim, camp, fish, bike, canoe and hike your choice of Prince Edward Lake and Goodwin Lake.


Suggested Itinerary

Day One:

A.M. Wake up in one of Farmville’s many hotels or B&B’s, and swing by the Heartland Regional Visitor Center before taking in the annual Heart of Virginia Festival.

P.M. Afternoon is more festival fun, then concerts and fireworks on the grounds the Farmville Airport throughout the evening.

Day Two:

A.M. Head out to High Bridge Trail State Park to hike Civil War history sites. Visit Main Street for breakfast at a bistro and antique shopping.

P.M. Stop for a late lunch, then rent a canoe or kayak and take a lazy trip down the Appomattox River.

Day Three:

A.M. Sleep in!  When you’ve checked out of your hotel or B&B, enjoy brunch sitting over the Appomattox River.