We love winter here in the Dan River State Crossings. The air feels crisp and invigorating, and you can smell adventure in the air.
You can find plenty of ways to follow that impulse and play outside in the Dan River Basin, even during the winter months.
We’ve picked out seven great outdoor adventures to showcase, but there’s so much more to explore. Share your own suggestions on our Facebook page, and maybe we’ll pay it forward in a future post.
Mountain bike at I.C. DeHart Park.
Discover a hidden gem in Patrick County, Virginia, with the singletrack trails of DeHart Park. The park includes two loops that offer a multitude of ride options. The route used for Shiner’s Revenge XXC and Bootlegger’s Blitz XC offers a taste of everything, and 90 percent of the route is singletrack. The park is located on the former estate of Isaac C. DeHart, who operated a roller and grist mill and legal distillery.
Rock climb at Hanging Rock State Park.
Hanging Rock State Park offers world-class rock climbing at two primary sites. Moore’s Wall is the park’s more high-profile climbing destination. Moore’s Wall features quartzite rock and overhanging lines, along with multiple routes and areas in which to play. Each has its own character and offers a different climbing experience.
Cook’s Wall requires a long hike to access but is home to many climbing routes. Choose from four distinct sections: Cookbook, Lower Wall, West Walls (aka Cooks Fin), and Devil’s Chimney.
Rock climbing in Hanging Rock does require a permit, so check out the park’s website and check in with rangers before hitting the cliffs.
Hike to Little Mountain Falls.
Winter waterfalls are wonderful. Little Mountain Falls is accessible via trail in Fairy Stone State Park. You can get there through a combination of trails, with 2.2-mile and 3.3-mile versions. If you love waterfalls, make sure to check out our list of regional falls, including many hidden gems.
Watch the stars at Staunton River State Park.
Staunton River State Park was named an International Dark Sky Park in 2015. The designation marks the Virginia state park as an exceptional place from which to observe the stars, planets and other celestial phenomena.
Go trout fishing.
Find fishable streams, rivers, and lakes throughout the Dan River region. The action on the water never stops, even during winter.
North Carolina and Virginia both stock trout throughout much of the year, including through the winter. Both states stock brown and rainbow trout on mountain streams in the western part of the Dan River Basin.
Check the websites of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission for information on obtaining a fishing license, regulations, creel information, stocking times and locations, and special restrictions that apply in certain places.
And make sure to read our guide to winter fishing in the Dan River State Crossings!
Road trip to a weird landmark.
If you’re looking for something a little more unusual along the roadside, the Dan River State Crossings have got you covered. Whether it’s Danville’s gravity-defying road, Germanton’s Bigfoot walking a pig, or Bassett’s haunted junk yard, you can find plenty of ways to get your weird on. Read our guide to the region’s weird roadside exhibits for more suggestions.
Paddle 25 miles of waterway on the Philpott Lake Blueway.
Paddlers can experience Virginia’s eastern Blue Ridge Mountains through the Philpott Lake Blueway Water Trail. The blueway connects seven mapped trails that total more than 25 miles, which can be accessed by canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and motorized watercraft. Read more about the Philpott Lake Blueway.
More to explore!
There’s always something new to find in the Dan River State Crossings. Enjoy some of our recent trip ideas.