This Columbus Day weekend, October 12, 13, and 14, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Mountain Lake Lodge will host the first annual Appalachia Harvest Festival, celebrating the tremendous natural resources and heritage of Appalachia.
The festival will include live demonstrations of pottery, blacksmithing, and woodworking. Local artisans will display and sell their crafts and artwork. Children will be able to participate in arts and crafts activities.
Families are encouraged to take advantage of the hiking trails on the Mountain Lake property to get up close with nature and to reach the spectacular vistas from many different overlooks:
- Bald Knob - a short but steep hike up the mountain or a longer, easier hike up the fire road brings hikers to Bald Knob, from which the entire New River Valley is visible.
- Bear Cliffs - this is a difficult hike, but gives views of areas east of the mountain, including Blacksburg and Roanoke.
- Old Club House - this is an easy hike across the old golf course, culminating at southward facing cliffs overlooking the Radford area.
- Wind Rock - this short, moderate hike is a part of the Appalachian Trail; from the Wind Rock overlook hikers can see layers of mountains stretching north and west into West Virginia.
- War Spur - this is a great loop hike with views to the northeast of the mountain.
- Butt Mountain Overlook - this overlook is easily accessed from the road and gives nice views in the direction of Angel's Rest and Pearisburg.
Festival-goers are welcome to check out the Treetops Adventure Course ziplining area, which promises fun for all ages.
Refreshments will be available for purchase, including beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards.
There is no charge for admission, but attendees are asked to bring donations for the Dry Goods Food Drive. All goods donated go to charities in the New River Valley, and every five items donated earn a raffle ticket for a free family vacation at the Mountain Lake Lodge.
To deepen and extend the knowledge that children take away from this festival, check out the Foxfire series of books by Eliot Wigginton that explore the plants, animals, and historic ways of living in the Appalachians.
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