This past winter break I vowed to not touch any work stuff for the duration of the two weeks. And you know what? I succeeded! (Shocking, I know!) The first week consisted of Christmas gatherings and family. The second was visiting elderly family in Virginia and having a small town getaway as a family.
I would love to introduce you to Hillsville, Virginia. About two hours above Charlotte, North Carolina and an hour from Roanoke is the small town of Hillsville. If you’re looking for big city shopping and dining, you’ll have to travel a little farther. But if you want a great day trip with that cozy, mountain town feel, spend some time in Hillsville.
We went a few years ago when the weather was warmer. We rode the winding roads, stopped by some creek accesses, and just enjoyed the views. But nothing beats visiting when there’s a blanket of snow.
We stayed with family, so the cost was very minimal for us. They have a sled in their garage that hadn’t been used in about twenty years, but my daughters and I put an end to that. At 35 years old I was able to sled for the first time! I enjoyed this first with both of my girls while my husband gave us the push start. I then let him go down the hill to watch the girls faces while going downhill. That was a sight and sound we will never forget! (We have two snow babies who just happen to live near the ocean.)
After an eventful day of sledding and snowball fights, we put the toddler down for a nap. Our family members were gracious enough to let us take the oldest out for a ride to see the snowy view. We went the same places as our first visit, but it looked totally different with the glistening white layer of snow. Even the creek accesses were breathtaking.
Now, I’m the mom that likes to explore whenever possible, so I found a walking trail nearby for us to visit the next day. It’s about three miles of a gravel path with bridges over different passes of a mountain creek. Beautiful…breathtaking…just, wow.
Beaver Dam Walking Trail is an easy entry to pass by if you’re not looking for it. There is parking, but it’s on one side of the road down a slope. There’s also a small sign pointing to the location. We parked and carefully walked up icy steps to the roadside where we had to cross and walk down more icy steps. Not an easy feat with an excited eight year old and a toddler on Dad’s shoulders. The path started out grassy and bordered by trees on one side and a pasture on the other. First wildlife sighting: a horse grazing in the brush of the pasture.
The further we walked the whiter the path became. The tree cover kept the sun from melting the snow too quickly. The creek ran down the left side of us lined by beautiful river rocks. The first bridge we came to was painted red, but covered in white. We had MANY photo opportunities on the trail. With all four of us enjoying it, I took close to a hundred…I’m sure my husband hated me by the twentieth one.
We walked about halfway down the trail, stopping to enjoy every bridge. We crossed five total by the halfway mark. There were also benches and a covered shelter to sit on and just enjoy the wilderness. If we wouldn’t have had the kids we would’ve walked the whole trail, but after about a while our oldest just “couldn’t go any further”.
I’m sure Beaver Dam Walking Trail is very pretty in the warmer months, but I’m grateful that the snow stuck around for us to enjoy it icy and white. We didn’t see any more wildlife but did see tracks of a few different animals. We are planning to visit again in the summer if everything works out to enjoy the things Hillsville has to offer then also.
Hillsville is nestled not far from North Carolina and some larger areas of Virginia. We were close enough to go and do if we wanted, but far enough away from the hustle and bustle to enjoy the quiet of the mountains. If you ever get a chance, stop by and spend the day there! You won’t regret it.