Fall is quickly approaching, signaled by the cooling weather and changing leaves. Many New River Valley (NRV) residents may be curious about what seasonal activities they can enjoy in order to get into the festive mood.
One of the top places to visit in the New River Valley area in the fall is Sinkland Farms, located in Christiansburg, Virginia. It is home to the Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Festival. The festival runs through Oct. 31 and includes a variety of activities, such as corn maze excursions, hayrides, horseback or pony riding, pumpkin picking, spending time with farm animals, a kids’ zone and more. Visitors can also quench their thirst with some cider or hot chocolate, and adults 21-plus can enjoy Sinkland’s beer and wine terrace. Admission $10 per person on Thursdays and Fridays and $12 on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are free for military, first responders and children 2 years old and under. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Sinkland is also having a Friday Fall Concert Series from 7 to 10 p.m. every Friday where a variety of artists, such as Appalachian Space Train and The WORX, will be performing. Tickets are $12.
Those who want to celebrate the fall in a more spooky way can visit Terror Manor in Roanoke, Virginia. Terror Manor is a haunted house with 40-plus rooms to enjoy. The haunted house is open Thursday through Saturday with a general admission price of $20. Another spooky location is St. Albans Sanatorium in Radford, Virginia. Originating as an elite all-boys school in 1892, St. Albans quickly became known for its competitiveness and encouragement toward bullying. The school was later changed into a mental hospital in 1916, in which patients were treated improperly. The combination of the two groups’ dark pasts is believed to be the reason for St. Albans being extremely haunted. The attraction titled “Unhinged” is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to midnight with a general admission price of $20. Clay Corner Inn in Blacksburg is holding a murder mystery dinner on Oct. 17 from 4 to 7 p.m. Visitors can enjoy a cookout-style dinner and have the opportunity to solve the clues to the mystery. Tickets are based on the number of people in a group, starting with tables of two costing $99.
Hiking is a big part of the NRV area due to the vast amounts of places to enjoy, especially in autumn when one can see the fall leaves. One popular hiking spot is the Cascade National Recreation Trail, located in Pembroke, Virginia. The hike is 4 miles round-trip and ends with a large waterfall. Another hiking area is Carvins Cove, located in Roanoke, Virginia. Visitors have the option of hiking as well as boating, fishing and more. McAfee Knob is a popular spot due to the cliff that overlooks the valley below. Located in Catawba, Virginia, McAfee Knob is 8.8 miles round-trip.
Going to coffee shops is another big fall activity, whether it be to study for an upcoming exam or to just enjoy the bustling sounds of others. Idego Coffee is a quaint coffee shop located in Blacksburg, Virginia. While still a fairly new shop, many Virginia Tech students and Blacksburg residents enjoy visiting Idego Coffee for its relaxing atmosphere. For those looking to have a pastry with their coffee, they might visit Bollo’s Cafe & Bakery, also located in Blacksburg. From cookies to pies to cinnamon rolls, Bollo’s has a bit of everything for any baked goods lover. For those who want a more seasonal drink, Halwa Bakery & Cafe might be the way to go. Halwa has an assortment of drinks and foods, including its seasonal drinks like the peppermint mocha latte and gingerbread mocha latte.
Whether it be going on a hike, visiting a haunted asylum, or enjoying a drink that tastes like fall, the New River Valley has something seasonal for every age, interest and budget.