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The stars shine brighter in Halifax County, VA

Plan Your Outdoor Adventure in Halifax County

Fresh air. The sun in the clear blue sky above on your skin. The combination of rustling leaves, chirping birds, and the babbling of a nearby creek is the soundtrack of the day. There’s nothing quite like a day in the great outdoors spent viewing native wildlife, hiking a trail, or camping under the stars. From the thrills of class III rapids to a lazy afternoon fishing, your outdoor adventure in Halifax County awaits.

Watersports

Comprising three rivers and two lakes, the Southern Virginia Wild Blueways offer more than 100 miles of navigable water. More than 80 miles are designated Virginia Scenic Rivers, as the blueways weave past historic waterfront towns and unspoiled terrain. With dozens of accessible entry points, excursions can last a couple hours to overnight outings. Each river has its own characteristics that are sure to entertain paddlers of all skill levels. The Staunton is perfect for thrill seekers, with portions of the river sporting up to Class III rapids and plenty of excitement. For a more relaxed experience, the Banister offers a slower current, ideal for fishing and viewing wildlife. Similarly, the Dan has a slower current, weaving along pastureland and historic local properties. All three rivers eventually feed into the Buggs Island Lake (Kerr Lake), which offers the same fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities on flat water. Paddling not your thing? Rent a boat or jet ski and explore Buggs Island or Banister Lake. For more information on the Blueways and to view current water levels, visit: http://sovawildblueway.com/

Hiking

When most people think of hiking, they think of mountaintops and the Appalachian Trail, a vast difference from the rolling hills of the Piedmont region. However, Halifax County has a variety of trails that provide the same wildlife, health benefits, and seclusion. Following former railways, The Tobacco Heritage Trail begins in Cotton Mill Park near Downtown South Boston. Perfect for history lovers, the 3.9 mile trail winds alongside the Dan River, passing The Diamond Hill Cemetery, and an old sluice gate. Another trail of historic value is the one at Staunton River Battlefield State Park. Following an old railway, the 1.2 mile trail was the scene of a battle in the Civil War as Confederate forces prevented supplies from reaching Union soldiers. The trail passes remnants of earthworks early on, before crossing the Staunton River and into Charlotte County. Finally, Staunton River State Park has a variety of trails to choose from. Ranging from one-tenth of a mile to 8.5 miles, shaded trails meander through dense forest and along the shoreline of Buggs Island Lake. The trails level of difficulty range from easy to intermediate, the trails present a feeling of seclusion and wilderness while never being too far from civilization.

Horseback Riding

Want to experience the great outdoors from the back of your noble steed? Many trails throughout the county can be enjoyed by riding horseback. Staunton River State Park has 18 miles of trail that are horse friendly. That park also offers equestrian camping that offers privacy for horses, trailer parking, and even stable rental. Just outside Downtown South Boston is the Tobacco Heritage Trail, a 3.9 mile trail that winds along the Dan River. No horse to ride? No problem! Visit Shangrila Guest Ranch, which offers guided horse excursions across the pastures and woodland of the expansive 800-acre ranch. Alternatively, bring your own horse, or extend your time at the ranch with an overnight stay. Whether you’re an amateur or an enthusiast, Halifax County provides many opportunities to explore Southern Virginia by horseback.

Fishing

Ready to reel in a trophy fish (or lament about the one that got away)? Boasting four rivers, several lakes, and many streams, Halifax County is perfect for fishing. The Blueways are known for their fishing, with the Staunton considered one of the best spots for inland striper fishing on the East Coast. Catfishing is also popular along the Banister and Staunton Rivers. Halifax County is also home to Lake Conner, which has held the state record for largemouth bass since 1985. Anglers also catch black crappie, yellow perch, bluegill, and catfish at Lake Conner. For a fishing opportunity closer to town, Edmunds Park offers pond fishing on Tuesdays and Fridays to those who have received a permit from the county. The park is a favored location to introduce beginners to fishing.

Camping

Faces lit by the glow of a campfire while sharing s’mores and ghost stories as the cool of night settles in is perhaps the quintessential camping experience for many Americans. Visitors to Halifax County need not look further than Staunton River State Park, which offers 47 campsites, ranging from primitive to RV sites. All campsites have a fire ring for cooking and campfires. Is glamping more your style? The park also has several rustic cabins that come complete with kitchens, climate control, and furnished rooms, while still offering private decks and fire pits to experience the great outdoors.

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