History at Sunset

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park presents a series of special “History at Sunset” programs. These ranger-conducted presentations cover a variety of subjects and provide visitors an opportunity to see sites normally not open, or widely accessible, to the general public.

Explore and learn about some of the “hidden gems” of the park and the Shenandoah Valley. Each program is free and lasts between 90 minutes to two hours.

“Sabers & Surprise:” Col. William Payne’s Confederate cavalry at the Battle of Cedar Creek
Friday, July 15, 2022 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Meet at the NPS Visitor Center, 7712 Main Street, Middletown, Virginia.

Leading the Confederate attack across the Shenandoah River on 19 October 1864, Col. William Payne’s cavalry battalion silenced Federal pickets and drove toward Belle Grove Plantation. Join Ranger Rick Ashbacker to follow Payne’s advance to six locations and discover why Payne was only partially successful.

Fort Collier Civil War Tour

Shenandoah University’s McCormick Civil War Institute in partnership with the Fort Collier Civil War Center will offer a tour with Prof. Jonathan A. Noyalas, “They Have Completely Surrounded Stine’s House”: The Construction and Early Use of Fort Collier during the Civil War.

The one-hour tour, beginning at 9:30 a.m., will be held at Fort Collier, 922 Martinsburg Pike, Winchester, VA. Event is free and open to the public.

No pre-registration required.

Questions: jnoyalas01@su.edu or 540-665-4501.

Civil War Tour

Join Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation Park Ranger Wade Custer on a downtown walking tour of Civil War sites in Old Town Winchester. See original buildings, historic locations, and hear the stories of soldiers and civilians who were caught up in the constant combat, occupations, and caring for the wounded in one of Virginia’s most war-torn towns.

Cost: Free, No Registration Required.

Location: Meets in the courtyard of the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum located at 20 N. Loudoun St., in the center of the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall in Old Town Winchester.

Fridays at the Front: Middletown Civil War Tour

Join historian and SVBF Chief Executive Officer Keven Walker for “Fridays at the Front,” special complimentary tours of Civil War battlefields and historic sites in the Shenandoah Valley. These tours cover stories great and small, from the accounts of huge armies moving across the landscape to the individual stories of loyalty, determination, and sacrifice involving soldiers and civilians alike.

Fridays at the Front – “Madly Along the Road”: The Running Fight at Middletown

A tour of key sites related to the fighting on the Valley Pike on May 24, 1862, a confused, chaotic struggle where Union forces raced to avoid destruction or capture by Stonewall Jackson’s Confederate troops after the Battle of Front Royal. The clash featured fighting between opposing Zouave units, fog of war on both sides, battling in the streets, and horrific scenes of point-blank artillery fire.

Come alone or bring a friend, your family, or a group. Discover the dramatic history of these sites — and the incredible stories — history and stories that the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, thanks to your help and support, continue to fight to preserve today. The tours are free, but pre-registration is required.

To register, fill out the form here: https://www.shenandoahatwar.org/fridays-at-the-front/
or call the Battlefields Foundation at 540-740-4545

Apple Blossom Festival: Winchester Ciderworks Tasting and Orchard Tours

Cider Tastings and Orchard Tours will be offered at Marker-Miller Orchards Farm Market, 3035 Cedar Creek Grade, Winchester, VA 22602. Half-hour walking tours of the orchards will begin at 11 am, 12 noon, 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm. Marker-Miller is a local farm with a market. Inside the market there are a variety of products to choose from and don’t forget to check out our bakery and the apple cider donuts. Wrap up your visit with a stop by our “Sweets Shop” where you can get fudge, hand dipped ice cream, or fruit slushies.

During the orchard tour, guides will dispense a wealth of information on the planting and growing of fruit trees, temperature sensitivity for blossoms, spraying and pruning and using the latest “green” methodology to protect the trees and promote tree and fruit growth, when and how to harvest, and much more.

Delicious food options will be available for purchase from various vendors on site as well as live music. Participants are welcome to bring blankets or lawn chairs should they wish to sit outside following the tour and tasting.

The Cider Tastings & Orchard Tours is an outdoor event at Marker-MIller, please wear appropriate footwear.

Rain or shine event. No refunds.


Tour times below:
11:00 am
12:00 pm
1:00 pm
2:00 pm
​3:00 pm


    Abram’s Delight Candlelight Tour

    Kick off the holiday season with the annual Candlelight Tour of Abram’s Delight, the oldest house in Winchester, built in 1754. This event will be somewhat different from years past. Although the house will be closed, guests are invited to walk the museum grounds and view the beautiful holiday decorations that are created by local garden clubs. The 1780s log cabin will be open.

    Friday, December 3:

    Saturday, December 4:

    Admission is Free!

    Thanksgiving Weekend Tours

    Belle Grove will be open for tours on Friday, November 26 & Saturday, November 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday, November 28 from 1-5 p.m. Tours begin at :15 past each hour. Tour groups are limited to 10 people and tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. The Museum Shop is fully stocked with great holiday gifts, too!

    For more information about the Belle Grove Manor House being decorated for the holidays click here.




    Kernstown Battlefield Walking Tour

    Join us for a tour of Kernstown Battlefield, during the Battlefield Half Marathon.

    The walking tour of the battlefield and Pritchard House will start immediately after the race begins. Tour attendees will gather in the large mowed grass area along the north side of the entrance road of the battlefield.

    The tour will last about an hour to allow attendees to gather at the finish line to cheer on their runners. If any attendee needs to leave the tour early to meet a runner, please don’t hesitate to do so.


    Register in advance

    The Bell House Guided Tour

    A guided tour of the Bell House, the c. 1810-1811 Winchester landmark that was at the center of Winchester’s wartime and postwar story. The home includes Bell family furnishings and collections which have been passed down for generations, including the famous case clock that was stopped by the concussion of Union artillery fire during the Third Battle of Winchester. Free. The tour will begin at the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum before the group walks the short distance to the Bell House. Free.

    Pre-registration is not required. This tour is hosted by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.

    For more information, call 540-542-1145 or email info@svbf.net.

    Civil War Graffiti Tour

    The 1840 Frederick County Court House (today’s Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum) served as a prison and hospital to both sides during the Civil War. Many of those soldiers wrote their names and drew pictures on the walls – including the famed “Jeff Davis Curse.” Join us for this special tour of the museum and the fascinating graffiti on its wall. Free.

    Pre-registration is not required. Tour is hosted by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.

    For more information, call 540-542-1145 or email info@svbf.net.