Twilight Hike

While Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park was specifically established in 2002 to preserve and interpret the area’s cultural history, the Shenandoah Valley is rich in natural features, wildlife, and vegetation, including wildflowers.These twilight hikes, offered on May 25th (6:30 p.m.) and September 28th (5:00 p.m.) will not only explore the natural side of the park, but also discuss and practice the basics of hiking and backpacking, along with the equipment usage techniques of these hobbies.

Both programs will be led by Ranger Rick Ashbacker and begin at the Claven Lane parking area (2262 Claven Lane, Middletown, Virginia), the back entrance to the park’s “Morning Attack Trails” trails system, which includes the 8th Vermont monument. Each walk will last approximately 90 minutes, over moderate terrain. Proper walking shoes and water are recommended.

FallFest at Belle Grove Plantation

When the garden slows down this fall, get a head start on next year with Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners at the FREE FallFest at Belle Grove Plantation on Sunday, September 8, 12-4 p.m.

Sponsored by the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association, this event includes talks from Master Gardeners, as well as demos, crafts, and giveaways–all free to the public and open to all ages.

Scheduled Talks in the Beverley B. Shoemaker Welcome Center (1918 Barn):
12:15 a.m. Plan a Pollinator Garden for Season-long Blooms with Stacey Morgan Smith
1:15 p.m. For your home Create a Habitat Garden and a Sustainable Landscape for Flora and Fauna with Cy Haley
2:15 p.m. Fall Decorations Using Garden Materials with Lynn Hoffmann
3:00 p.m. Learn Simple Steps for Saving Seeds with Elaine Specht

Under the Tents:
Demos, Craft workshops, and Giveaways throughout the event.
Tool Sharpening and winter storage tips
Dividing Daylilies Demo and Give Away
Fall Propagation of Woody Shrubs Demo
Flower Pounding Crafts
Tours of the Belle Grove Teaching Garden
Kids Gardening Table
Spring Bulb Information Booth and Daffodil Give Away
Master Gardener Information Booth
Peony Sale–come early for best selection!
Pot Recycling–bring in your garden pots and we will reuse or recycle them
And more!

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.

“A great deal of labor was…expended in building breastworks….”
Exploring the Civil War Entrenchments at Cedar Creek
Some of the most well preserved original Civil War entrenchments in the Shenandoah Valley are located on the bluffs above Cedar Creek. Join Park Ranger Jeff Driscoll for a special walking tour that explores both the construction of these field fortifications and their role during the Battle of Cedar Creek. Preserved by the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation and Belle Grove, these earthworks are the focal point of a newly expanded walking trail in the park. Meet at the Visitor Contact Station (7712 Main Street, Middletown, VA 22645). Visitors will then car-pool to another site closer to the entrenchments.

History at Sunset

“This Valley…was [a] scene of desolation and ruin.” The Burning of the Shenandoah Valley

Considered one of the most infamous episodes of the entire war, Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan’s systematic destruction of the Valley has been understudied and therefore misunderstood. This program provides an overview of the major events of “The Burning” itself, places it within the larger context of the entire Union war effort, visits one of the local sites associated with this incident and most importantly examines the military, political and personal impacts of “The Burning” on the local populace.

Meet Ranger Eric Campbell at the National Park Service Visitor Contact Station (7712 Main Street, Middletown, VA 22645).

History at Sunset

History at Sunset: Flank to Flank, Hiking in the Footsteps of Soldiers While Exploring the Terrain of the Third Winchester Battlefield

Besides being excellent places to experience history, many Civil War battlefields are also great places for hiking. With more than five miles of well-maintained trail over rolling terrain and through woodlots, the Third Winchester battlefield is one of the best. Join Ranger Rick Ashbacker to not only hike most of the battlefield, but also discuss key events, locations, and natural features on the site of the largest battle in the Shenandoah Valley.

Presented by Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park.

Meet at the parking lot for the Third Winchester Visitor Center (541 Redbud Road, Winchester, VA 22603). This activity is recommended primarily for visitors who are comfortable hiking at least 3-4 miles at a moderate pace.

Second Battle of Winchester Anniversary

The Kernstown Battlefield Association will commemorate the 156th anniversary of the Second Battle of Winchester, which began with a skirmish at Kernstown.

Special tours featuring the Second Battle of Winchester will be given all day, as well as tours of the battlefield, 1854 Pritchard House, Museum and Artillery Annex. The gift shop will be open.

The battlefield will be open from 10am-4pm.

kernstownbattle.org

 

Sightseeing Express Trolley Tour

UPDATE: This event is SOLD OUT.

60 sites in 60 minutes! Hop aboard the trolley for a one-hour sightseeing excursion of Winchester. Your professional tour guide will entertain you while pointing out historical sites, museums, and other attractions as the trolley travels the same streets that George Washington, General Stonewall Jackson, General Phil Sheridan, Rear Admiral Richard Byrd, and the legendary Patsy Cline traveled.

Meet your guide and the trolley at the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center located at 1400 S. Pleasant Valley Road. The tour has no stops. Fee: $10.

Participants must register in advance (by June 3). Call Winchester Parks & Recreation to register at (540) 662-4946.

 

 

Who’s Buried in Mt. Hebron Cemetery? Walking Tour

Mt. Hebron has been Winchester’s burying ground since inception of the town in the 1700s. On this walking tour, you will be introduced to men and women who contributed to the development of Winchester, as well as our great nation. Meet your guide outside the gatehouse on East Lane. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Note that no restroom facilities will be available.

Fee: $5, payable to the guide.

Additional tours are available: https://visitwinchesterva.com/guided-tours/

Apple Blossom Festival: Winchester Ciderworks Tasting and Orchard Tours

Half-hour walking tours of the orchards will leave at 11 a.m., 12noon, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. Guides will dispense a wealth of practical information on the planting and growing of fruit trees, on temperature sensitivity for blossoms (a very sensitive subject particularly at Bloom time), on spraying and pruning and using the latest “green” methodology to protect the trees and promote tree and fruit growth, on when and how to harvest, and much more. Please wear appropriate footwear.

After the tour, participants will return to the cider works for sampling and tasting. Winchester Ciderworks specializes in the burgeoning new market for gourmet hard ciders and that will certainly be the main thrust of the tastings. However, regular juices will also be available for non-drinkers and those under 21.

For those new to the area, one of the great local traditions in place now for nearly a century is to drive out along the hills and valleys among the orchards viewing the rows and rows of pink and white blossoms, listening to the buzzing of the bees, feeling the growing warmth of the spring sun, and then to drive into the old colonial town, decked out as it is in full celebration garb, resting and waiting for the next parade to start.

  • Live Bluegrass Music by DAVIS BRADLEY from 11am – 2pm
  • HEAVENLY HEART FARM & MINI PETTING ZOO will be available for the kids

More Information and Tickets

www.winchesterciderworks.com

 

Abram’s Creek Nature Walk

Join seasoned naturalist and current Northern Shenandoah Valley Audubon Society President Jim Smith for his nature walks in the Abrams Creek area in the heart of Winchester. Meet at the Children of America’s parking lot off of West Jubal Early Drive, approx. 1/2 mile west of Valley Avenue. Park at the west/right side of the lot by the woods.

Focus will be on birds, flowers, trees and signs of spring.

If you arrive late, simply walk the path until you catch up with the group. Allow approx. 2 hours for the walk. Dress for the weather and you may want to bring water, binoculars, and a camera. Walks will be cancelled in inclement weather.

No fee, no registration required. Great family activity. Tour is offered March 16, March 30, April 13, and April 27.

Call Jim (540) 303-3983 for more information.