Rockfish Valley Foundation (RVF) has been the host of the Rockfish Valley Trail System since 2005. Six miles of hiking and birding trails are maintained for public use and recognized by the Audubon Society as an important birding area.
Visitors are invited to enjoy the beautiful trails through environmentally sensitive areas along the Rockfish River and Reid’s Creek containing natural wetlands. The trail system is open daily and offers nine picnic tables around the trails. The area is popular with dog-owners since it has welcomed dogs to be off-leash when under a person’s control. A Trail Etiquette policy is now under review due to complaints that some dogs have caused offense. Many concerned responses have been received in response to a posting on the trail inviting comments by December 10. The RVF Trustees will meet in December to review comments and decide what, if any, changes are needed.
The area is part of the South Rockfish River Rural Historic District with registered landmarks, farms and scenic byways. Mountain views to the west include Three Ridges, Black Rock Mountain and Devil’s Knob. Brent’s Gap at Horseshoe Mountain is seen to the south.
A program known as Kids in Parks (KIP) began in 2013 with focused educational brochures aimed at children. It includes a geocache system for identification of natural sites on a specified 1-mile Geocache Track trail. This outdoor recreational activity allows participants to use a Global Positioning System (GPS) mobile device and other navigational techniques to identify specific locations marked by coordinates.
There are four trailheads with parking. Trail maps and directions to parking are available at the RVF Nature Center and on www.rockfishvalley.org website. Funding for maintenance of the trail system, Spruce Creek Park and the Natural History Center operations is dependent on donations and grants. While the trails, park and center are public, no county funds are received. A recreational trails grant is sought to provide environmental content for trail education. Connectivity to Verizon and Firefly will allow data to be uploaded on specific subjects including surrounding water, rocks, plants, animals and trees. A new app is soon to be released that offers a focus on Blue Ridge mountains of Nelson County. Educational materials including storyboards, brochures and maps are offered to Scout troops, community group programs and educators at no charge. Feeding the trail donation boxes on your visit is appreciated.