NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — If you’re looking for a cold beer, a glass of wine, a mixed drink, or perhaps all three, the 151 Trail provides plenty of options against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
“So you come out here, you see these beautiful views and it gets you something in the mood for something quite refreshing,” Nelson 151 President and Bold Rock spokesperson Lindsay Dorrier III, said. “And that’s where we come in.”
On this stretch of highway, you’re likely to find something on tap, from a bottle, or even smoked off the stave of a barrel.
“We’ve got this really authentic rural experience that people come out and enjoy. It’s very approachable. And it’s the full broad-spectrum,” Veritas Winery and Vineyard President George Hodson said. “There’s something for everyone so if you come out with a group of friends, you’re going to be able to find the thing that they like to do the most.”
Veritas was one of the first businesses that anchor the 151 Trail.
“One of the things we have is 20 years of history,” Hodson said. “So we’ve got these vines, not only do we have them in a great location but we know how to farm ’em.”
The area has grown to over a dozen unique and family-owned businesses, offering everything from cider to bourbon.
“151 is a great experience if you need to, I’d like to say hit the reset button,” CEO and master distiller of Silverback Distillery, Christine Riggleman, said. “Come away for two days and just sort of let your troubles just relax.”
The 151 Trail had its share of troubles at the start of the pandemic.
“We actually stepped up and we made hand sanitizer for all the hospitals and first responders so at a great cost to our company we stopped production for five months,” Riggleman said.
With the abundance of outdoor space, Nelson County quickly became a popular destination.
“We’ve got great Wi-Fi,” Chief Operating Officer of Devils Backbone, Hayes Humphreys, said. “You can come out here, you can sit in the beer garden, you can work remotely from Devil’s Backbone and hang out and that’s actually proven to be pretty popular.”
COVID-19 had a negative impact on many businesses. But spots like Devil’s Backbone thrived during the pandemic, making the 151 trail much more than a place to get food and drinks.
“You can actually come stay here,” Humphreys said. “We’re a pretty good drive from a lot of folks, you can now bring your RV down here and camp out for the weekend, you can bring a tent, you can stay for the weekend.”
And lodging can give you extra time to enjoy what the trail has to offer.
“You can always expect both that high-quality liquid but then the high-quality experience, a high-quality environment, and great staff to serve you and ensure that you’re having a wonderful time,” Dorrier said.
It’s a place that combines good times with the great outdoors, with breathtaking views at every spot.
“There’s so many to experience along here that you don’t want to miss it,” Riggleman said. “Because if you leave and you only do part of it, people are going to go, you didn’t go here?”
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