Hit the Trail (Farmville, VA)

RVA Traveler | Spring / Summer 2020

Fireflies, the Fishin' Pig, and other delights around Farmville.

At just over an hour’s drive southwest of Richmond, Farmville is an easy road trip with an array of activities – like its convenient access point to the High Bridge Trail State Park and renowned home-shopping paradise Green Front Furniture. While there, check out some of this college town’s trendy spots for food and drink.

Water Ways

A bridge that soars 125 feet over the Appomattox River is the namesake for High Bridge Trail State Park. The path along the converted rail bed spans three counties, and it is ideal for hikers, cyclists, and equestrians. In the heart of downtown Farmville, you’ll find a parking lot that gives access to the 31-mile trail. (Pro tip: For quicker access to the bridge itself, use Camp Paradise, about an 8-mile drive east of Farmville.)

Kayak and canoe enthusiasts can paddle the Farmville Blueway, a 4-mile route that links Wilck’s Lake Park, Buffalo Creek, and the Appomattox River, with a putout at Riverside Park. The annual Farmville Wine Festival, set for 11am to 5pm on April 18, takes place at Riverside. The 11th-annual event benefits the local Meals on Wheels Program.

Eats and Drinks

The Fishin’ Pig serves beef brisket, crispy catfish, savory pork and chicken barbecue with house-made sauces, and a delicious array of appetizers. (My personal faves are the fried pickles with a flavorful homemade cilantro dill remoulade.)

For family fun or drinks with friends, head over to Three Roads Brewing Company. Enjoy music performances and games such as cornhole and giant Jenga, along with craft brews and specialty sodas. Their flagship beers - a lager, a blonde ale, an IPA, and a porter - are always on tap, along with seasonal selections.

Home and History

Shopping at Green Front Furniture can take as long as you want, with six Main Street storefronts and four converted tobacco warehouses containing a trove of unique pieces. Their stores comprise 900,000 square feet of showroom space, featuring rugs, furniture, and home décor from around the world. Check their website for a virtual tour or to view an interactive map before shopping.

Another must-visit is the Robert Russa Moton Museum, a National Historic Landmark that tells the moving story of a student strike in 1951 that was later considered as part of the historic Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against segregated public schools. Take time to reflectively self-guide through the museum, which is housed in a former public high school built in 1939 for African American students.

Save the Date: June 7: Firefly Festival. Witness tens of thousands of enchanting fireflies at this annual event at High Bridge Trail State Park’s Appomattox River Overlook. 9 to 11pm. dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/high-bridge-trail