Saturday February 2, 2013
Visit Reynolds Homestead with DRBA

An outreach campus of Virginia Tech, Reynolds Homestead features the birthplace and boyhood home of tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds and a Forest ResourcesResearch Center in the midst of 780 acres of fields and woodlands.

"The Reynolds Homestead and forestry practices hike is easily DRBA's most popular and best attended hiking outing," according to DRBA Board member and trip coordinator, Wayne Kirkpatrick.

Since DRBA's last visit to the site two years ago, significant changes have occurred along the Forestry Management walking trail. Managed forests demonstrate old and young stands of loblolly pines, a native grass field managed for wildlife, and research ponds that provide wildlife habitat.

Along the way hikers will see the historic spring that inspired the name, Rock Spring Plantation, of this 18th century tobacco estate near the face of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Views from the trail include the nearest peak, the curiously named No Business Mountain, so called, according to tradition, because visitors had "no business" looking for the family still.

In 2010 two major improvements were made at the Homestead. The African American Cemetery was enhanced with plantings, grave markings, fencing, signage, and a walkway for visitors. A new gateway entrance was dedicated in October, 2012 honoring the tobacco and aluminum foil legacy of the Reynolds family. Visitors to the Continuing Education Center can view drawings of planned renovations to the Center.

In addition, a log tobacco barn was reconstructed near the trail from materials salvaged from three early barns, including the one on site. The barn will help interpret the history of tobacco growing and curing that formed the foundation of the Reynolds family fortune.

Reynolds Homestead is located at 463 Homestead Lane, Critz, Virginia. From Martinsville, travel west on US 58 for about twenty miles. Turn right onto Abram Penn Highway (Rt. 626), indicated by the second of two brown signs. Drive about three miles and bear left onto Homestead Lane. Parking is at the end of the short road.

From Stuart, travel east on US 58 for about nine miles. Turn left onto Abram Penn Highway (Rt. 626), indicated by a brown sign. Drive about three miles and bear left onto Homestead Lane. Parking is at the end of the short road.

From Winston-Salem, travel north on NC 8, crossing into Virginia. Turn right onto Ayers Orchard Road. Drive about six miles and turn right onto South Fork Loop. Drive half a mile and turn right onto US 58. Drive one-quarter mile and turn left onto Abram Penn Highway (Rt. 626), indicated by a brown sign. Drive about three miles and bear left onto Homestead Lane. Parking is at the end of the short road.

Outings and meetings of the Dan River Basin Association are open to the public without charge.

For more information, contact Wayne Kirkpatrick, 540-570-3511, wynbtyk@embarqmail.com .

For membership information, visit www.danriver.org
 

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