Whether it’s the unique bridge that suspends hundreds of feet in the air, ample fishing and hiking opportunities or numerous workout class options, Farmville has no shortage of recreation opportunities.
Visitors and residents can take full advantage of options that are both low in cost and high in fun.
The region has a number of memorable state parks.
Historic Twin Lakes State Park is 548-acres and includes a 33-site campground and 11 climate-controlled cabins for overnight stays. There’s also swimming, fishing, hiking, boating and lakeside picnicking. The Cedar Crest Conference Center on Prince Edward Lake is a great site for weddings, family gatherings, retreats and business meetings. There are also numerous education programs that include nature workshops for children and an annual Lighting of the Lake luminary to honor those impacted by Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Visit the park at 788 Twin Lakes Rd., Green Bay, Virginia. To learn more, call (434) 392-3435 or visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/twin-lakes#general_information.
Sailor Creek Battlefield State Park offers a crash course in Civil War History. The park is home to the Battles of Sailor’s Creek, which was one of the last battles before General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House. The visitor center offers a neat look at relics of the Civil War, as well as opportunities to walk or drive through portions of the 34-acre park.
Tour the Overton-Hillsman House, which served as a hospital during and after the war. Visit the park at 6541 Saylers Creek Road, Rice, Virginia. To learn more, call (804) 561-7510 or visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/sailors-creek#general_information,
Bear Creek Lake State Park, with a 40-acre lake and access to the 16,000-acre Cumberland State Forest, offers something for everyone. The park has a boat launch, fishing pier, boat rentals, a swimming beach as well as cabins, camping, picnicking, an archery range and playgrounds. There’s also a 14-mile Cumberland Multi-use Trail, available for hiking, biking and horseback riding.
Visit the park at 22 Bear Creek Lake Road, Cumberland, Virginia. To learn more, call (804) 492-4410 or visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/bear-creek-lake#general_information.
The High Bridge is among the most recognizable landmarks in the Town of Farmville. The three-mile bridge, more than 2,400 feet long and suspended 125 feet in the air above the Appomattox River, is part of a 31.2-mile trail. The High Bridge Trail State Park encompasses Cumberland and Prince Edward counties.
Take a break from the trail by visiting the Farmville downtown Main Street plaza or stopping at Third Street Brewery.
Park Manager Daniel Jordan said the trail is host to numerous athletic events, such as the Farmville Downtown Partnership historic half-marathon and 5K, Cumberland Foundation 5K and numerous 50K races for more challenging athletic events. The Time Trials Bike Race also comes each July. There are also hiking trails in the park, and the 31-mile trail is available for horseback riding.
The park also offers accessibility tours for those who may have mobility challenges. There is no charge for accessibility services.
The park is also home to the Firefly Festival, held every summer when fireflies are the most visible. This year’s festival will take place June 7-8. Families can set up a tent and camp out on the bridge June 21-22. There are also frequent educational program and junior ranger day camps.
While the trail can be accessed in downtown Farmville, entrances closest to the bridge can be accessed at the park’s Camp Paradise entrance, located off Aspen Hill Road in Rice, or at 555 River Road in Farmville.
To learn more about the park, visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/high-bridge-trail#general_information or call (434) 315-0457.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
The Sandy River Reservoir, spanning 740 acres and just a short drive from Farmville, offers a wealth of fishing and boating opportunities. Largemouth bass, black crappie, redear sunfish, bluegill, chain pickerel and catfish can be found at this reservoir.
The reservoir is relatively new, only having opened for fishing since 1996. However, it’s quickly gaining popularity as a first-stop fishing destination.
Another excellent fishing site is Briery Creek Lake, a 845-acre property in Prince Edward County stocked with Florida strain largemouth bass, northern strain largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish (also known as shellcrackers), channel catfish and crappie.
Visitors may see timber in the floodplain that was left standing or felled, which, according to Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, allows for an abundance of fish habitat.
The area is also home to diverse wildlife population, including turkeys, deer, quail, rabbits, beavers and muskrats.
To further explore the great outdoors, there’s no better stop than Appomattox River Company the downtown Farmville area to stock up on what you need.
Appomattox River Company sells kayaks, paddles, paddle boats and kayaks for fishing, and drysuits to wear in cold weather. The company ships equipment all across the country. Check out their Virginia LOVE sign at the side of the building, made entirely from kayaks.
It only takes a short drive to Rice in order to experience the adventure of a lifetime. That’s the goal of Sandy River Outdoor Adventures, which offers an aerial high-ropes obstacle course and ziplines. The activities are perfect for family trips, team building activities for companies, church groups and anyone up for a unique experience.
Sandy River also offers boat rentals for the Sandy River Reservoir and bike rentals at its store in downtown Farmville.
Another unique item at the park are its cabin rentals and luxury tepees that feature amenities such as air conditioning and running water, giving the comforts of home, while also allowing visitors to fully participating in the nature that surrounds
For those staying at the park, Sandy River Outdoor Adventure offers a heated pool from March through November. To learn more, visit www.sandyriveroutdooradventures.com or call (434) 392-7275.
Rolling hills and challenging yet rewarding experiences are par for the course for the golf facilities in Farmville.
The Farmville Municipal Golf Course is located just outside the Town of Farmville and offers seven-day-a-week golfing opportunities when weather permits. The professional 9-hole course can be enjoyed regardless of your experience. The 3287-yard par-72 course and accompanying view makes it a site worth visiting. The Junior Olympic size swimming pool and 299-seat banquet facility at the site are also worth the trip.
To learn more, visit www.golffarmvilleva.com or call (434) 392-6656.
The Manor Golf Club makes for another fantastic golfing option. The Club was chosen as one of the “Best New Golf Courses of 2007” by Golf Digest Magazine.
There are five sets of tees on each hole, giving golfers of all experience levels a chance to try their hand. The multiple tees allow golfers to play a challenging layout of 5,367 yards from the forward tees and stretching to 7,214 yards on the championship tees.
To learn more, visit www.golfthemanor.com or call (434) 392-2244.
After a day of activity, what better way to cap it off than watching a game in America’s first two-college town? Hampden-Sydney College and Longwood University offer a range of athletic teams and leagues that have made strides at the state and national level. To learn more about Longwood and Hampden-Sydney’s athletic programs and game schedules, visit www.longwoodlancers.com and www.hscathletics.com/landing/index.
If you’re a student or faculty member, be sure to take advantage of the TigerRec Center at Hampden-Sydney, which includes a fitness center, a disc golf course, swimming pool and racquetball courts. Longwood’s Health and Fitness Center offers a power lifting room, a two-court gymnasium, a 30-foot climbing wall, an one-eighth mile track and multi-purpose gymnasium.
For families involved with youth athletics, the Prince Edward/Farmville Youth Association offers numerous athletic opportunities that include baseball, basketball, softball and soccer. Learn more at www.eteamz.com/pefyasports.
The Southside Virginia Family YMCA at 580 Commerce Road in Farmville offers something for everyone, from before- and after-school care for children to group exercise classes for adults such as yoga, body pump and spin. There’s swim lessons and a swim team.
Seniors can participate in the SilverSneakers program, which offers a range of fitness programs and opportunities.
The facility is open and accessible, that 33 percent of members receive some form of financial aid, said Stephen Blewett, YMCA branch director.
“Everyone should have an opportunity to be a part of the Y,” Blewett said.
The Y also offers wellness orientations, or the opportunity to sit down with coaches, share goals and work with the coaches to create a fitness goal that meets their specific needs. Plus, this is free with membership. “It’s a great opportunity for them to sit down with someone who’s experienced in that to help them reach their goals,” Blewett said.
Farmville Fit, at 1004 E 3rd Street in Farmville, offers a diverse range of fitness programs, from yoga to Olympic lifting to fitness that improves one’s daily life.
Zachary Mason, owner of Farmville Fit, said a popular program it offers, functional fitness, prepares clients for everyday activities, such as getting strong enough to lift dog food into the back of the car, or getting up after falling.
The center also offers several yoga programs, which includes hatha yoga, yin yoga and power yoga. There’s also dance aerobics, which combines workouts with a selection of high-energy music.
The Olympic lifting program focuses on two methods of lifting used in the Olympics, the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk.
To learn more, call (757) 803-3828 or visit www.farmvillefit.com.
CrossFit High Bridge, at 2202B W. Third Street, spreads the message that anyone can participate in fitness activities. Anyone.
Owner Kimberly Mina said the program can be tailored to lead people who have never worked out before. They have adaptive programs for those with chronic conditions. One client has multiple sclerosis and participates in a program that uniquely meets the client’s goals. The facility has strength-building activities and group-style workouts.
The organization also organizes community events. The second annual Bacon, Barbells and Brews event, where participants carry barbells through a segment of the High Bridge Trail, and enjoy bacon and beers at Third Street Brewing, is underway.
“We want to show them that it’s for everybody,” Mina said about the program. To learn more, call (434) 547-7267 or visit