Five Places to Check Out in Rocktown This Fall

November 3rd, 2023 by

The leaves have changed at last in Harrisonburg, signifying that we’re officially closer to Christmas than we are to the balmy days of swimsuit weather. Thankfully, Rockingham County is brimming with an abundance of sights and activities to explore before we embark on the bustling holiday season. Courtesy of Steven Kia, here are five suggestions to help you plan a memorable autumn weekend with the entire family.

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum 

The kaleidoscopic foliage of the Fall invites you to button up and spend as much time outdoors as possible before the winds of winter arrive in full force. With winding woodland trails lined with native plants, botanical gardens to explore, and gardens to relax in, the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is the complete autumnal experience rolled into one experience.

Located on the James Madison University campus, this woodland sanctuary is dedicated to the preservation of its native species. The Arboretum is always looking to aid in research opportunities, and regularly hosts new events and exhibits. Friday November 3rd, for instance, is their Hunters of the Night event, an after-hours program that explores the nature of owls and their nocturnal habits. 

Tillman-Stokesville Gravel Ride 

Rockingham County gravel ride trails range from beginner friendly (the 16 ½ mile Bridgewater Gravel Ride) to more intermediate (the more uphill, 7.1-mile Flagpole Knob Gravel Ride). Both are beautiful rides that biking enthusiasts should take the time to explore, but if you only have time for one this Fall, the Tillman-Stokesville gravel ride is both scenic and physically rewarding.

Your ride begins at the Wolf Trail parking area and then moves south through the George Washington National Forest. The first two miles of this 13.1-mile ride lead to the trail’s highest point, after which the rest of the journey is predominately downhill. From the National Forest to the Heathstone Lake Reservoir, you won’t find a more aesthetically satisfying trail for that crisp, sunny autumn afternoon.

Harrisonburg Farmers’ Market 

Nothing says autumn like a good outdoor farmers’ market, and Rocktown boasts one of the best on the East Coast. The Harrisonburg Farmers Market proudly answers that artisanal call-to-arms the Fall weather suggests. With high-quality locally grown produce, freshly baked bread and desserts, syrups, ciders, and much more, the market’s nearly 50 vendors has formed a bustling community.

The market is open from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays through Thanksgiving, and from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturdays only from December to March. They’re currently taking Thanksgiving pre-orders through Tuesday, November 14th. If you’re looking to stock up the kitchen pantry before the holidays are upon us, the Harrisonburg Farmers Market should be at the top of your list. 

White Oak Lavender Farm & The Purple WOLF Tasting Room 

Dry skin is an unfortunate by-product of the chillier weather. Fortunately, the White Oak Lavender Farm offers several remedies. The sweet fragrance of vintage lavender is your companion as you explore White Oak’s farm and gift shop. From silky body cream to massage oils, you’ll find a plethora of spa-quality products to treat yourself to. Meanwhile, the kids will be preoccupied with the White Oak’s collection of domestic farm animals. 

Once you’ve had your fill of the outdoors, step inside and visit the Purple WOLF (short for White Oak Lavender Farm) Tasting Room. Open at 10 a.m., the vineyard currently offers 12 samples of wine, along with beer flights, sangria, and more. Some of the wine is even infused with lavender, which provides a smooth taste and finish. 

You Made It! Pottery 

The holiday season is for food, drink, and merriment, but as any elf can tell you, it’s also an especially crafty time of year.  The best gifts are the ones you put time and effort into, and if you’re looking to add a personal touch to your presents this year, the best hands-on crafts experience in Rocktown is You Made It! Pottery.  

Paint, design your own pottery from clay, or do a fused glass project at this family owned-and-operated art studio. You Made It! is great for kids of all ages, and they take reservations for birthday parties, office parties, field trips, and more. 

Keep Your Fall Drive on Track

Here at Steven Kia, we know that your weekends are especially precious this time of year. Any auto incident that prevents you from reaching your Fall destination could mean another cancelled family activity that you’re not able to reschedule. 

If you’re in the market for a new or used vehicle this Fall – or for any service your current vehicle may require – Steven Kia has you covered. This autumn, as you make it your goal to experience all the sights and events Rocktown has to offer, leave it to Steven Kia to get you there.