Trails

Franklin County features an abundance of outdoor activities for novices, experts, and even families. With access to the Blue Ridge Parkway, numerous recreation parks with biking, hiking, and walking trails, you’ll be able to find the workout or adventure you’re looking for.

The county even offers unique outdoor land experiences, including ATV trails and numerous horseback-riding options.


Franklin County Trail Maps


ATVing

Red Truck Events Center

  • The 80-acre facility hosts a variety of outdoor games and offers riding trails and open space for ATV and MX riders.

  • (410) 271-3897
  • Visit Website

Biking

Blue Ridge Parkway

  • Experience “America’s Favorite Drive” filled with scenic beauty, stunning vistas of mountains and landscapes, wildflowers, autumn foliage, trails and wildlife.

  • (828) 271-4779
  • Visit Website

Franklin County Recreation Park

  • Offering 150-acres and a variety of activities including fishing in a 3-acre lake, playgrounds, tennis, basketball, sand volleyball, horseshoe pit, disc golf, hiking and biking trails, baseball and soccer fields. Features covered picnic shelters.

  • (540) 483-9293
  • Visit Website

Jamison Mill Trail System

  • Features 6 miles of moderate to strenuous, interconnecting multi-use trails for hikers and bicyclists. Trails vary from narrow footpaths to wide fire roads, and include two interpretive stops. They are marked by painted trees that correspond with trail map.

  • (276) 629-2703
  • Visit Website

Waid Recreation Area

  • Facility is 220-acres and offers outdoor activities and river access. Amenities include walking, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking trails, covered picnic shelters, playgrounds and sports fields.

  • (540) 483-9293
  • Visit Website

Hiking

Birding & Wildlife Trail at the Philpott Lake Dam and Overlook

  • Explore scenic trail and views. Top spot for brown-headed nuthatch. Pine warbler and yellow-throated warbler easy to find, along with other species. Wildflowers prevalent spring/summer.

    Hours: April-October 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; November-March 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

  • (276) 629-2703
  • Visit Website

Blue Ridge Campground & Marina

  • Seasonal campground on Smith Mountain Lake. Features fishing, hiking, horseshoes, volley ball, playground, bathhouse, laundry facility, dump stations, and sites with water, sewer, and electric.

  • (540) 721-3866
  • Visit Website

Blue Ridge Parkway

  • Experience “America’s Favorite Drive” filled with scenic beauty, stunning vistas of mountains and landscapes, wildflowers, autumn foliage, trails and wildlife.

  • (828) 271-4779
  • Visit Website

Booker T. Washington National Monument

  • This national treasure commemorates the birthplace of Booker T. Washington – America’s most prominent African American educator and orator of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The monument features a visitor center with exhibits and an audio-visual presentation, Plantation Trail, Jack-O-Lantern Branch Heritage Trail, a picnic area, and a recreated 1850’s tobacco farm and garden area.

    Open seven days a week, year-round, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1.

  • (540) 721-2094
  • Visit Website

Franklin County Recreation Park

  • Offering 150-acres and a variety of activities including fishing in a 3-acre lake, playgrounds, tennis, basketball, sand volleyball, horseshoe pit, disc golf, hiking and biking trails, baseball and soccer fields. Features covered picnic shelters.

  • (540) 483-9293
  • Visit Website

Gilly’s Park

  • Facility features two public fishing ponds stocked with catfish (yearly), bass, brim and crappie. Amenities include a walking trail, picnic tables, small dock and wildlife.

  • (540) 483-9293
  • Visit Website

Grassy Hill Natural Area Preserve

  • A 1,295-acre site with a 6.6 mile scenic hiking trail system with kiosk and signage. Harbors ancient rocks, old-age trees, rare plants species and wildlife.

  • (540) 265-5234
  • Visit Website

Jamison Mill Trail System

  • Features 6 miles of moderate to strenuous, interconnecting multi-use trails for hikers and bicyclists. Trails vary from narrow footpaths to wide fire roads, and include two interpretive stops. They are marked by painted trees that correspond with trail map.

  • (276) 629-2703
  • Visit Website

Philpott Lake Fitness Interpretive Trail (FIT)

  • Combines exercise and fun in 1.5-mile trail. Open year round, includes 20 exercise stations. Constructed primarily to promote healthy living for adventurers of all ages.

Salthouse Branch

  • Offers camping and day-use facilities, including 44 family sites with E/W hook-ups, 21 boat-in sites, 46 primitive sites, and 1 group picnic shelter. Features toilets, showers, dump station, beach, boat ramp, dock, playground and amphitheater. Also a 1/2-mile nature loop and 1/2 mile interpretive trail.

    Fees: sites without electricity, $20 per night; sites with electricity, $25 per night.

    2016 Season: March 24 – October 30.

  • (276) 629-2703
  • Visit Website

Smart View Recreation Area

  • Located on MP 154.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 500 acres, 2.6 miles of hiking trails, large picnic grounds, restrooms, and Trail Cabin exhibit. The exhibit is a single room dwelling built in the early 1890s, associated with Blue Ridge settlement.

    Trails are wheelchair accessible.

  • (828) 348-3400
  • Visit Website

Smith Mountain Lake Community Park

  • Thirty-seven-acre park featuring swimming at seasonal beach with lifeguards, fishing and family recreation. Offers partly-covered fishing pier with seating, picnic shelter, playground, trails and restrooms.

  • (540) 483-9293
  • Visit Website

Turkeycock Wildlife Management Area

  • A 2,679-acre woodland area offering a mountain top outdoor experience filled with hunting, hiking, horseback riding trails and wildlife viewing.

  • (434) 525-7522
  • Visit Website

Waid Recreation Area

  • Facility is 220-acres and offers outdoor activities and river access. Amenities include walking, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking trails, covered picnic shelters, playgrounds and sports fields.

  • (540) 483-9293
  • Visit Website

Horseback Riding

Turkeycock Wildlife Management Area

  • A 2,679-acre woodland area offering a mountain top outdoor experience filled with hunting, hiking, horseback riding trails and wildlife viewing.

  • (434) 525-7522
  • Visit Website

Waid Recreation Area

  • Facility is 220-acres and offers outdoor activities and river access. Amenities include walking, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking trails, covered picnic shelters, playgrounds and sports fields.

  • (540) 483-9293
  • Visit Website

Water’s Edge Equestrian Center

  • Offers 75 acres of riding area, trails winding through woods with scenic lake views, and 35 acres of fenced pasture. Features an insulated barn, wash stall, and broodmare/foaling stall.

  • 540-576-1556
  • Visit Website