Longer Days Have Us Eyeing Our Calendars
– By Andrea Gaines
Last fall the Farmer’s Almanac predicted that the mid-Atlantic region’s impending winter would be “cold, wet and white.” And, that was pretty accurate.
Now, though Loudouners are shaking off the snowflakes and making plans.
With so much right here – from historic towns and villages … to great retail shops and galleries … farms, wineries, distilleries and breweries … historic spots, mountainside trails, parks and more – it’s hard to decide what to do first. Here are some ideas as we all head into April …
Wait … How Many Daffodils?
Nature lays out a carpet of everything pink, green, yellow and lavender as Loudoun heads into April, and great flower and garden-related events abound.
52nd Annual Upperville Garden Club Daffodil Show is April 14. With thousands of daffodils of all sizes, colors and forms, this American Daffodil Society show will not disappoint (www.uppervillegardenclub.org).
25th Annual Leesburg Flower And Garden Festival is April 18 & 19. Described as an annual “rite of spring” – with everything from music to plant sales to a wine and beer garden to landscaping displays and kids’ entertainment – the festival has something for all (www.flowerandgarden.org). The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Native Plant Sale is also April 18 at Morven Park (www.loudounwildlife.org).
Virginia Garden Week is April 18–25. Known as “America’s Largest Open House,” Virginia Garden Week is another rite of spring, welcoming visitors at hundreds of magnificent homes, gardens and historic sites throughout the state. There are several sites in the Leesburg area, and/or an easy drive from here in Winchester, Warrenton and Front Royal (www.vagardenweek.org).
Flower And Garden Classes, Demonstrations And Exhibits. Our area has many opportunities for both intensive and everyday gardening classes. Three great sources are Blandy Experimental Farm, State Arboretum of Virginia (blandy.virginia.edu), Rust Nature Sanctuary (www.audubonnaturalist.org), and master Gardeners of Loudoun County (FaceBook).
Wait … How Many Calories ?Would I Burn?
It varies by your age, height, weight and sex, of course. But, on average, a person burns 150 calories per hour during a slow walk, almost 500 hiking cross country, 245 walking the dog, 200 bird watching, and 200 pushing a stroller or walking with their children. With 27 county parks and 11 community centers, 8 region parks and easy access to both the WO&D bike trail and the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail – Loudouners have lots of opportunities to get moving. We also have some of the most advanced private heath clubs in Northern Virginia.
So, here are some tips for finding that perfect recreational opportunity this spring …
A good source for area fitness clubs is the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce (www.loudounchamber.org).
Earth Day’s 45th Anniversary is April 22. Three organizations with local events are: Earth Day Loudoun (www.earthdayatloudoun.org), The Nature Generation (www.natgen.org) and the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy (www.loudounwildlife.org).
A quick search of parks, trails and community centers at www.loudoun.gov will connect you with Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, Claude Moore Park, Potomack Lakes Sportsplex and other great opportunities for individual and family recreation.
For more information on nearby access points for the Appalachian Trail go to www.appalachiantrail.org. For the WO&D Bike Trail go to www.wodfriends.org.
For camping, hiking, and canoeing try Watermelon Park (www.watermelonpark.org).
Wait … George Washington ?Really Did Sleep Here?
George Washington did indeed sleep here – at Middleburg’s 1728 Red Fox Inn & Tavern. Loudoun County is a magnet for local and visiting history buffs alike. Here are some ideas for how Loudouners can get out and about to enjoy our local history and hospitality this spring.
Loudoun’s historic towns and villages are a great place to visit. Old-fashioned county stores, where you can grab some lunch, also anchor many of our historic villages – including Bluemont, Philomont, Waterford and Middleburg. Go to www.loudoun.gov and search “county historic districts” – lots of things to explore, there.
The Loudoun Museum cares for and displays approximately 8,000 local artifacts – from documents signed by Presidents Washington and Monroe, to a schoolgirl’s 18th Century sampler (www.loudounmuseum.org).
A sampling of other museums and historic libraries include: The National Sporting Library and Museum (www.nsl.org), Thomas Balch Library (www.balchfriends.org), The Winmill Carriage Museum at Morven Park (www.morvenpark.org), and The George C. Marshall House (www.georgecmarshall.org). A little further afield but worth the drive is the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum (www.discoverymuseum.net).
The Loudoun County Bed & Breakfast Guild 6th Annual Open House & Self-Guided Tour is coming right up, too, on May 4. The tour features 10 Bed & Breakfast stops as well as helpful hints about the nearby wineries, lunch stops and farm shops you can visit along the way (www.loudounbandb.com).
Enjoy, and look for more out-and-about opportunities in our May issue.