Franklin County

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  • Booker T. Washington National Monument
    Booker T. Washington Hwy., Hardy, VA
    On April 5, 1856, Booker T. Washington was born a slave on the 207-acre farm of James Burroughs. After the Civil War, Washington became the first principal of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial School. Later as an adviser, author and orator, his past would influence his philosophies as the most influential African American of his era. Come explore his birthplace.
    The Plantation Trail is a .25 mile loop through the historic area. It passes by reconstructions of the nineteenth century farm buildings similar to those that stood on the Burroughs Plantation when Booker T. Washington lived here as a boy. You are invited to explore the open buildings and read from the park brochure about the kinds of activities that took place in each. In addition to the Plantation Trail, the monument provides an opportunity for a 1.5 mile meandering walk through fields and forests on the Jack-O-Lantern Branch Trail. Trail guides are available at the visitor center.
  • Grassy Hill Natural Area Preserve
    Technology Dr., Rocky Mount, VA
    Length: 6.6 miles
    Grassy Hill is a prominent landmark on the west side of the Town of Rocky Mount. The site is characterized by rocky slopes forested with hardwood species and scattered patches of Virginia pine. Shallow, basic, heavy-clay soils predominate and outcrops of magnesium-rich bedrock are common. These unusual soil and rock substrates provide habitat for rare woodland communities. Several rare plants grow in small grassy openings near the hill's summit. As suggested by its name, there is evidence that this community type once dominated much of Grassy Hill. For example, open-grown oaks with low spreading crowns are found amidst younger, closely spaced trees. Fire scars on some trees indicate that fire may have played an important role in keeping Grassy Hill open. With the advent of effective wildfire suppression during the twentieth century, the open, grassy woodlands slowly transformed into forest and dense woodlands with a continuous canopy.
  • Philpott Lake Fitness Interpretive Trail (FIT)
    1058 Philpott Dam Rd., Bassett, VA
    Length: Approximately 1.5 miles
    Combines exercise and fun in a 1.5 mile trail. Open year round, includes 20 exercise stations. Constructed primarily to promote healthy living for adventurers of all ages.
  • Smith Mountain Lake Community Park
    1480 Parkway Ave., Moneta, VA
    Length: Various trails total 1.7 miles
    This 37-acre park features swimming at seasonal beach with lifeguards, fishing, picnic shelter, playground, and trails. The park is open year-round (dawn - dusk) and offers a partly covered handicap accessible fishing pier with seating.
  • Turkeycock Wildlife Management Area
    Access to Turkeycock Wildlife Management Area from State Route 108 North through Figsboro; then Route 890 north to the community of Snow Creek; and south on Route 619 to the area entrance.
    Length: Various
    Lying along the ridge of Turkeycock Mountain northwest of Martinsville, the 2,679-acre Turkeycock Mountain Wildlife Management Area extends into both Henry and Franklin counties. There are several miles of rough gravel roads and numerous trails. A number of small streams drain into Scout Pond. The Wildlife Management Area is open to hunting in season, as well as hiking, wildlife viewing and other outdoor recreational opportunities. The area is part of statewide Wildlife & Birding Trail System. Elevations in primarily forested area range from 1,100 to over 1,700 feet. Please call (866) 721-6911 for more information.
  • Gilly’s Park
    Trail Dr., Rocky Mount, VA
    Length: Less than 1 mile
    Gilly's Park is located at the cul-de-sac of Trail Drive in Rocky Mount behind Benjamin Franklin Middle School. There are two public fishing ponds stocked with catfish (yearly), bass, brim, and crappie and a short, moderate walking trail.