Four months after Round Hill was designated an Appalachian Trail Community, the town leaders are prepped to kick off multiple trail-themed events in 2019.
In November, the town became one of 47 communities along the 2,190-mile-long trail, and one of 16 in Virginia, to receive the designation through its commitment to promote and protect the Appalachian Trail. In its application to be included in the program, the town outlined fourgoals—to form an advisory committee and include language in its Comprehensive Plan that protects the trail; to host an educational event; and to host an annual celebration. The town already has created the trail committee and amended its plan. Now, it is ready to follow through with the second half of its vision and host some events.
Throughout the month of March, Round Hill Outdoors, the name of the town’s trail advisory committee, will host its second annual Appalachian Trail Art Show at the Round Hill Arts Center, with 45 pieces of artwork on display each day from 12-4 p.m.
The town also is preparing to host its first annual Round Hill Appalachian Trail Festival on June 15 at the B Chord Brewing Company. Town Administrator Melissa Hynes said the event would be a chance to teach residents about hiking and the Leave No Trace program. The town and brewery will encourage Appalachian Trail hikers to trek 1.5 miles from the trail to the brewery to join the celebration.
Round Hill Outdoors set a goal to raise the next generation of hikers by promoting healthy living, active recreation, nature education and park and trail development and the panel has organized a Screen Free Week from Sunday, April 28 to Friday, May 3 to get kids outdoors. During the week of no TV, phones, tablets and all other electronic screens, Round Hill Elementary School students will find themselves at an Earth Day Festival, an Outdoor Family Night, a Family Book Fair Night, a Hike Night, a Spirit Night and a Family and Neighbor Game Night. The week will wrap up with a scavenger hunt at Atomic Trampoline for all the students who took the screen-free pledge.
The town also is planning a few educational events this year, which will include setting up an Appalachian Trail booth at the 17th annual Hometown Festival on May 25 and several community hikes between April and September.
The Town Council last year also wrote language into the town’s 2017-2037 Comprehensive Plan aimed to maintain Round Hill’s natural resources, scenic vistas and wildlife habitats. According to the plan, the town’s objective is to “promote community awareness and increase knowledge of the trail as a local asset.”
To learn more about the events and Round Hill Outdoor’s mission, go to roundhill.at.