Enjoy Environmentally-Friendly Activities in Lynchburg
By Brandy Centolanza
For the eco-conscious traveler, consider turning your next visit to Lynchburg into an environmentally friendly journey. Here are some suggestions for ways you can help the planet while making the most of your trip and supporting eco-friendly businesses.
Go Vehicle Free
When you arrive at your destination, park your car and keep it there. Instead, check out the sites of the city by greener modes of transportation. You can rent bicycles at Bikes Unlimited and bike from point A to point B or enjoy a nice, scenic ride along the trails of Percival Island. Prefer to be on the water? Rent a canoe or kayak from James River Adventures and spend an afternoon on the river admiring the flora and fauna. Fishermen might also be interested in a fishing tour through Taletellers Fly Shop. Taletellers is a full-service fly shop located in downtown Lynchburg that also offers free classes and guided trips. Or, simply take a stroll through downtown while you check out the shops and eateries or walk along the Bluffwalk.
Pick Your Own Fruits and Veggies
Take advantage of the season’s warmer weather and sunshine and plan a visit to a local farm where you can pick your own berries for baking, snacking, or freezing for another time. Morris Orchard in Monroe is open for pick-your-own blackberries and blueberries in the summer and pumpkins in the fall while Yoders’ Farm in Rustburg has strawberries in the spring. You can also pick strawberries at CS Farms in Appomattox. Meanwhile, Gross’ Farms in Bedford specializes in pick-your-own peaches and apples while at Johnson’s Orchards and Peaks of Otter Winery, you can enjoy a glass of wine while you pick your own fruit. Johnson’s Orchard is also planning the “Blossom to Bottle” 5K Run and 3K Walk on April 17 in celebration of the blooming of its apple trees.
Visit the Lynchburg Community Market
Patronize the Lynchburg Community Market, where several local farmers sell organic produce, meats, and flowers, all while promoting sustainability. Grains of Sense Coffee Roastery & Tea Gallery, for example, sells coffee that is sustainably grown and Rain Forest Alliance certified from all over the world. Another market vendor, Oshun Organics, specializes in skincare and beauty products that are cruelty-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and dye-free. Oshun Organics is known for its soaps, shampoos, lotions, and essential oils.
Visit Lynchburg Grows
Lynchburg Grows is a nonprofit urban farm in the heart of the city. Its mission is to work with the community to provide access to healthy food and afford purposeful jobs to individuals with disabilities. The property produced roses for many decades as the Schenkel family farm, but, since its founding in 2004, Lynchburg Grows has used the large greenhouses on the property to grow food for the community. The harvest is distributed through a Community Supported Agriculture program, a produce prescription program, and through donations to other local nonprofit organizations. The produce is also available for purchase on-site at The Farm Store, which is open every Thursday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm throughout the growing season. Information about volunteering or scheduling a tour or field trip to the farm can be found at lynchburggrows.org.
Visit Rivermont Refillery
Rivermont Refillery opened in the spring of 2023 and is the perfect sustainable business to support if you are looking for eco-friendly products and home goods. They are passionate about sustainability and reducing plastic waste and believe that living a low-waste lifestyle is not only good for the planet, but it’s also a way to add more beauty and joy to our lives. They offer bulk refills and natural products in sustainable packaging. If you are looking for bulk refills on shampoo, dish soap, laundry detergent, lotions, cleaners, and more, this is the place to get it! They are now part of the brand new 2204 Bedford Ave. building and installment.
Fresh and Local Foods
Millie’s Living Café is filled with delicious options from salads and wraps to smoothies and fresh-pressed juices. Ingredients are sourced locally as well as from around the world in an effort to bring the best quality to Lynchburg. Millie’s Living Café aims to use natural foods to enhance nourishment for its customers.
The Water Dog is a local restaurant along Riverfront park next to the James River. The menu has a large variety of food ranging from fresh seafood to handheld items. A notable feature of the menu is the salad selection. The Water Dog uses ingredients that are sourced from local farms. Whether you are hungry or looking for a place to grab a drink, the Water Dog is a great place to do both and is popular among the locals.
Visit Irvington Spring Farm
Enjoy 3 acres of cut flowers and pollinator-friendly native gardens at Irvington Spring Farms located off of Boonsboro Rd. Irvington Spring Farm is not a cut your own flower farm, but visitors can enjoy the grounds and shop the self-serve flower cooler or pick up native pollinator plants and antique roses. The Farm Shop is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 am – 6 pm. Looking for a peaceful stay or planning a small event or wedding? Check out the Irvington Spring Farm Stays.
Grab a Sweet Treat
You can feel good about being kind to the environment when eating ice cream from Outside the Cone! This ice cream shop is unique by keeping all of their ice creams truly handcrafted. Outside the Cone does not purchase or add any mix-ins, powders, or preservatives to their recipes. Their bowls are made from renewable plant fibers and are fully compostable and their spoons are compostable, too. To reduce waste even further, Outside the Cone uses metal tasting spoons.
Stay in Green Lodging Accommodations
Green lodging refers to any hotel that commits to environmentally-friendly practices. This includes conserving natural resources like water and energy and reducing waste. Lynchburg currently has two hotels that are considered green lodging, the Craddock Terry Hotel downtown on Commerce Street and the Comfort Inn & Suites on Wards Road. In addition, Craddock Terry Hotel has a charging station for Tesla electric cars. The Courtyard by Marriot at Murry Place also has an electric car charging station for its guests. Other charging stations include; Liberty University, Lynchburg Supercharger and Two Sisters Tap room and Deli.
Happy Earth Day!
Brandy Centolanza is a freelance writer who covers health, family travel, and the hospitality industry.
She writes from her Virginia home surrounded by her husband of 20 years and their two teens, three cats,
and a bearded dragon named Craig.
See More of her work HERE