LYNCHBURG — Tourists and residents alike now have a second craft beverage trail to experience in Nelson County.
The Nelson 29 Craft Beverage Trail includes a distillery, wineries and breweries. It’s modeled after the popular Nelson 151 trail on the other side of the county, which has been around for the past 10 years.
Sarah Craun, who helped to develop the idea with Maureen Kelley, said that when she started working at the Virginia Distillery Co. in Lovingston, she had a goal to increase visitation to the distillery.
“Group marketing helps, so I approached the Nelson 151 group and Maureen [Kelley],” Craun said.
Craun said that with the help of Nelson 151 — a beverage trail that includes six wineries, three breweries, and two cideries — the Nelson 29 group was established. The Nelson 29 trail spans about 20 miles from DelFosse Vineyards and Winery in Faber to Blue Mountain Barrel House in Arrington. Along the way, the trail includes Lovingston Winery, Virginia Distillery Co., Brent Manor Vineyards and Wood Ridge Farm Brewery.
“We hope to become recognized in the eyes of tourism outside of the immediate area,” Craun said.
Craun, originally president of the Nelson 29 trail, passed on the title to Stephanie Wright, of Lovingston Winery. Wright said she hopes people realize everything U.S. 29 has to offer in Nelson County as the craft beverage trail becomes more prominent.
“It’s great, easy access up and down 29 and there is never a crazy amount of traffic. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere,” Wright said.
Wright said U.S. 29 is growing slowly, but surely with new restaurants and places to stay overnight, along with the craft beverage businesses.
“Things are slowly building around here and we want to encourage that,” Wright said.
Lindsay Dorrier, president of the Nelson 151 group, said that group had been discussing integrating some of the businesses along U.S. 29 into the Nelson 151 trail for a few years. Then, last summer and into early fall, Craun approached them and started discussing a separate Nelson 29 trail.
“We have seen positive results Nelson 151 has created, so we thought it was appropriate to help Nelson 29 get off the ground,” Dorrier said.
Dorrier said the beverage trails will help to attract people from all over.
“We want folks to come and spend not just a day, but a weekend and come back multiple times to enjoy all Nelson has to offer,” Dorrier said.
Craun said their goal is to offer tourists from target areas such as Richmond and Washington multiple locations to travel to when they visit Nelson.
“It’s not just a trip for one entity,” Craun said.
The Nelson 29 trail will have a festival on Sept.7 to officially recognize the organization.