FloydFest Outdoors!

FloydFest: Never a dull (or quiet) moment ~ an Appalachian Extravaganza!

I confess I did not know that the FloydFest Outdoors tent existed. I think it only came into being last year. It evolved with the realization that many visitors come to the area for the music, but that at least some would appreciate a deeper immersion in the place itself. The festival site is a remarkable peninsula of elevated land that juts out into Rock Castle Gorge with the creek almost a thousand feet below.

So now, you can bike, hike, and kayak as part of your FloydFest experience, and go home to wherever you live with a better sense of where you have been. The high ridges of the Southern Appalachians are places worth visiting, and so are the rivers and creeks.

I spoke recently with Stratton Lawrence, a long-time Festival regular from Charleston, who as I recall was in a conversation a few years back that lead to the organization of the outdoor-oriented Fest events. I can’t imagine the circuitous path that word of my possible participation must have taken before he contacted me, but I’ve agreed to be part of this year’s event. This is wide left of my character, seeing as my tolerance for heat, crowds and noise all are inversely related to my relentlessly-accumulating age. But given tickets, I’ll throw myself into the festivities.

I’ll have more details soon, but wanted those of you who are already planning to come to the Big Event this July to know that I’ll be leading hikes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday–all involving a 2-3 hour walks on trails easily accessible from the Festival site. Should be fun.  Here’s the schedule.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Good for you for sticking your neck out. I know it will be very rewarding, no matter how hot it is. Just find a lot of shade every time you call a halt to talk, rest, etc.