There are 20 Civil War battlefields in the Shenandoah Valley. And each of them can be explored within a region officially designated as the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District. Right now, that adds up to about 4,500 acres.
The district's battlefield lands are managed by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. Other important SVBF concerns: Protect more and more tracts of historic battlefield land from development, as well as interpret their history and provide tourism information for Shenandoah Valley visitors.
For years the SVBF has maintained a visitor information center at its headquarters in New Market, Va., the site of another significant Civil War battle that was partially fought by teen-aged military cadets, and recently popularized in the film, Field of Lost Shoes.
This past September a second SVBF battlefield visitor center was opened just outside of Winchester, Va. at the more recently-established Third Winchester Battlefield Park.
The Battle of Third Winchester was the largest battle ever fought in the Shenandoah Valley, says Dan Reinhart, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District Director of Resource Management.
The Valley is a four-season destination. Even as the days get shorter and colder, there's always plenty to see and do here. More and more outdoor decorations pop up all over the region. Holiday celebrations, community festivals, concerts, theater, museum programs, gift-giving. The good life is warm and bright in the Shenandoah Valley!
Visitor Contact Station is currently closed for the season on Mondays and Tuesdays. Winter hours from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year`s Day. Cedar Creek Battlefields Foundation Headquarters will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Closed on Wednesdays. The Hupp`s Hill Civil War Park and Visitor Center continues normal hours through Dec. 3, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Additional information at www.ccbf.us Belle Grove Museum Shop will be open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guided tours on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Belle Grove Christmas tours: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with candlelight tours from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The site will be closed on Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas. Belle Grove is closed for daily tours from Jan. through March 18. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit www.nps.gov/cebe.
Skyline Drive between Front Royal and Thornton Gap entrances, and between Swift Run Gap and Rockfish Gap entrances, closed daily between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. until Jan. 3. Overnight access allowed in the central portion between Thornton Gap and Swift Run Gap until Nov. 29. All of Skyline Drive closed between Nov. 30 and Jan. 3.
10 S. Market St. A Midsummer Night`s Dream. Closing performance. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com.
Brownsburg Museum, 2716 Brownsburg Turnpike. Civil War Brownsburg: A Community`s Civil War Story. Sat 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sun 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission. For more information, call 540-348-1600 or visit brownsburgva.wordpress.com/museum-news.
20 South New St., History Gallery. Mapping Americas Early Years - A Tribute to the Vision of the Early Explorers and the Founding Fathers With a special emphasis on Virginia. Runs through December. Hosted by Augusta County Historical Society. Opening reception on Sept. 5, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.augustacountyhs.org.
901 Amherst St. Nov. 1 through Dec. 29. 2015 coloring sheet illustration inspired by the exhibition, CUT. Costume and the Cinema. Free coloring sheets available at the MSV Guest Services Desk on or after Nov. 1. One participant from each age group: adult, teen, youth, and child. Includes one-year museum family membership, a family four-pack of First Night buttons and more. Entries must be returned by Dec. 29. Coloring sheets downloadable from www.theMSV.org or www.firstnightwinchester.com
Fincastle is the County Seat of Botetourt County, at the southern-most part of the Shenandoah Valley region. The town was founded in 1752 and began as an outpost settlement on the American Frontier.