Set My Soul Free national rally POIs

Woodstock is central to points of interest in just about any direction you choose, which makes it pretty easy to suggest places to go and things to see. Starting with some low-hanging fruit, the Luray Caverns and their cathedral sized rock formations are just to the south. The Shenandoah Caverns are also nearby.

If history interests you, how about the Woodstock Museum with displays, documents and a film about the Civil War era and how that unfolded, or the Fort Valley Museum that’s packed with historic artifacts about life in the Fort Valley area? Or how about the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets detailing the historic evolution of toilets from 2500 BC? Just north, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley documents the rich history of the area and Stonewall Jackson’s headquarters is a national historic site. The list of museums in the area is long.

Is your thing is BIG stuff? Look no further than the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank WV, a mere 2-1/2 hour ride to the west. The ride alone is worth the trip, but the observatory is home to the largest radio telescope in the world, pointed into outer space to detect and observe radio communications from afar. The visitor center is incredible and has many hands-on displays that will educate and amaze.

Are you into local restaurants and food? The Woodstock Brew House advertises itself as an Industrial Brewpub with a weekend BBQ menu that is sure to please and the nearby Woodstock Cafe is a cozy American fare with live music. There’s also Candy’s Diner with great food, big portions, and friendly service. One thing is for sure, if you’re hungry, you have lots of choices. We are also working with the fairground staff to have two food vendors on site, one a traditional sit-down affair and the other with sandwiches and lighter fare.

If you’ve seen all the museums and are ready to put some miles in, you’re in luck. This year, a team is putting together several scenic routes that cover longer distances with long sweepers and things to see. For those who want to drag a knee we’ll also have suggestions on some of the more challenging nearby roads with elevation change and switchbacks to raise the adrenaline level of even advanced rider. For the GS and ADV riders we’re using the Gravel Maps app to find a series of gravel roads to ride. There are so many choices that once you start you might just lose yourself in exploring the area and find nuggets throughout the day that we missed. I’d like to hear from you if you found interesting points of interest that would be a nice follow up to our rally.

Matt Smith RA 43693

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