Ever since I saw a picture of this serene spot, I marked it on my Must-Visit list. Sadly, the weather was still not cooperating on this trip and it looks sorta sad and gloomy but it was actually breath-taking in person.
This is Mabry Mill. It’s one of the more popular sites on the Blue Ridge Parkway in west central Virginia. Sitting on the Burks Fork river in the Meadows of Dan region, the mill was built by E.B. Mabry in 1903. It’s been everything from a blacksmith, sawmill, to finally a gristmill but E.B. himself was a bit jack-of-all-trades so it’s not surprising the mill served multiple uses during its lifetime.
I know it’s tempting to spend all your time in front of the mill taking pictures (which I did), but I recommend taking the short trail around the mill (which I eventually did). You’ll see a real blacksmith cabin.
Some authentic machinery that folks used back in the day. (It made me wonder if someday people will look back on our high-tech laptops and cell phones, staring in awe of hard it must’ve been to use them the way I’m looking at these machines, ha!)
Plus a real Appalachian log cabin. This one dates all the way back to 1869 and was donated to the National Park Service and moved to this location. These types of log cabins were typically only four rooms and the families would sometimes add on rooms later. That’s small.
I thought the house was small, look how small the doorframes are! Were folks just plain shorter back then??
Things to know before you go…
1. There is a restaurant and gift shop conveniently located in the parking lot. A couple of locals told us the food was really good and the craft store offered nice souvenirs. However, the restaurant + gift shop are only open from late April – early November so be sure to check the website for exact dates.
2. The Mill is free to visit and walk around the grounds all year long. It’s located at milepost 176.
3. Try and visit the Mill on Sunday afternoons – there is live music from 1-4pm for most of the summer.