The Roanoke Valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge boasts a special kind of flavor and the culture of the region is reflected in the outstanding tastes of the cuisine.
One of Virginia's fastest growing counties, Franklin County is comprised of communities that continue to value their farms, forests, waters, and cultural heritage.
You can discover and choose from a diverse selection of attractions, from outdoor adventures like boating, camping and hiking, to cultural and historic experiences such as visiting the Blue Ridge Institute at Ferrum College or catching one of the many local musical performances.
Lifestyle in Franklin County can mean anything from hunting and fishing, to hiking and biking, to sailing and water skiing, to just kicking back on a dock at sunset.
The special geography of the county offers numerous recreational opportunities. The Blue Ridge Mountains on the western border offer nature trails, camping, horseback riding and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Smith Mountain Lake, the eastern border of the county, is a 20,000-acre man-made lake offering a variety of recreational activities including tournament fishing, hunting, sailing, boating and windsurfing.
Philpott Lake, in the southern part of the county, is known for excellent fishing and is considered Virginia's best smallmouth bass and trout reservoir.
For hunters, local game includes deer, dove, squirrel, rabbit, quail and turkey. Approximately 20,000 acres of public recreational and open space lands surround Philpott Lake, consisting of the Philpott Lake Management Area, Fairystone Park, and Fairystone Farms Wildlife Management Area.
Franklin County provides its residents with over 4,000 acres of public parks and open spaces. A large YMCA is located in the town of Rocky Mount and another has just been built in the LakeWatch Plantation development at Smith Mountain Lake. Specialized athletic facilities include indoor tennis courts, an Olympic-sized swimming facility, and skateboard parks.
The Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, the largest such festival in Virginia, is held in October. The Blue Ridge Institute at Ferrum College and the traditional culture organizes the festival where folkways of the Blue Ridge Mountains are celebrated. Festival highlights include music, food, crafts, and performances that perpetuate regional lore. The Blue Ridge Institute is a stop on The Crooked Road, Virginia's Heritage Music Trail.
Other festivals in the county include the Boones Mill Apple Festival, National Wild Turkey Jakes Youth Outdoor Sports Festival, the Franklin County Arts and Crafts Festival, the Pigg River Ramble (an annual float and race on the Pigg River), the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival and MW Mountain Bike Festival, part of the Virginia Derailer Series. You can also regularly hear great live music at the Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount.
Here, you get a chance to enjoy the many scenic corners of our community where every side road opens up new vistas, views, and quiet moments for those tired of crowds, long lines, and clutter.
Population: 56,159 (as of 2010 Census)
Towns: Rocky Mount, Boones Mill
Unincorporated Communities: Callaway, Ferrum, Glade Hill, Hale's Ford, North Shore, Penhook, Redwood, Snow Creek, Union Hall, Westlake Corner
Surrounding Counties: Bedford County, Pittsylvania County, Henry County, Patrick County, Floyd County, Roanoke County
Education: 12 Public Elementary Schools, 1 Public Middle School, 1 Public High School - Franklin County High School
District: 5th Congressional District
Income (Per Capita): $27,584
Type of Government: County Administrator & Elected Board of Supervisors
County Seat: Rocky Mount
Land Area: 712 square miles