Family-Friendly "Great Outdoors" Itinerary Ideas
Back to Nature in Smithfield & Isle of Wight County
Established in 1634 as one of the original 8 shires of the Virginia Colony, this rural community is rich in history, but the pastoral setting, historic attractions & downtown district of Smithfield, a charming rivertown, make the area a popular destination for those who love the outdoors as well.
This treasure is located right in the heart of downtown Smithfield and features a woodland trail system which winds past farmland and orchards, through woods and along the river, picnic areas, a dog park, a state-of-the-art kayak and canoe launch, scenic overlooks and the Windsor Castle Historic Site. These 209 acres were part of the property owned by Arthur Smith IV, who founded the town in 1750.
Operating out of Windsor Castle Park & other locations in Isle of Wight County, Pagan River Outfitters provides kayak rentals, tours and instruction at Windsor Castle Park and from several locations in Isle of Wight County.
The Blackwater River:
The Blackwater River that runs through Isle of Wight County has recently achieved Scenic River designated status by the State of Virginia. The BNRP (Blackwater Nottaway Riverkeeper Program) is an award-winning program offering Eco-Cruises on the rivers for a first hand educational experience. Spend the day paddling through tupelo and bald cypress with Riverkeeper, Jeff Turner. For further information or to book an Eco-Cruise visit www.blackwaternottoway.com.
Our unique birding location - at the southern end of the northern nesting birds range and at the northern end of the southern range - make it ideal for wildlife observation opportunities. Great birding spots in Smithfield & Isle of Wight include: Fort Boykin Historic Park, Ragged Island Wildlife Management Area, Cypress Springs Farm and Carrollton Nike Park - all of which are listed on the "Tidewater Loop" of the Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail.
All of the area’s many parks are open year-round and offer ample free parking and many amenities such as picnic areas, walking trails and clean facilities.
But what really makes the area special is that after your outdoor adventure, you can simply relax and take in the delights of shopping & dining in downtown Smithfield. Stop by the Visitor Center - also home to the Arts Center @ 319 - offering tourist information, a gallery/gift shop & the chance to chat with resident artists. Be sure to pick up a map and brochure on the town's Porcine Parade - eight life-size statues of market hogs, painted by local artists to reflect an aspect of the town’s rich history, culture & recreation. Also ask for a Passport to Savings discount card for area merchants and our Children's Coloring & Activity Book which offers a scavenger hunt through town shops, restaurants and attractions to win a free ice cream cone or Ringo's donut!
Or visit one of our many historic sites, including the Isle of Wight County Museum, Schoolhouse Museum, Historic St. Luke’s Church, the Old Courthouse of 1750, Boykin’s Tavern and Historic Fort Huger.
Looking for an elegant B&B, or beautiful waterfront setting? You'll find comfortable and distinctly different accommodations to choose from in this eco-friendly community. Camping facilities are also available!
Smithfield & Isle of Wight CVB Staff:
Judy Hare Winslow, Director of Tourism
Lois Chapman Tokarz, Marketing & Public Relations Manager
Terry Rhinier, Event Coordinator
Deborah Marshall, Visitor Center Manager
Kathy Mountjoy, Group Tour Coordinator
Cheryl Ketcham, Farmer's Market Manager