If you’re in the area of VA Tech (Blacksburg, VA), UVA (Charlottesville, VA), or Roanoke, VA and want to escape from the pressures of the outside world, then take a short drive over the mountain to the little town of New Castle, VA. With a population of 214, New Castle is the only town in all of Craig County, VA. (Craig County ) But what it lacks in quantity of people, it more than makes up in quality!
A Friendly Wave
When you drive into this little town, one of the things you’ll notice is everyone throws up their hand and smiles as you go by. This is truly a place where time seems to have paused for a rest. Being the only town in the county means the courthouse resides along Main Street, complete with a statue of a confederate soldier standing at rest in its front lawn and inscribed “To the Confederate Soldiers of Craig County”. Having stopped to chat with some of the locals at the courthouse, I asked about the crime rate. “Let’s put it this way…”one older man said, “The courtrooms in there don’t see much action. Here in New Castle we have the highest per capita concealed weapons permits in the state of Virginia. So everybody tends not to cause any trouble!” he said with a laugh. I later checked out his statistic and he was 100% accurate!
Outdoor Activities Abound
There are small businesses through New Castle but a stop at the local hardware/farm supply store was obviously the true hub of the town. The topic of discussion as I listened from the side had a definite lean towards hunting and fishing stories. With some of the most beautiful streams and woodlands I’ve ever seen, it’s easy to see why most people visiting New Castle come for the numerous outdoor activities available. Fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking…the list goes on and on. Just be sure to get the proper licenses before you start, and avoid trespassing on private property. But with the acreage of public forest/land available, it shouldn’t be a problem!
An Unexpected Surprise
While talking to the locals in the hardware store, one place I was told to be sure and visit was the airport. Thinking I was being kidded, I played along but soon learned there WAS an airport in New Castle…a glider-plane airport! I left to investigate and soon found it. If you’ve never seen glider-planes, they are sheer beauty to behold in flight. Towed into the air by a small motorized plane with a cable attached, the tow chain is released at the right moment and the glider soars like a hawk in wind currents. I stood mesmerized watching them glide against a stunning autumn sky. It was at this point I realized I wanted to return to this paradise in the mountains of Virginia. There was still so much to experience in this little town. I couldn’t wait to return…and next time I would definitely stay longer!