Planning a tour of the Stone Churches
The purpose of this page is to provide essential planning information for laying out a tour that meets your objectives and time available. I have attempted to assemble as much information and to present it with as much accuracy as I can.

Included in this summary are estimates of milage and travel times between points of interest in a trip to visit the six stone faced churches.

Shown in the website and on the maps is the Indian Valley Church which was founded by Rev. Bob Childress but it is not a stone faced church, has no cemetery or other interesting features. It is, like all the rest of the churches except Dinwiddie, locked so offers little to make a trip that far off the beaten path to see it worth the time if time is an essential element of your tour.

I have included a list of things that may be of interest to those touring around the area such as Mabry Mill and Nancy's Candy Factory.

I have made a detailed tour of the area trying to map the locations of all restroom facilities and food outlets along the routes between Churches. I hope I have been successful in that effort. If I find resources have been missed I will update the map and website. Please let me know if you find resources you consider worth listing that I have missed. I will update the website immediately upon receiving such information. My goal is to have the site meet the needs of all who wish to visit the churches.

The areas associated with the Blue Ridge Parkway may be subject to the "Season" meaning May through October. Maybry Mill and some of the park facilities along the Parkway are closed for the "Off Season" and available only during the "Season".

Time and distances between Churches

Dinwiddie Church to Willis Church 22 miles (32 minutes)
Willis Church to the town of Floyd 11 miles (16 minutes)
Willis Church to Buffalo Mountain Church 6.5 miles (13 minutes)
Buffalo Mountain Church to Blue Ridge Parkway 7.8 miles (22 minutes)
Blue Ridge Parkway @ Route 758 to Slate Mountain Church 4 miles (6 minutes)
Slate Mountain Church to Mayberry Church 3 miles (6 minutes)
Mayberry Church to Bluemont Church 12 miles (16 minutes)
Floyd to Tuggle Gap 6 miles (10 minutes)
Tuggle Gap to Maybry Mill 11 miles (14 minutes)

The above distances and times should provide enough information to look at the map and the above data and plan out a route that will get you to the most Churches you will be able to get to in the time you have available. I began with Dinwiddie Church thinking that those from outside the area are most likely to approach the area from I-81 and I-77 from the north or on I-77 from the south. If you chose Route 8 you will begin from Floyd instead of Hillsville. I believe there is enough information provided to get a fairly clear picture of what you can do with the time available and what routes look most effecient for you.

Points of interest in the area

Mabry Mill
Located near Mile Marker (mm) 176 on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers beautiful views of the Mill itself and many displays of days gone by. It is a self guided tour around the grounds to view the various displays.

The Visitor Center offers a very nice restaurant, gift shop and restrooms. There is usually a bit of a wait for a table in the restaurant. The Visitor Center is only open during the ‘Season' (May through October). However, the grounds are open for visitation year round except when the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed due to snow.

There are restrooms in a large concrete block facility in the Overflow Parking lot in back of the main Mabry Mill complex. Busses will have to park in the Overflow parking lot.

If time permits inclusion of a visit to Mabry Mill it is worth the time. It is along the way between Mayberry Church and Slate Mountain Church and near Meadows of Dan.

Meadows of Dan between Mile Markers 177 and Mile Marker 178
Restaurant and restroom and gas facilities are available in Meadows of Dan.
Of particular note is Nancy's Candy Company. If time permits, this is well worth the slight diversion from the Parkway and the Churches. All candy is made on site and the selection has to be seen to be believed. They also make candy suitable for Diabetics! That makes them heros in my book! I can never visit without buying something.

Picnic Areas with restroom facilities on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the vicinity of the Churches are:

Rocky Knob Picnic Area located at Mile Marker 169 with restroom facilities open during the ‘Season' (May through October)

Groung Hog Picnic Area located near Mile Marker 188 with restroom facilities open during the ‘Season' (May through October)

Tuggle Gap at Mile Marker (mm) 165 has a restaurant and restroom facilities as well as gas. They serve very good food, good service and have an open patio. There is plenty of parking room for busses.

Floyd has several offerings worth looking into if time permits.

Jacksonville Center for the Arts located just south of the center of town on Highway 8 is in an old barn which has been rebuilt inside to provide very nice galleries and small shops for artisans as well as a gift shop and restroom facilities.

Harvest Moon (Over the Moon is located on the second floor) is located just north of the center of Floyd on Highway 8. It offers very a very nice art gallery and snack bar upstairs. Down stairs they offer all kinds of hard to find foods and spices.

Floyd Country Store located on Highway 8 just south of the traffic light at the center of Floyd. they offer good food, lots of shopping for just about anything and live music on the weekend evenings (Bluegrass is included, of course).

 

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