The best ice cream in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains can be found in a historic railroad caboose by The New River in Fries, VA. Sweet Lily’s, named in honor of the proprietor’s granddaughter, serves up classic ice cream shop items such as hot fudge sundaes and banana splits. However, their signature sundae, which consists of chocolate ice cream, brownie, nuts, waffle cone, pineapple, caramel, chocolate, blueberry, blackberry, whipped cream, and a cherry, is a customer favorite.
Special features offered by Sweet Lily’s include hosting opportunities for small birthday parties, tasting parties, and a monthly ice cream social offering all-you-can-eat sweet treats for a flat fee. Sweet Lily’s also serves regular and decaf coffee, teas, slushies, and lemonade.
Sweet Lily’s is located at 321 Firehouse Drive, Fries, VA 24330. Their hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Winding its way through the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, The Blue Ridge Parkway offers visitors breathtaking views. The Blue Ridge Mountains, famous for their bluish color when seen from a distance, are a nature photographer’s paradise. Mabry Mill, located at mile 176.1, is one of the most photographed spots on the parkway.
Grayson Highlands State Park
Located in the Jefferson National Forest and near the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, Grayson Highlands State Park offers stunning mountain views and many hiking trails to explore. The park’s most popular residents, a heard of wild ponies, provide plenty of photo opportunities.
The New River, which is actually an ancient river, flows generally northeastward across the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Whether you choose to bike or hike the New River Trail or spend a lazy day boating on the New, you’ll find yourself surrounded by magnificent scenery. During a float trip a few years ago, I was lucky enough to capture a photo of a black bear club splashing in the river. The historic dam in Fries, Virginia, built in 1901, provides a beautiful backdrop when the red buds are in bloom in the early spring.
New River Outdoor Adventures, located in Galax, VA is the one stop shop for all your outdoor recreational needs! Enjoy some of their scenic floats down the beautiful New River from canoe, kayak, tandem kayak, or river tube. River floats are tailored for the beginner, family, first-time boater, or the experienced thrill-seeker. If biking is your preference, NROA provides great trail bikes for rent so you can cover all 57 miles of the New River Trail. Shuttle service is provided for boats and bikes as well. Delivery service to local vacation rental homes is provided. Many guests at River Mist Retreat have taken advantage of this service. The NROA shop also has lots of merchandise for sale to help make your adventure an enjoyable experience. They’re also a point of sale for Virginia hunting and fishing licenses. Make sure to speak with one of the owners, Tim Dixon, for expert fishing advice and assistance choosing the best bait to catch the “big one!” Tim, a lifelong resident of neighboring Fries, VA has spent his entire life fishing and navigating the New River. For additional information, please visit their website: https://www.newriveroutdooradventures.com/