Located in the nearby town of Ferrum, the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum is uniquely dedicated to preserving the folk heritage of the Blue Ridge region through exhibits, publications, and interactive events available to visitors. If you’re for what to do at Smith Mountain Lake, learn more below about this fun and informative attraction near Smith Mountain Lake!
What to do at Smith Mountain Lake? Dive into the Engaging Folklife of the Blue Ridge Mountains
Since the 1970s, the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum—an outlet of Ferrum College—has worked to document, interpret, and showcase the heritage of the Blue Ridge region and the people who live there.
From the exhibits at its on-site museum to living history sessions on an authentic 1800s Blue Ridge farmstead, to the enormously popular Blue Ridge Folklife Festival that the institution has put on for over four decades, the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum is a fantastic place to visit to gain more insight into the culture of western Virginia and Appalachia while having a great time.
The Blue Ridge Institute and Museum is also part of the Virginia Heritage Music Trail, also known as the Crooked Road. The archives on-site contain recordings of Virginia folk music spanning over the course of nearly a century, as well as photographs and documents related to the lives of the people in this unique region.
The Blue Ridge Folklife Festival takes place on the last Saturday of October each year and includes folk games, storytelling, moonshine sampling, live Blue Ridge roots music, traditional crafts, vintage cars and tractors, and contests related to horse pulling, animal showing, log skidding, and more.
Blue Ridge Institute’s museum galleries are self-guided and open year-round, with free admission. During the fall, winter, and spring seasons, the museum is open on Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm. During the summer season from mid-May to mid-August, the museum is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Monday through Saturday and on Sundays from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.
The Farm Museum at Blue Ridge Institute is open seasonally and has varying prices for admission depending on the program. Walk-in visitors can attend the Farm Museum on the weekends from May 6th through Labor Day weekend, with hours from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Saturdays and 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Sundays. Tours for groups of eight or more people can be reserved on any day between April and October.
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For additional details on the Blue Ridge Institute and other fascinating attractions and things to do in the Smith Mountain Lake area, contact our reservations team and ask about booking your accommodations through us today!