More 'Local Treasures' Becoming Part of Jefferson Heritage Trail

Poplar Forest and Rebec Vineyards are working with nearly 30 other cultural attractions in the area, and share a lot more than you may think.

If you find yourself headed South on Route 29, pay attention, because the road is riddled with local treasures that you may not know are there.

"There may be estates or farms that are a little ways off the beaten path," said Jim Saunders from Saunders Brothers' Orchard.

They have a local following for sure. But now, they're a part of the Jefferson Heritage Trail, a regional tourism attraction designed to bring new faces, to local places.

"That's what it's all about is bringing new people in, perhaps people that have never been here before," said Saunders.

" I think anytime collectivelypromote this area, this 29 corridor

I think it's a win, win situation for everybody."

In 2012, a group of winery owners came together and created the trail. It spans from Monticello to Poplar Forest, with 28 restaurants, farms, theatres, and wineries dotting the way.

At Lazy Days Winery, they're a part of the trail, and eagerly awaiting the benefits they feel it will produce.

"Amherst County doesn't have a tourism board, and that's what made Lazy Days excited about participating in the Jefferson Heritage Trail," said Heather Hayes the manager at the vineyard.

It's paying off...

"It's great for the people who live here, for the economy, and for the visitors," said a visitor.

The Jefferson Heritage Trail starts at Monticello and spans south to Poplar Forest, with participating wineries, hotels, and restaurants each step of the way. By the end of this year they hope the trail will have more than 30 participating businesses.