Bath County visitors’ gazebo gets makeover
Hot Springs, Va. – The Bath County visitors’ gazebo at the intersection of Routes 39 and 220 is undergoing some changes. The gazebo is going to be spruced up thanks to a grant awarded to Bath’s Office of Tourism earlier this year. Maggie Anderson is Bath County’s Director of Tourism.
“If you’ve noticed, the framed pictures are gone, the sign is down and it looks like just a poor abandoned building, but in fact it is in the beginning stages of renovation and updating,” says Anderson.
The framed pictures that were in the gazebo are being replaced by fiberglass panels with embedded images, which will be able to withstand weather. And the grant is also providing the means to make other tourism related updates in the area.
“We devised a plan, whereby we working with the Forest Service, are able to put in some interpretive signs at Bolar and Hidden Valley and update some of the trail signs that we have,” says Anderson. “And turn the visitors’ center into something more than just a giant brochure holder with some pictures. We are with the help of The Nature Conservancy creating some informative panels about the rivers, forests and caves, with some beautiful pictures, and then updated the information and the photos that are going to be installed on the panels that exist there now. Since it is the entry point for so many people into Bath County we wanted it to be something that provided not only information about what to do and see here, but a little bit about the natural beauty they’re going to experience while they are here.”
Anderson is also excited about the development of an artisan trail for the area.
Bath is in a partnership called Virginia’s Western Highlands along with Craig, Highland and Alleghany Counties. The partnership’s biggest collaboration so far is the Western Highland Artisan Trail.
“It’s a marketing tool that allows us to capitalize on all of the attributes in the four county area,” says Anderson. “So that when somebody is visiting Highland and they think about wanting to take a drive, they drive to Bath rather than to the Staunton area. So it allows us to cross market our assets.”
The artisan trail was developed as a complete package targeted to this particular interest group. In addition to artisans, there are restaurants, lodging and points of interest included in the new brochure and on the website. The website is artisantrailnetwork.org.
“What this does is it links all of our specialty crafts people and artisans through the four county area into an itinerary based trail,” says Anderson. “So that if I’m driving in Highland and I’ve visited all the artisans there I can then come down to Bath and see all of our artisans and so on.”
For more information about improvements to the Bath visitors gazebo and the Virginia’s Western Highland Artisan Trail, contact Maggie Anderson at 540-839-7202.