Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Staycations: Great places to hike in Fauquier County

Sometimes, a traditional vacation just doesn't fit into your summer. Perhaps you're too busy at work, or it just isn't in the family budget. Regardless of the reason, if an out of town (or out of state) trip isn't part of your summer plans, there are lots of options close to home. 

In this, the first in a three-part series of "Staycation" ideas and information, we look at some great local options for hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, all within the state of Virginia. 

Sky Meadow State Park, Delaplane, VA 
Fauquier County is blessed to be near several access points to the Appalachian Trail. For a great place to relax, picnic, and enjoy wonderful views of Fauquier County, consider a visit to Sky Meadows State Park. Sky Meadows offers hiking trails at various levels. It is a popular destination and is well frequented on the weekends, so plan your trip accordingly. Also note there is a modest entrance fee. 

Other, more rustic access points to the Appalachian Trail are also nearby. You can access it near Linden, off Route 55 on Tuckers Lane. There you will find a parking lot on the right just as you drive under Route 66. Pack a snack or lunch and hike as far as you want, rest, then hike back. Because it is rarely crowded and has several small streams, it is a good trail to bring along the family dog. Trail access is free. 

Another nearby Appalachian Trail access point is off Route 66 in Markham, off the Route 688 North exit. The trails leads you to the George Thompson Wildlife Management area. Hikers can leave their car at the nearby parking lot and spend the day exploring. Trail access is free at this location as well. 

Have you ever heard of Wildcat Mountain? It is a local hidden gem and offers beautiful scenery, a labyrinth of trails to choose from and is well known for offering solitude to hikers. 

Bull Run Mountain, Broad Run, VA 
A more well-known hiking destination is Bull Run Mountain Conservatory in Broad Run. While the trails vary in length, if you plan to go to the top and enjoy the beautiful views, plan for a three- to four-hour trip and bring water and a snack. Because it is well-known, it may be crowded on the weekends. 

If you are looking for a challenge, Old Rag Mountain is the place to hike. This will take most of the day; start out early to take advantage of cooler morning temperatures and plenty of time to fully explore. 

If you preference is a leisurely stroll or walk, visit nearby Rady Park in Warrenton, or the Northern Fauquier Community Park in Marshall. Both offer paved walkways and picnic areas. 

Numerous resources to learn more about these and other staycation hiking locations are available in our collection:
Guide to State Parks of the United States
Enjoying Virginia Outdoors: A Guide to Wildlife Management Areas
Hikes in the Virginias: Virginia, West Virginia
Virginia: An Atlas of Virginia's Great Hiking Adventures
Fauquier-Warrenton destinations plan: bicycle and pedestrian plan

Before you head out the door, stop by any Fauquier County Public Library location and pick up "Flat Ernie" - take him with you, snap a photo, then send your photo to us at or drop your photo off at one of our locations - we will post it on our Flat Ernie display. It's a great way to share your adventures with other library patrons, and we'd love to see where you and Flat Ernie go this summer - near or far! 

Regardless of where your summer vacation takes you, happy trails! 

Congratulations to our Fiction Friday winners

Thank you to everyone who has participated in our First Fiction Friday contest.

We are pleased to see so many folks participating and hope you will keep "Liking" and following us on Facebook. Remember, a new drawing starts each week, so come back often to be re-entered for another chance to win a gently used fiction book.

Here is a list of the winners: 
Week 1:  Jennifer Brown Hebert

Week 2: Angie Barbour Arnold

Week 3: Melissa Layton

Week 4: Tony Yowell

Week 5:  Julie Wasson Ponn

Week 6: Kathleen Newberg & Linda Burton

Week 7: Melanie Campbell Rightmyer

Week 8: Amber Kiffney 

For details on how to enter and where to claim your prizes, click here

Congratulations again to our winners and thanks for entering! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Calling all superheroes

Superhero: a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers. 

Sound like a child you know? Grab your young superhero and head to the Fauquier County Public Library Friday, June 21 for Superhero Stories and More. 

Children are encouraged to don their favorite superhero costume, or create their own unique superhero costume, and join us for a morning of stories filled with courageous deeds and fun crafts.

Iconic Superheros 
With the latest superman movie now on the big screen, it's a great time to look back at the superheroes we parents grew up with.  I was partial to Wonder Woman, but grew weak-kneed when the capped crusader, Batman, swooped in to save the day.  Like many superheroes, he gained fame through comic books, originating in the 1930's and 1940's. From those modest beginnings grew legends, which were updated, turned into television shows, or vaulted to the big screen.

It has been said that every superhero gives us a chance at redemption, while the comic book villain provides a look at our own flaws. Perhaps that is true. Or perhaps it as simple as giving children a thrill and the hope that they too, through good deeds, can gain fame, if only in their own backyard.

Superhero Stories and More is part of our Summer Reading Program - one of many programs offered this summer free of charge. It is offered at all library locations. To learn more about other summer reading programs, visit the library website.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fiction Friday comes to Fauquier County Public Library

Join us for Fiction Friday!
Fiction Friday starts now! 
What is it?
Fiction Friday is your chance to win a very gently used fiction book.

When does it start? 
Now! Our first winner will be announced on Friday, June 14, 2013. You can enter at any time.

How do you enter? 
It's easy... "Like" us on Facebook and you are automatically entered. If you already "Like" us, just share one of our posts - it's that simple.

What is the prize? 
Well, we are a library, and we have LOTS of books, so yes, a book is the prize. Each weekly winner can choose from a variety of very gently used fiction books.

How many winners will there be? 
One winner will be randomly selected each week, all summer long. The last drawing will be Friday, Aug. 30, 2013.

How do you know if you win? 
We will post the Fiction Friday winners each Friday at 2 p.m. on our Facebook page.

Where do you pick up your book if you win? 
Selections will be available at all three Fauquier County Public Library locations - you can pick up your book at the location that is most convenient for you.

Can I enter more than once? 
You can only enter once per week, but you can enter for the new drawing each week.
Already liked us on Facebook? Check out what we post each week and "share" posts with your friends. We always have new information about library events, book reviews, fun facts, trivia and more - a little something for everyone! Keep sharing our posts to be entered into a new drawing each week.

The fine print
You knew there had to be a catch, right?
You must be 16 years of age or older to enter.
Books must be picked up by the winner at one of the three Fauquier County library locations. No prizes will be mailed to winners.
By entering, contestants acknowledge that their name may appear in Fauquier County Public Library promotions, as well as on our Facebook page.

Good luck!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Yarn Bombing coming to a library near you!

Say what? Yes, that’s right…. A “yarn bombing” is coming to the John Marshall and Warrenton libraries. No need to run for cover. It’s perfectly safe.

The John Marshall Library’s Books ‘n Stitchers will pull up their chairs and knitting needles on Tuesday, June 11 at the John Marshal and Warrenton libraries to celebrate World Wide Knit in Public Week.

In anticipation, Virginia (the beloved bronze statue that overlooks the Warrenton Library Garden) is decked out in lovely knitted cape and cap she will be sporting all week, and the poles near the front door of the John Marshall library have been ‘yarn bombed’ as well.

Knit in Public week is the largest knitter run event in the world. Each local event is put together by volunteers. Knit in Public Day is about showing that knitting can be a community activity in a very distinct way. 

You don't have to be a member of the Book 'n Stitchers to join in; all interested knitters are welcome - from novice to expert. Not a knitter? Stop by and say hello and admire the beautiful craftwork being created. 

Of course, if you are interested in learning more, you can pull up a chair and join in - or stroll into the library - we have a book on that! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Celebrate National Garden Club Week

Cedar Run Garden Club Display, Warrenton Library
Cedar Run Garden Club Celebrates National Garden Club Week with displays at Fauquier County Public Library
The Cedar Run Garden Club, which skillfully and lovingly maintains the charming garden at the Warrenton Library year-round, brought their skill and craft inside this week to commemorate National Garden Club Week 2013 (June 2 – 8) with numerous displays for children and adults.
The displays can be found throughout the library, including the children’s room, vestibule, reference desk, and window ledges.  
The Cedar Run Garden Club was founded in 1950 and was formally accepted to the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs the following year. It has hosted a number of flower shows and home and garden tours. The group regularly hosts programs on many aspects of gardening, such as using native plants, gardening for wildlife, floral arranging, and winterizing your garden. 
In addition, they provide ongoing care for the Warrenton Library garden, and have also worked with area teens on projects at the Bealeton Library, including a recent day of planting with members of the Bealeton Library teen advisory group this spring. 
If you are looking for gardening ideas or tips, The Fauquier County Public Library has many resources available. 
For additional inspiration, check out the Cedar Run Garden Club displays throughout the library through June 8, 2013. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Do you dig reading?

The 2013 Summer Reading Program is here!  

With only a handful of school days left, parents are thinking about how to keep their children actively reading over the summer; kids are thinking about sleeping in, spending time with friends and, well relaxing.

So how do you get your kids motivated to read throughout the summer months? There are certainly many important reasons to encourage your children to remain an active reader once the school year ends:

  • Children who read over the summer experience less academic "backslide" than children that do not engage in summer reading; 
  • Summer reading can help foster a life-long love of reading. 
While those reasons and benefits may motivate parents, children may need additional encouragement. 
  • Summer reading programs help kids connect with others who have similar interests - over 1,700 children were part of the 2012 summer reading program; 
  • Summer reading programs go well beyond "books" - with events, programs and activities that are engaging and fun; 
  • Kids earn cool prizes and the chance to spin the prize wheel for fun stuff! 
The summer reading program offers something for children of all ages: Dig into Reading is the program for children up to grade 5; children in grades 6 or higher can Go Beneath the Surface

Okay, so now you and your children are motivated to get started.  What next?  It's easy. Stop by any Fauquier County Public Library location to register; you can also register online

Perhaps the best way to get your children interested in the program is to show them that reading is fun - so join our adult summer reading program - Beach Read Bingo! Stop by any library locations and pick up your bingo card to join in the fun. 

Stay informed on all the activities and programs during the summer reading program by watching our online calendar of events; you can also follow us on facebook for up-to-the-minute updates and fun summer reading program info. 

We look forward to seeing you this summer!