Many traditional American communities are being swept away by suburban sprawl. The towns and villages along Route 50 in the Virginia Blue Ridge foothills have remained virtually unspoiled, but now the threat of sprawl development is looming larger than ever. In order to preserve the surrounding agricultural area for future generations, local citizens' groups and individuals have forged an alliance to protect Route 50 from added lanes and bypasses that invite suburbanization.
The Red Fox Inn in Middleburg is a famous landmark.
The value of this area -- with its scenic, quiet, natural settings -- is far greater now than any new development could hope to achieve.
A Valuable History
Rural Route 50 is a significant historic transportation corridor, dating from the 1700s when travelers on horseback, in wagons, and in carriages made the journey from Washington to Winchester. The small agricultural settlements along its path provided lodging and provisions for travelers and commerce centers for local farmers. Route 50 was an important travel route during the Civil War and the stage of significant battles and skirmishes.
In addition to the traditional farm landscape, most of the buildings along The John Mosby Highway from Mt. Zion Church to Paris -- houses, shops, mills, and inns -- are 18th and 19th century architecture that has survived, now inhabited by families and prospering businesses.
A Home to Agricultural Communities
The towns and villages along Route 50 are self-sustaining communities where people live and work and where agriculture is still the leading industry. Some residents commute and telecommute, but many make their living
in the towns and on surrounding farms at jobs of all types, including publishing, high technology, consulting, and the professions.
The equine industry employs thousands of people as trainers, riders, grooms and farm managers. The local residents depend on the towns for groceries, a post office, hardware, and other supplies. With local people earning and spending their wages in the community, a truly sustainable economy is maintained. The villages and farms survive economically because the main travelway passes through the towns, keeping the center alive and the surrounding farmland unharmed.
Rural Route 50 connects small agricultural and historic communities that support people and businesses and are an important part of daily life to many others.
Local and International Tourism Value
"Christmas in Middleburg" parade on Route 50.
The Blue Ridge landscape, the peaceful country roads, local wineries, antique shops, inns, and farms surrounding The John Mosby Highway offer a unique touring experience, including local wine festivals, stable tours, and garden tours.
Visitors come from a wide range of origins: residents from the city and inner suburbs who want to get away for a day, vacationing families from all over the US who want to immerse themselves in real history, and visitors from other countries who come to enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the Virginia countryside.
The area is known for its abundant natural resources -- wildlife, stream valleys, mountains -- and its rich cultural heritage. Rather than displaying historic facades and people in costume, Route 50 connects the authentic communities that today's tourists --- and American families -- are seeking.
Founding Member Organizations
The work of The Route 50 Corridor Coalition is endorsed by the following national organizations:
Learn How You Can Help!
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