Keysville is a town in Charlotte County, Virginia. Keysville is named after John Key, who opened a tavern and relay station in the area for the stage line. He received his license to operate the tavern in 1809, and by 1826, the area around his relay station was known as Keysville.
Gold and copper were discovered in the area in the late 1800s, which led to a local boom, though the gold ultimately didn’t amount to much, and the copper mines eventually played out. But at the height of the boom, there were twelve passenger trains bringing tourists to Keysville daily, and the stores stayed open until 10 or 11 pm on the weekends.
In recent times, Keysville has become home to a number of fine shops, a large grocery store, a fast-food chain, a playground, and most recently, a stage for local and nationally-recognized performers. There’s plenty to keep you and the pooch busy in Keysville and the surrounding areas, whether it’s shops, state parks, historic sites, nature sports, or fun activities.
If you’re planning on spending some time in the area and are looking for pet-friendly accommodation, the Days Inn in nearby Farmville welcomes two pets of any size for an additional fee of $20 per pet, per night.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a non-profit organization that is converting disused railway lines all over the country into walking trails. The High Bridge Trail in nearby Farmville is one such trail. A Virginia Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places, High Bridge Trail is 31 miles long and ideally suited for walking with your pooch. This wide, level, and mostly flat trail features a finely crushed limestone surface which makes it an easy ramble. Along the trail, you’ll find the majestic High Bridge, which – at more than 2,400 feet long – is the longest recreational bridge in Virginia and among the longest in the United States. Make sure to bring drinking water as none is available on the trail.
The Staunton River Battlefield Rail-Trail (another converted disused railway line) crosses through Staunton River Battlefield State Park, the scene of a significant battle in Civil War history. As well as the gravel trail which follows an abandoned corridor of the old Richmond and Danville Railroad, there’s also a lot to do and see in the state park itself. The park has two visitor’s centers – one on Native American and railroad history, and the other on the American Civil War – a museum, and a Civil War fort. The Wade Archaeological Site – a Native American village site dating back to A.D. 1000 to 1450 – is also located in the state park.
Just a short drive away from Keysville on the Patrick Henry highway is the Twin Lakes State Park. Situated in the heart of central Virginia, this is 548-acre historic park offers many cultural, environmental, and recreational activities. As the name suggests, there are two large lakes in the state park and all the types of lakefront activities that go along with that, including lakeside walks, hiking, swimming, camping, and fishing. If you’re planning on spending a little time in Twin Lakes State Park, overnight accommodation is available in the 33-site campground that also includes 11 climate-controlled cabins.
Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest is a state forest located in Prince Edward County, Virginia. Virginia's first state forest, at 6,496 acres in size, there’s no shortage of recreational opportunities. Take the pooch on a long ramble along the eight-mile out-and-back trail that takes you through the state forest. The trails are marked by blue blazes painted on trees. There are also various gated trails and forest roads to explore with Fido. Along the way, you’ll get to see oak-hickory forests, stands of Loblolly Pine, and many different forms of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and bobcats.
If you fancy a having a bite to eat somewhere where you can take the pooch along, the Uptown Coffee Cafe in nearby Farmville serves delicious American-style fare. A family-owned and run business, Uptown Cafe has been in operation since 2007. Menu options include breakfast sandwiches, bagels, French toast, soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and more. Try one of their signature sandwiches, such as the Southern Reuben with pastrami, coleslaw, Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing, and sauerkraut on grilled rye bread. They also serve organic coffee and teas, and you and the pooch can enjoy your meal at one of their pet-friendly tables outside.