|Community Profile for Bedford, VA|
|Community Profile Description|
Bedford, Virginia, has a good mix of industry, commerce and agriculture, ensuring a strong, diversified economy and a positive business climate. Bedford's political atmosphere is stable, the tax rates favorable, the school system excellent, and the quality of life outstanding. A good labor environment exists, providing availability at reasonable costs, and a strong work ethic results in high productivity and low turnover.
The Bedford area abounds with natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities offering residents and visitors a pleasant environment to live, work, and play. Bedford County's size is 754 square miles.
Bedford is the site for the World War II National D-Day Memorial, which is located at the intersection of US 460 and Rt. 122. Bedford was chosen because of its distinction as the community that sustained the highest per capita loss of lives during the Normandy invasion.
The Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic highway extending 470 miles along the crest of the Southern Appalachian mountains, attracts thousands of visitors each year. The Parkway offers a natural vacation with breathtaking scenery, hiking on the historic Appalachian Trail, camping and picnic facilities. The Peaks of Otter, twin peaks rising to 4,200 feet, comprise 40 miles of the parkway. The Washington-Jefferson National Forest provides a wilderness area along with hunting, fishing, horseback, biking and hiking trails.
Smith Mountain Lake, a 23,000 acre man-made lake with over 500 miles of shoreline, offers unlimited water sports. Smith Mountain Lake State Park provides a public beach, boat ramps, camping, hiking, and picnic facilities.
Bedford County enjoys a rich historic heritage, and hundreds visit the area to view its many historic sites. One of the most famous of these sites is Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest in nearby Forest, VA. It is a retreat home designed and built by Jefferson. Poplar Forest is an octagonal home that is open for tours April-November.
A self-guided walking tour of Bedford's historic Centertown district features structures built from 1880-90. Bedford's Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Bedford is home to a number of other attractions including The Sedalia Center, a private non-profit educational and cultural center; Holy Land USA, a replica of the Holy Land in Israel; Emerson Creek Pottery, a factory outlet of hand-made pottery.
Liberty Lake Park, a 59 acre public park, is an area hub of recreational activities and provides a broad range of outdoor activities, including a handicapped accessible hiking trail.