Set against a backdrop dripping in natural beauty, Martinsville-Henry County preserves its old-school cool!
An independent city near Virginia’s southern border, Martinsville was founded by Joseph Martin, an American Revolutionary War general and explorer. He developed a plantation along the banks of the Smith River and quickly the town began manufacturing plug chewing tobacco. Over the years Martinsville has underseen several transitions in its industrious endeavors and is renowned for its skillful crafting in furniture and textiles. Furniture Heritage Plaza, located in the city’s Uptown district, honors the deep roots the business has had within the community. Lodging options nearby include stays at the Hampton Inn Martinsville, Comfort Inn and a selection of charming and sophisticated B&B’s.
Notable Recent/Upcoming Events
- NJCAA Division 1 Men’s Soccer National Championships; November 16-21, 2015 at the Smith River Sports Complex
- USA Ultimate Men’s & Women’s Atlantic Coast Regionals; May 2-3, 2020 (have hosted this event each year since 2012) at the Smith River Sports Complex
- PCLA (Piedmont Community Lacrosse Association) LaxFest; May 5, 2018 at the Smith River Sports Complex
- National Guard FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Championships on Philpott Lake in September 2012
CVB/Sports Commissions Services Offered
- Volunteer Staff
- PR/Media Assistance
- Site Visits
- Transportation Assistance
- Lodging Services
- Welcome Bags/Gifts
- Itinerary Development
- Event Planning Assistance
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Smith River Sports Complex
The Smith River Sports Complex features 90 acres of multi-use sports utility. Two synthetic turf fields come equipped with championship bleacher seating for 500 spectators, while the complex also features three fully irrigated Bermuda grass fields. All five fields feature sports lighting. Hiking trails surround the facility, enabling it to host cross country and 5K events. The complex has been the host site for the NJCAA Division I Men’s Soccer National Championships and the Piedmont Community Lacrosse Association Laxfest in the past and hosts the USA Ultimate Men’s and Women’s Atlantic Coast Regionals annually in May.
Sports: Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Ultimate
With 3,200 seats available, Hooker Field is the go-to for the top collegiate baseball in the area. The field espouses both the NJCAA Region X Patrick Henry Community College Patriots and the Martinsville Mustangs of the Coastal Plain League, a wood-bat collegiate summer league. Opened in 1988, the field features fence dimensions of 330 feet down the lines and 402 feet to center field. Former big-leaguers Mike Liberthal, Scott Rolen and Jimmy Rollins all graced this field before they made it to the show. Since 2012 the field has hosted the NCBA DI Regional Championship.
More than 25 miles of water are available to paddlers and motorized watercraft across the 3,000 acre Philpott Lake, making it an ideal location for water sports. The lake is surrounded by 100 miles of pristine shoreline and 7,000 acres of wilderness yield additional opportunities for cycling, hiking and camping. There are also a few golf courses nearby for those hoping to hit the links. In past years the lake has hosted the National Guard FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Championships.
Sports: Boating, Fishing
Spanning 37 acres and with 1,000 seats available, Southside Park is an ideal spot to catch a summer ballgame. Four professionally groomed baseball diamonds (three lit), a concession stand, broadcast facility, restrooms and upgraded playground make this a great option for tournament planners. The park has been a preferred favorite for Nations Baseball and Got Game Fastpitch.
Sports: Baseball, Softball
What is there to do in Martinsville-Henry County?
Virginia Museum of Natural HistoryIf you’re a history buff but learning more about the manufacturing of one of the world’s largest chairs doesn’t pique your interest, head over to the Smithsonian-affiliated Virginia Museum of Natural History. The Hall of Ancient Life combines fascinating displays of ancient creatures seen through the lens of modern science, while Virginia’s natural history is on display in Uncovering Virginia. Or venture to the African savannah to check out some of the region’s most diverse creatures in the Hahn Hall of Biodiversity.
Since 1947, Martinsville has been a haven for NASCAR fans. The Martinsville Speedway is the oldest and shortest track on the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup and Truck Series circuit, and it’s steeped in history and tradition. Not only is the speedway known for being the original NASCAR track, but it’s also known for its beloved Famous Martinsville Speedway Hot Dog! The racetrack will host the Valleystar Credit Union 300 late model stock car race and the First Data 500 Monster Energy series race in October of 2019. If you are looking for a way to switch gears after a day at the races, a quick trip over to Uptown Pinball will provide your gaming fix. After undergoing an expansion in late 2017, the venue now features laser tag and a gaming lounge with PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation VR options readily available. Don’t forget about its arsenal of classic pinball games as you wade throughout the building.
In a city budding with artistic talent, Piedmont Arts is perhaps its crown jewel. The award-winning museum regularly rotates exhibits but always brings in international and regional artists to its galleries, while also offering concerts and children’s performances. In its Studio 107 Gallery, guests should be on the lookout for locally crafted jewelry, artwork and more, available for purchase. The museum is free and open to the public.
Finally, if you’re an outdoors lover, head out to the Smith River Trail System to explore the scenic blueway with 10 river access points and more than 20 miles of greenway. Travel through history as you explore the Smith River through the towns of Bassett, Stanleytown, Fieldale, Martinsville, and Ridgeway, once the heart of furniture and textiles in America. Explore the rock outcrops, rapids, scenery and Native American fish weirs still intact on sections of the river. And if you are up for a challenge, try our new partnership with Virginia Backpacking and compete in the “Dirty Dozen” challenge.
I will say in terms of the amenities, the staff and the field quality that the Smith River Sports Complex is the best field site I’ve used for an event.
– Michelle Ng, Ultimate Tournament Director and co-founder of Without Limits.
How to Get to Martinsville-Henry County
It’s as easy to get to Martinsville-Henry County as it is to get lost in fun there.
By Car: Chances are, you can drive to Martinsville-Henry County in one day. That’s because about 60 percent of Americans live within a day’s drive of the area. Major roads that will get you close to the area include I-81, I-77 and I-74.
By Air: Airports are twice as nice around Martinsville/Henry County. Both Roanoke, Virginia, and Greensboro, North Carolina, have airports that are less than an hour’s drive from the area. Major airlines like American, Delta and United fly in and out of both airports. From there, you’re just a quick drive away from your next sports event venue.
Company Name: Martinsville-Henry County, VA Tourism Office
Sports Sales Manager: Beth Stinnett
Title: Assistant Director of Tourism