On the western edge of the Washington, DC metropolitan statistical area that stretches in the Virginia Commonwealth is Clarke County, a community where innovation in technology and economy has not tarnished the county’s strong agricultural and historical heritage. Clarke County is one of the smaller counties in Virginia, with a U.S. Census Bureau reported population of about 15,000, but its character packs a big punch.

Located just 60 minutes west of Washington, DC in the northern Shenandoah Valley, Clarke County is served by Interstate 81 and Washington Dulles International Airport, which is located just one county over in Loudoun County. In addition to ready access to a major highway and airport, the Norfolk-Southern rail line runs through Clarke County, passing through Berryville, Boyce and the Clarke County Business Park. The ease of transit created by these means has been a hallmark for success and growth for the area’s major manufacturing businesses.

Agritourism in Clarke County

Agriculture is an important part of the economy in Clarke County. Farms around the county are responsible for producing and exporting products such as beef, dairy products, specialty fruit and vegetables. With such a diverse agricultural makeup, Clarke County is home to many local businesses, such as wineries, farmers markets and wholesale nurseries, that promote the growing agritourism of the area. This gives area home owners ample opportunities to shop local products and promote small businesses.

There are also a number of highly important horse breeding operations located within Clarke County. These facilities have been known to produce some of the top performers that have competed in everything from Triple Crown races to fox hunting and jumping.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only about 1,185 Clarke County residents work within the community. Many commute to neighboring counties such as Loudoun, Fairfax and Winchester for jobs in technology and government offices. Businesses that are located within the county tend to be smaller, consisting of 50 employees or less. Some of the larger employers situated within Clarke County are Strategic Employer Services, Berryville Graphics and the county’s school board.

Living in Clarke County

The county seat of Clarke County is located in Berryville, an incorporated town of about 3,000 residents. The town features a rich historical district and offers many opportunities for enterprising small business owners.

Clarke County is small enough to feature one public school system, however there are multiple private schools available in the area as well. There are six institutions of higher learning located within 85 miles of Clarke County, including George Mason University, Shenandoah University and the University of Virginia.

One of the largest and most popular events to take place in the area is the Clarke County Fair. Typically held in mid-August, this event is an important tradition to Clarke County home owners. It dates back to 1954 and boasts carnival rides, food vendors, performances, livestock, farm and garden exhibits that showcase just how important agriculture and farming is to the heart of this vibrant community.


Area Demographics

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