The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Heart of the Blue Ridge

A Quick Reference Guide To Southwest Virginia

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1992

Issue: March, 1992

(In Alphabetical Order By County)

Every single county has magnificently beautiful scenery! There are also many National and State Historical Landmarks for history buffs. For the outdoor enthusiast, there is hiking, fishing, swimming, camping, tennis, great golf courses, national bike routes, plus baseball, basketball and football games in season. For culture, there is art, crafts, and theater. The accommodations range from first rate luxury to motels to rustic cabins. Our restaurants serve everything from gourmet to country cooking. There are festivals practically every season of the year. The following doesn't begin to list everything there is to see and do in each county, but each ends with an address where you can write for more complete information including accommodations and restaurants. Many of the towns and counties have printed a walking or driving tour of their area to enhance your visit.

The 19 counties of Southwest Virginia.The 19 counties of Southwest Virginia.

Bland - Jefferson National Forest - Hunting, Fishing, Hiking, Camping, Llama Treks, Big Walker Lookout. Wytheville-Wythe-Bland Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 563, Wytheville, VA 24382. 703-228-3211.

Buchanan - Coke Ovens. Breaks Interstate Park, white water rafting. Buchanan County Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 672, Grundy, VA 24614. 703-935-4147.

Carroll - New River Trail State Park, Sidna Allen House, Historic Hillsville Courthouse, Soon to be open State Farmers Market, Blue Ridge Parkway, Orchard produce outlets in Cana, Labor Day (and Memorial Day) Gun Show and Flea Market in Hillsville. Galax-Carroll-Grayson Chamber of Commerce, 405 N. Main Street, Galax, VA 24333. 703- 236-2184.

Dickenson - Flannigan Reservoir & Dam, White Water Rafting, canoeing, Cumberland Museum. Dickenson County Chamber of Commerce, Box 1068, Clintwood, VA 24228. 703-926-4328.

Floyd - Mabry Mill, County Records - World's Largest Supplier of Bluegrass & Old Time Music, Cockram's General Store Friday Nite Jamboree, Christmas Tree Farm tours, Winery, Blue Ridge Parkway. Floyd County Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 510, Floyd, VA 24091.

Franklin - Smith Mountain Lake, Blue Ridge Institute Farm Museum at Ferrum College, Blue Ridge Parkway, Booker T. Washington National Monument, Blue Ridge Folklife Festival. Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 158, Rocky Mount, VA 24151. 703-483-9542.

Giles - New River, Appalachian Trail, hunting, fishing, camping, Mountain Lake Resort where the movie "Dirty Dancing" was filmed, Castle Rock Recreation Area in Jefferson National Forest, two covered bridges, Eggleston Cliffs, Wolf Creek, Andrew Johnson House, Cascades Waterfall. Giles County Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 666, Pearisburg, VA 24134. 703-921-5100.

Grayson - Old Time Fiddler's Convention in Galax, Fries Saturday Nite Square Dance, New River Trail State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Grayson Highlands State Park, Whitetop Mountain annual molasses, ramp and maple syrup festivals, Jeff Matthews Museum, Rooftop of Virginia handmade craft outlet. Galax-Carroll-Grayson Chamber of Commerce, 405 N. Main Street, Galax, VA 24333. 703-236-2184.

Lee - Cumberland Gap National Park, Jefferson National Forest. Lee County Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 417, Pennington Gap, VA 24277. 703-346-2691.

Montgomery - Virginia Tech, Smithfield Plantation, Christiansburg Depot Museum, Montgomery Museum, Appalachian Trail, Natural History Museum. Christiansburg/Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, 106 W. Main Street, Christiansburg, VA 24073. 703-382-4251.

Patrick - Blue Ridge Parkway, 1892 Mayberry Trading Post, Lovers Leap Wayside Park, Fairy Stone State Park, Reynolds Homestead, J.E.B. Stuart Birthplace. Patrick County Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 577, Stuart, VA 24171. 703-694-6012.

Pulaski - Historic Newbern, Wilderness Road Regional Museum, PJ's Carousel Factory and Outlet, Claytor Lake State Park, Long Way Home Outdoor Drama, Pulaski Braves baseball farm team for Atlanta Braves, Pulaski County Speedway, New River, Radford University, Bisset Park, Riverview Park, Battle of Cloyd's Mountain Reenactment. Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 169, Pulaski, VA 24301. 703-980-1991.

Russell - National Redbud Festival in Honaker, Clinch River, Oldest Standing Courthouse in America. Russell County Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 926, Lebanon, VA 24266. 703-889-8041.

Scott - A.P. Carter Fold at Hiltons, Natural Tunnel State Park, World's Shortest Railroad Tunnel. Scot County Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 609, Gat City, VA 24251. 703-386-6665.

Smyth - Hungry Mother State Park, State Fish Hatchery, Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, School Museum in Atkins, Old Cullop Stone House, Chilhowie Apple Festival, Appalachian Trail, Jefferson National Forest, Knitting Mill Outlet Stores, Saltville Salt Mine Exhibit. Smyth County Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 924, Marion, VA 24354.703-783-3161.

Tazewell - Historic Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park, Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine, Bluefield College, Abbs Valley, Coal Mining Operations, Burke's Garden. Tazewell County Chamber of Commerce, Box 6, Tazewell, VA 24651.703-988-5091.

Washington - Barter Theater, Martha Washington Inn, Dixie Pottery, Virginia Creeper Trail, Appalachian Trail, Emory & Henry College, White's Mill, Southern Highlands Handicraft Outlet, Abingdon Weavers, The Tavern Restaurant - oldest standing building in Abingdon, One half of the town of Bristol - One side of Main Street is in Virginia, the other is in Tennessee, Virginia Highlands Festival, Burley Tobacco Festival. Washington County Chamber of Commerce, 304 Depot Street, Abingdon, VA 24210. 703- 628-8141. The Bristol Visitors & Convention Council, PO Box 519, Bristol, VA 24203. 615 968-4399.

Wise - John Fox Jr. Museum, Southwest Virginia State Museum, Harry Meader Coal Museum, Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama, June Tolliver House (all of above in Big Stone Gap), Dock Boggs Mountain Music Festival. Wise County Chamber of Commerce, Park Avenue, Norton, VA 24273. 703-679-0961.

Wythe - Rock House Museum, Reed Creek Mill (a working mill where you can buy fresh ground cornmeal), State Fish Hatchery, Jefferson National Forest, campgrounds, Carter Wayside Picnicking Park, New River, Shot Tower State Park, New River Trail State Park, Factory Merchants Outlet Mall, Big Walker Lookout, Chautauqua Festival. Wytheville-Wythe-Bland Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 563, Wytheville, VA 24382. 703-228-3211.