Appalachian Voices and Ecotourism in Southwest Virginia

Appalachian Voices and Ecotourism in Southwest Virginia

What is ecotourism you might ask?


tourism directed toward exotic, often threatened, natural environments, intended to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife. In this episode, we had the opportunity to speak with guest Austin Counts from Appalachian Voices. Appalachian Voices is an organization located in Southwest Virginia that aims to reclaim abandoned lands within the region. Their goal is to claim these lands which were once used for things such as mining and turn them into clean and natural habitats once again.

They take the time to make these areas clean, safe, and presentable for locals and SWVA visitors alike. These areas once left abandoned and isolated became used for hiking and biking trails, fishing spots, and much more.

It’s a great thing that Austin and Appalachian Voices are doing. Aside from reclaiming and repurposing lands, the group also helps to educate others on how we might preserve our lands. Sticking to trails, keeping things neat and tidy, and not littering are just a few examples.

If you would like to find out more about Appalachian Voices and the current projects they are working, please feel free to visit their website at:

I would like to welcome everyone to Season two of the Stories from Southwest Virginia podcast. I really enjoyed everyone I got to meet and speak within season one. During season one we focused on the arts and music of the SWVA region, while here in season two we are going to be looking at the outdoor beauty and recreation of the region.

If you would like to be on an episode of the podcast, please feel free to reach out and email me at:

To find out more about the Stories from Southwest Virginia podcast, please visit our website at: