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The peaks and valleys of Southwest Virginia embrace the Blue Ridge, Allegheny, and Cumberland mountains in the Appalachian chain, offering numerous opportunities to experience the beautiful sight of waterfalls. Many lie close to the road, allowing easy access, but others require a challenging hike. THE CASCADES It’s easy to understand the popularity of the Cascades in Jefferson National Forest. Several streams, multiple falls, swimming holes, picnic sites, and a four-mile hiking trail present a variety of sensations,...

Featuring a landscape dappled with mammoth swaths of wilderness, laced with free-flowing rivers, and crowned by high peaks—including the loftiest summit in the state, 5,728-foot Mount Rogers—Southwest Virginia is like no place else in the state. For outdoor lovers, this ruggedly wild corner of the state is not to be missed, but the bounty of recreational opportunities can be overwhelming. Luckily, we have the inside scoop from locals in the know—including outdoor outfitters, trail clubs,...

One of the nice things about running is you can do it just about anywhere. Lace-up a pair of running shoes and start exploring. Of course, it helps when the place to explore is surrounded by tree-covered mountains, scenic waterways, and an abundance of trails. Southwest Virginia has just what runners need for an escape from their every-day routes of sidewalks and running paths. This corner of the state is filled with small towns, historic...

Virginia’s spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains were so named because from a distance they appear to be blueish in color. Part of the Appalachian Mountain range, the Blue Ridge Mountains boast the highest mountains in the Commonwealth and five of them are in Southwest Virginia. Mount Rogers, whose summit stretches across the border of Grayson and Smyth Counties, is the highest natural point in Virginia with an elevation of 5,729 feet. The peak is the 19 th highest state point in the...

The picturesque mountainsides of Southwest Virginia are home to a number of well-established wineries, thanks in large part to a good climate for growing grapes, as well as a loamy and gravelly soil with good drainage and stunning elevations. Throughout the region, you’ll find a wide variety of enjoyable wines, ranging from reds and whites to sweet and limited releases. A brief description of each of Southwest Virginia’s offerings follows:   ABINGDON VINEYARDS With more than 20 wines available,...

Virginia, which has a long and fascinating history regarding distilled drinks, produced the first batch of whiskey on American soil way back in 1620. A rich tradition has followed, with numerous distilleries and tasting rooms now open all across the Commonwealth, including several in Southwest Virginia. Each has its own distinct flavor and story, as you’ll see when you visit the following distilleries:   FIVE MILE MOUNTAIN Floyd’s first distillery since prohibition, Five Mile Mountain uses old, traditional recipes utilizing traditional copper stills on...

Southwest Virginia is within a day’s drive of more than half of the United States population, giving plenty of folks the opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful state parks in the country.   At roughly the same size of Rhode Island, scenic Southwest Virginia, which sits among the majestic Appalachian Mountains, covers 19 counties that feature thousands of acres of public land and more outdoor recreational destinations than you can imagine. With a total of...

The route known as the Back of the Dragon has become a top destination for motorcyclists, but any motorists will enjoy the amazing views. Virginia State Parks Sturgis, South Dakota, is what pops into most people’s minds when they think of motorcycle adventures. While this rip roaring party of a motorcycle rally is perhaps the most iconic, it hardly speaks for the lot of ‘em—there are a variety of places and ways to embark on a motorcycle...

The Virginia Creeper Trail is one of the area’s top destinations for cyclists. The scenic path stretches 34 miles from Whitetop Station to Abingdon. Perry Smyre After the grit and grime, the best way to cap off an epic outdoor adventure is with a little well-deserved pampering. Southwest Virginia offers the best of both worlds—it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise brimming with adventure, from mountain-swaddled lakes to wilderness-cloaked trails to cloud-splitting summits with plenty of epicurean delights, engaging...