Informational Article

Upon entering the Ralph Stanley Museum the first stop is the Crooked Road section.  Here guests find their first introduction to "the Dickenson County sound." This is the unique sound found in the county's hollers and hills. It is derived from its Scotch Irish settlers. This sound was developed over decades of front porch pick'n and song's handed down from generation to generation. One person up the mountain might have had a fiddle. A person down...

 We all know how special the hills of Southwest Virginia and everything within them are. If you’re reading this, you’re most likely well versed in their beauty and uniqueness. From the cascading Appalachian mountains that tumble through the region to the fascinating culture that has grown upon them. You don’t have to look far for plenty of reasons this corner of the world has etched itself into the hearts of so many.  Sitting atop those reasons...

1. Grayson Highlands Bouldering has grades from V0-V12. Great for climbing in the summer when temps stay a little more mild due to high elevation. There are two dedicated trails for bouldering including the Listening Rock Trail as well as the the trail that starts at the Contact Section. There is a Bouldering Guide Book that is available to purchase that has a list of over 300 boulder problems in the area. 2. Hidden Valley Good Route/Rope Climbing...

“You don’t see too many people out here this time of year. I like the peace”   It was a cool evening. The wind whispered the onset of fall and the only trace left of summer was the fading green leaves on the trees and the echoes of crickets below them. I had been on a quest to find a new place to watch the evening sun set that led me to Rural Retreat Lake. A place I...

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,...

Framed by the magnificent Appalachian Mountains, Southwest Virginia boasts a vibrant culture that is bursting with a robust music heritage, outdoor adventure, spectacular scenery, and rich natural resources. Rooted deep in history, the culture is authentic, unique, and alive. We continue to build a sustainable creative economy that preserves, protects and interprets our rich heritage and natural resources, creates jobs, and welcomes both visitors and new businesses to our region....

Appalachian Spring, which links communities with the outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities throughout Southwest Virginia, and helps them locate and provide the services that outdoor enthusiasts need and want. We work diligently to help communities and businesses develop new ways to experience Southwest Virginia’s beauty, history, and great outdoors. We host conferences and workshops about marketing, downtown development, resource management and more, giving community leaders a chance to pull together across the region to accomplish common goals....

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...