Heart of Appalachia & Blue Ridge Highlands State Parks

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    Heart of Appalachia 

    Heart of Appalachia Region = Appalachian Mountain Adventures

    Breaks Interstate Park

    Breaks Interstate Park in Dickenson County has been called "The Grand Canyon of the South." It covers 4,500 acres of woodland with lofty rock formations and caves.

    Outdoor adventures include:
    • Trails for biking, hiking and horseback riding
    • Boating, but no gasoline motors
    • Freshwater fishing
    • Whitewater for expert kayakers and rafters
    • Olympic-size swimming pool,
    • Rent horses, ponies and paddleboats
     
    Breaks' overlook 

    Natural Tunnel State Park

    Natural Tunnel is the main attraction at Natural Tunnel State Park. The tunnel was carved by what is now Stock Creek thousands of years ago, and many fossils can still be found in and around the tunnel walls! It's been said that Daniel Boone was probably the first person to discover the tunnel.

    Outdoor adventures include: 

    • Freshwater trout fishing
    • Hiking trails
    • 5,400-square-foot swimming pool
     
    couple at Natural Tunnel 

    Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park

    Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park features a beautiful Victorian mansion that serves as the museum. The people who stayed in this region are the Heart of Appalachia itself, learning to survive by their own determination, wits and skills.

    Outdoor adventures include hiking trails and plenty sightings of wildlife!

    Musicians on the lawn of Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park 

    Wilderness Road State Park

    We start our exploration at the very southwest tip of Virginia at Wilderness Road State Park that borders the Wilderness Road, which was blazed by Daniel Boone in 1775. Also, Martin's Station, site of a Civil War Battle, presents living history reenactments every year in April.

    Outdoor adventures include: 

    • Trails for biking, hiking and horseback riding
    • Wilderness camping, without hookups.
     
    Horses at Wilderness Road State Park 
     

    Blue Ridge Highlands 

    Blue Ridge Highlands Region = Blue Ridge Mountains Adventures

    Claytor Lake State Park

    Claytor Lake State Park in the New River Valley covers 4,500 acres and is 21 miles long. The lake was formed in 1939 by the Appalachian Power Company as a hydroelectric plant before it became a recreation area in 1946.

    Outdoor adventures include: 

    • Boating,
    • Freshwater fishing and fishing pier
    • Swimming
    • Trails for hiking
    • Rent rowboats, canoes and motorboats.
     
    Beach at Claytor Lake 

    Fairy Stone State Park

    Home of the mysterious fairy stones, which are shaped like St. Andrew's and Roman crosses, Fairy Stone State Park is located in Patrick County.

    Outdoor adventures include: 

    • Trails for biking, hiking, horseback
    • Swimming
    • Freshwater fishing
    • Rent rowboats, paddleboats and canoes
    • Motorboats are permitted on the reservoir only.
     
    Beach at Fairy Stone State Park 

    Grayson Highlands State Park

    In Grayson County bordered on the north by Jefferson National Forest, Grayson Highlands State Park is near Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain on Route 58. These mountains are the highest in the state at about 5,700 feet.

    Outdoor adventures include: 

    • Trails for mountain biking, hiking, horseback
    • Freshwater fishing
    • Outdoor programs
    • Rent horses by reservation
     
    Beautiful view at Grayson Highlands State Park 

    Hungry Mother State Park

    Hungry Mother State Park in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains has beautiful forests and an 108-acre lake with a sandy beach! Legend says the park got its name from a hungry child looking for his mother!

    Outdoor adventures include: 

    • Trails for biking and hiking
    • Boating (except gasoline motors)
    • Freshwater fishing and pier
    • Swimming
    • Rent rowboats and paddleboats
     
    Lake and beach at Hungry Mother State Park 

    New River Trail State Park

    The New River Trail State Park follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way that parallels the New River for 39 miles. Another Rails to Trail Program, the park goes through Grayson, Carroll, Wythe and Pulaski counties with plenty of Native American history, railroad and mining history.

    Outdoor adventures include: 

    • Trails for biking, hiking, horseback along the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail
    • Boating (including motorboats)
    • Freshwater fishing
    • Rent canoes, jonboats, kayaks and horses.
     
    Trail at New River State Park 

    Images Courtesy of Virginia State Parks 

    For more information on wildlife management areas and natural preserves, please visit the Department of Conservation & Recreation!

Last Updated: 4/17/2012 5:22 PM
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