Located at the western edge of Virginia in the Alleghany Mountains, Highland County enjoys the highest mean elevation of any county east of the Mississippi River. Called "Virginia's Little Switzerland," with roughly 2300 residents, it is also one of the least populated eastern counties. The region is named Virginia's Western Highlands and is part of the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia. Monterey, the county seat, is located 45 miles west of the intersection of Interstates 81 and 64 in Staunton. The annual Highland Maple Festival draws upwards of 50,000 visitors and is designated a "Local Legacy" by the Library of Congress. Highland County is the site of The Battle of McDowell, the first victory of Stonewall Jackson's 1862 Valley Campaign. The county is 416 square miles of spectacular mountain terrain.