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The Frontier Trail moves from Roanoke and Salem into the scenic New River Valley where pioneers used ferries to travel across the New River and set up homesteads and farms. Visitors can step back in time at the Smithfield Plantation in Blacksburg or learn of the kidnapping of Mary Ingles Draper in Radford.
The New River passes through Pulaski County and the small village of Newbern, where the Wilderness Road Museum offers a wealth of documented historical information. The trail travels close to the Shot Tower State Park and through noteworthy areas of Fort Chiswell in Wythe County. A refuge to settlers, Fort Chiswell provided supplies and protection to pioneers moving westward along the Wilderness Road through Wytheville. The Rock House Museum and Boyd Museum provide visitors an interesting glimpse into the past life of Wytheville. In Atkins, the Settler’s Museum provides exhibits on the making of linen, an art that was brought during the migration from Ireland.
Saltville is home to the Museum of Middle Appalachia, providing information from the Ice Age to early settlement prior to Civil War Battles in the valley. Abingdon’s historic district includes Wolf Hills, made famous by Daniel Boone and the mustering grounds of the Overmountain Men who marched to Kings Mountain during the American Revolution.
The forts and settlement at Sapling Grove became known as Bristol, now home to the Birthplace of Country Music. Music brought from Ireland and other European influences transformed this region and migrated to Bristol where the first recordings were made. From Bristol, visitors join the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail that travels through Moccasin Gap, Kane Gap and then through the Appalachian Mountains via Cumberland Gap.