Nature and mountain music take center stage as well as crafts and folklore in Virginia's Blue Ridge Highlands.
Starting from the east in Franklin County, see the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum at Ferrum College, designated as Virgina's Center for Blue Ridge Folklore. In the gallery, see changing exhibits of traditional life, such as old-time musical instrument making, folk toys and carvings.
At the Farm Museum, relive the lifestyle of properous German-American farmsteaders of 1800.
West of Ferrum is Bland County and the Wolf Creek Indian Village & Museum in Bastain. Costumed reenactors demonstrate the original crafts of the Eastern Woodland Indians. Take a walk on the nature trails and picnic on the grounds.
Going southeast, stop at the Big Walker Lookout in Wytheville, the halfway point of the Big Walker National Scenic Byway. This 100-foot tower looks out over patchwork farm valleys and mountain wilderness. Facilities include an ice cream shop.
Southwest from Wytheville in Smyth County is the Historic Town of Saltville, the main supplier of salt for the Confederate army. See the Salt Furnace at Salt Park and two steam locomotives.
The Museum of the Middle Appalachians is in Saltville, too. Children can delight in the full-size replicas of Ice Age mammals that once roamed the area, explore the interactive model of the Saltville Valley and uncover fossils in a hands-on exhibit.
Down the road is the charming town of Abingdon near the Pinnacle Natural Area Preserve.
Last Updated: 12/15/2016