Heart of Appalachia


Travel in the footsteps of Daniel Boone through the fabled land of Southwest Virginia’s mountain music sites and historic coal towns.  Caves, gorges and mountaintops greet visitors to this southwestern region of the Commonwealth, along with the rich lore of the pioneer era and coal-mining culture.

HAmapFollowing The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail in the Heart of Appalachia means immersion in the music of the mountains: fiddling tunes, banjo numbers and acoustic ballads.  Passed from generation to generation, this music is preserved today at weekly jam sessions, community-based festivals and rustic concert halls like the Country Cabin in Norton and the Carter Fold, near Hiltons.

Views from atop the Birch Knob Observation Tower in Clintwood span five states: Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina.  Breaks Interstate Park, a five mile, 1,600-foot-deep mountain gorge is the deepest east of the Mississippi and known as the “Grand Canyon of the South.

Virginia’s longest playing outdoor drama – “Trail of the Lonesome Pine” - has been running during summer seasons for the past 50 years in Big Stone Gap. Audiences participate as the jury during the trial of the romantic tale’s villain.

The Spearhead Trail system is a multi-use trail primarily designed for off-road vehicles and begins in the “ATV friendly” town of St. Paul.

Burke’s Garden is a high mountain meadow nicknamed “God’s Thumbprint” for its unique bowl-shaped geography and is the site of The Varmint Half Marathon & 5K Run.  Bring your bike or hiking boots and explore this 10-mile wide valley – Virginia’s highest altitude valley – via the Appalachian Trail or country roads.

For more information or contacts for destinations not featured here, please contact:

Danish Saadat, National Sales & Marketing Manager
Sports Virginia