A trip to the Mountains on the agenda?

Are you looking for an authentic adventure minus all the tourist traps?

Welcome to Southwest Virginia's breathtaking mountains! Whether you are an avid hiker, bird watcher, or just looking to experience the beauty of nature, these mountains are the perfect destination. From the rolling hills to the untouched forests, there is something for everyone to explore and appreciate. With this guide, you will be able to make the most of your time in Southwest Virginia's mountains and get a true sense of the natural wonders that surround you.

A Brief History

Exploring Southwest Virginia's Mountains

 Southwest Virginia's mountains have a rich geologic history that includes the formation of the Appalachian Mountains and the many minerals that drew settlers to the area. During the Ice Age, glaciers carved out valleys and left behind unique formations like Natural Tunnel State Park. The area was also home to Native American tribes like the Cherokee and Shawnee, who left behind artifacts and burial mounds. 

During the Civil War, the region played a significant role as a major supplier of salt, lead, and iron for the Confederate army. Visitors can learn more about this history by following The Civil War Trails markers in Marion, Chilhowie, and Saltville. 

The Museum of The Middle Appalachians located in Saltville, works to attract visitors to the town, county, and region and preserve this history for future generations. Travelers who visit the museum will be amazed by the detailed exhibits, historic artifacts, and living history demonstrations. 

For those who love history and want to learn more about the people who settled the mountains of Virginia, the Settlers Museum of Southwest Virginia and the Museum of the Middle Appalachians are must-see destinations.

Outdoor Activities for Nature Lovers

If you're a nature lover looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then Southwest Virginia's mountains are the perfect destination for you! 

With its rich history and untouched wilderness, this area offers a variety of outdoor activities for all levels of adventurers.

For those who want to enjoy the great outdoors without giving up all the amenities, car camping and RV campgrounds offer a family-friendly option for creating memories around a campfire.

 However, for those more experienced campers who want to venture deeper into the wilderness, backcountry camping is available for backpackers and thru-hikers.

Hiking and Camping

Some of the must-see hiking trails in Southwest Virginia include the famous Appalachian Trail, which winds through 554 miles of Virginia, passing through the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Other popular trails include Grayson Highlands State Park's Rhododendron Trail, which is known for its stunning displays of wildflowers, and the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, which offers scenic vistas and access to the highest peak in Virginia.

For campers, consider visiting Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, Virginia. This popular destination offers 17 miles of hiking trails, a 108-acre lake for fishing and boating, and several well-maintained camping sites. 

Or check out Grayson Highlands State Park near Mouth of Wilson. This park offers over 100 campsites with water and electric hookups, plus beautiful mountain views and plenty of hiking trails. You can even go horseback riding through the park's scenic pastures and hills.

Another great option is the New River Trail State Park, which has RV and tent campsites along the river. Here, you can enjoy fishing, kayaking, or tubing down the New River. You can also explore the 57-mile trail on foot, bike, or horseback.

Fishing and Water Sports

The mountain streams, rivers, and lakes of Southwest Virginia provide excellent opportunities for fishing and water sports enthusiasts. If you love to fish, then this region will offer you some of the best experiences of your life. The streams are teeming with rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. If you are an experienced fly fisherman, then you will find the challenge that you seek. For beginners, there are plenty of opportunities to learn, with local outfitters providing guides and gear rental.