Entries by Pam Cox


The Swinging Bridges of Scott County

The sight of a swinging bridge immediately transports me back to my childhood when I roamed the hills and valleys of Southwest Virginia with my grandfather, Clarence Bascom Sanders (Sandy). The Slant bridge near Slant Memorial Church played a significant role in my childhood. I often accompanied my grandparents to church services, after which we […]

High Knob

The highest point in Scott County offers stunning vistas, the beginning of the lengthy Chief Benge Scout Trail and rare plants and animals. Located off Forest Service 238 and offering a new and beautiful High Knob Observation Towner.  To reach the trailhead, head north on Route 619 from Ft. Blackmore.  After 3.6 miles, make an […]

Glady Fork Wetland

This high elevation forested wetland is off the beaten path, but is a must-see for the serious birder.  The beaver-maintained wetland contains open meadows, marshes, swampy scrubland, ponds and hardwood forests. It is home to equal diversity of bird life, such as pileated woodpeckers, chestnut-sided, Canada, yellow-throated and yellow warblers, northers parulas, and dark-eyed juncos […]

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Guest River Gorge Trail

One of the area’s easiest and most scenic biking and hiking trails, highlighting gorge geology, trestle-top views of the river, rare plants and river wildlife. Directions:  From Dungannon, take Route 72 north for 10.3 miles, a scenic route that winds around the eastern slope of High Knob.  Turn right at a sign for “Guest River […]

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Duffield Industrial Park Trail

This informal trail follows a four-mile channel between open field, mudflats and rocky shores.  The trail is a great spot to find wintering and migrating shorebirds as well as grassland species like the red-winged blackbird, barn and northern rough-winged swallows, indigo bunting, eastern meadowlark and killdeer. Directions:  From the Kane Gap Train, return to US […]

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Chief Benge Scout Trail

Highlights: rare high elevation plant and bird species, two lakes for swimming, beautiful mountain streams and waterfalls, multiple day backpacking opportunity or shorter day hikes, backcountry solitude Length: 16.6 miles one way. (An additional 3 miles can be added on by continuing to Hanging Rock.) Difficulty: difficult Trailheads: Seven trailheads serve the Chief Benge Scout […]

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Bark Camp Lake Loop Trail

Highlights:  lake views, waterfowl, rare plants Length:  3.7 miles round trip Difficulty:  easy to moderate Camping Reservations:  Call (276) 679-8370 Trailhead:  The trailhead is gated in the winter (mid Oct. — April 1).  During the summer, a parking fee apples.  From Dungannon, follow Route 72 for 0.4 miles, then turn left onto Route 653 (next […]


Little Stony Falls–Hanging Rock Trailhead

Highlights:  24 foot high waterfall, scenic views of deep gorges, lush cove hardwood forest. Length:  six miles round trip, three miles to the falls. Difficulty:  Moderate Directions to Trailhead:  Take Route 72 north out of Dungannon toward Coeburn for 2.6 miles.  Turn left at a large sign into the Hanging Rock Recreation Area at a […]