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This 100-mile tour takes you through some of Scott County’s most scenic countryside and provides a glimpse of our treasured spots.  The first 12 persons to complete this tour and post selfies on our Instagram page at #scottcountyva will receive a $50 gift card.  Feel free to stop at any location and snap a photo.  There are 14 marked “Selfie” locations and, to qualify for the $50 gift card, we ask that you stop at eight spots.

The drive takes a minimum of four hours to complete with no stops, but since we are encouraging you to get out, take in the history and view and snap photos, please allow at least six hours for the drive.

50 Years of Love Mural, Downtown Gate City

50 Years of Love Mural, Gate City, Virginia

SS #1: 50 Years of Love Mural

Start your adventure at the Scott County Courthouse, 202 West Jackson St., Gate City.  Before you start, you may want to wander across the street and take a selfie at our “50 Years of Love” mural, located just across the street on the corner of Manville Road and Jackson Street.  Set your odometer at 0, and let’s go Northeast on Jackson.  At the signal light, turn right onto Kane Street.  Proceed to the large intersection (.7 miles) and turn left.

At 1.7 miles, turn left onto Wadlow Gap Road, and then left again at 2 miles onto the Old Bristol Highway.  This leads you into the Hiltons Community and the world-famous Carter Family Fold.

Turn left at 6.8 miles onto the A.P. Carter Highway.  The Rally Mart on your left is a great place to fill up your car and also your tummy.  From 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can grab some great country cooking.

SS#2:  Carter Family Fold

Travel another few miles (10) to the historic Carter Family Fold, which is home to the real father of old-time music, A.P. Carter.  Memorialized for their contributions to country music by Ken Burns, the Carter Family Fold pays homage to A.P., Sara, and Maybelle Carter who first brought that old-time sound to America through Ralph Peer’s 1926 Bristol Recording Sessions. For almost 50 years, the Carter Family Fold has continued the tradition of the Carter Family with live Saturday night performances of old-time music, acoustic only allowed. (The venue is currently closed due COVID-19, but will re-open when it can do so safely.)  http://www.carterfamilyfold.org.

At mile 10.7, you will pass a white farmhouse on the left, which was purchased by Johnny Cash so that he and his wife, June Carter Cash, would have a place to stay when visiting June’s mother, Maybelle Carter, and later playing at the Carter Family Fold.  The home has stayed in the Cash family and is frequented by John Carter Cash and other relatives whenever they are visiting the Carter Family Fold.

Continue on the A.P. Carter Highway.  At mile 14.6, standing high on the knoll overlooking the Holston River is The Lodge at Crooked River, a premier wedding and event venue.  https://www.crookedriverevents.com

SS#3:  Mendota Store/Mendota Trailhead

The road parallels the Holston River, a great boating and fishing river.  Just after the Lodge at Crooked River, you will enter Washington County and the town of Mendota.  At 16.6 miles, the Mendota Store will be your left and the trailhead to the Mendota Bicycle Path will be on your left.

Mendota Firetower

Mendota Firetower

SS#4:  Mendota Firetower or Scenic Overlook (No Hiking)

At 16.6 miles, turn left onto Pinnacle Road, which is also Firetower Road.  This is a dirt road that is rutted in spots so travel with caution as you wind your way up the mountain road to the Mendota Firetower, which is visible from the bottom.  Once you get up into the foliage, the tower will not be visible.  At mile 20.2, you will see a small parking lot to the left, with the trail to the firetower across the road to the right.  This isn’t an easy trail and will take some time, but a hike to the top is worth the view.  If you prefer not to take the hike, travel .4 miles to a nice scenic overlook on the right.

At mile 22.9, Firetower Road ends and turn left onto Moccasin Valley.  Turn right onto Little Duck at mile 23.2.  Enjoy the ride through the countryside in this farming community outside of Nickelsville.  Continue left on Little Duck at 27.2.  At mile 28.2, you will see Happy Trails Cottage, one of our local Airbnb rentals.  Newly remodeled, this home provides a quite escape.

SS#5:  Teddy’s, The Sugar Maple Inn, or Keith Memorial Park

Turn left at 28.6 onto Highway 71, the Nickelsville Highway.  Just up the road at 29.4, you will find the town of Nickelsville.  There is a Valero station for gasoline.  Teddy’s Restaurant is a both a local and traveler’s favorite stop.  While everything at Teddy’s is good, the restaurant is known region-wide for its “Gutbuster,” a conglomeration of every ice cream and flavor available.

Take some time and head across the street to Heritage Square, where you will find fresh ground grits, flour and cornmeal, plus homemade granola at Heritage Virginia Mills.  Due to COVID, the storefront is closed to visitors, but you can make an order online (https://www.heritagevirginiamills.com) ahead of time and it will be ready for pick up.

Overnight accommodations are available just steps down the road at The Sugar Maple Inn, a century-old landmark that combines charm with modern conveniences.

Keith Memorial Park is a good option for those needing some time out of the car.  The park offers a walking trail and playground.

SS#6:  Bush Mill

At mile 29.8, turn right onto Twin Springs Road to the bottom where you will find the historic Bush Mill.  Feel free to stretch your legs here and walk around the building and grounds.  This overshot, water-powered grist mill has been completely restored and is open several times throughout the year. (https://www.explorescottcountyva.org/history/bush-mill/)

For the next seven miles, enjoy the twist and turns of Twin Springs Road, which is part of the Skull Cracker Motorcycle Route.  During the winter, this is a great location to look down into the Clinch River valley and to the Clinch River.  At mile 37.3 bear right and then turn left at 38.1 onto Sinking Creek Highway.  The Black Diamond is a few feet to the right and is another gas stop and a good place to eat.

SS#7:  Dungannon Depot or Dungannon Square

Cross over the Clinch River and at the end of the road, turn left onto Veteran’s Memorial Highway (38.6) towards the town of Dungannon, the gateway to the Clinch River and the hiking and scenery of High Knob. (https://www.explorescottcountyva.org/about/dungannon-virginia/). Just outside of town is the Scott County Regional Horse Park, which holds shows the last Saturday of the month from April to October.

Located at miles 44.5 and 45.6 respectively are two older swinging bridges.  The Mail Drop Lane bridge is accessed by turning left onto Mail Drop Lane.  Drive until the road stops and just across the railroad tracks to the left, you will find one of the oldest swinging bridges in Scott County.  Unfortunately, it is now vine and kudzu covered.  Just across from Moore Hollow and across the railroad track is another abandoned swinging bridge that today is virtually invisible due to the large amount of foliage covering the bridge.

 

SS#8:  Mann Farms

Mann Farms

Seasonal produce from Mann Farms

Down the road at mile 46.7 is Mann Farms, a must stop on your road trip through Scott County.  Here you will find locally grown produce from May through October.  Mann’s is the primary producer of strawberries in Southwest Virginia and locals and visitors can’t wait for the end of May when Mann’s strawberries appear at this stand and in local Food City markets.

At the next road (46.8) turn right onto the Clinch River Highway (Highway 65).  In less than a mile (47.7), is another great place to eat, The Front Porch Store & Deli.  This is one of the best stops around for fried whitefish, which is served daily.  Gas is also sold, plus hunting and fishing licenses and some unique, country-related related merchandise.

The next turn is at 49.5, which is a right onto Rye Cove Memorial Highway.  Rye Cove is the site of the deadliest tornado in Virginia history.  Although it is technically classified as a tornado, locals referred to the event as the 1929 Rye Cove Cyclone.

The storm roared up the narrow valley and struck the Rye Cove community at 1 p.m. on May 9, 1929.  Directly in its path was a seven-room, two-story schoolhouse.   The storm hit just after recess and 150 students and teachers were inside.  The wooden building was completed destroyed, killing 12 students, ranging in age from six to 18, plus a 24-year-old teacher, Mary Ava Carter.  A memorial to the victims stands beside the current day school, Rye Cove Memorial High School at mile 49.5.

SS#9:  Brick Church

Next turn right onto Brick Church Road (55.5), a dirt road that takes you past stone fences. On this road, you will pass Fugate Farms, a century-farm, which during the Civil War reportedly served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.  This road is part of the original Fincastle Turnpike, which was one of the routes settlers used to access the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail on their migration to the west.  The road is also home to the Brick Church, which was built in 1858 and is one of the few brick churches remaining from that era.

SS#10:  Wilderness Road Blockhouse

At the end of Brick Church Road (56.8), you will see the John Anderson Wilderness Road Blockhouse, which is part of the Wilderness Road Historic Area.  Housed today at Natural Tunnel, the original Anderson Blockhouse was located in the Carters Valley area of Scott County on the Holston River.  The Blockhouse served as the starting point for settlers to make their way into the frontier on the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail into Kentucky.  Pioneers would gather at this location until they had enough “guns” to make their trek into Indian territory on their westward migration.  Due to COVID-19, the Blockhouse is closed to visitors, but you may walk around the grounds.  Normally, it is open May-Oct., Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m., with various special events held throughout the year.

Located on the Fincastle Turnpike, past the Blockhouse, is Appalachian Mountain Cabins, a favorite of visitors looking for a peaceful setting,  complete with Jacuzzi tubs.

Turn left here onto Bishoptown Road and travel to the bottom.  You will pass the entrance to the Natural Tunnel State Park cabins and campgrounds on the left, and to the right is the playground and picnic shelter areas, which are currently open to visitors.  At the bottom of the hill, you may access the chairlift to Natural Tunnel by turning left.  The chairlift is currently open Fri.-Mon., and it takes visitors down to the mouth of Natural Tunnel.

To continue the tour, turn right (59.2) for approximately four miles.  On your right, you will see the Stock Creek Recreational Area, site of the annual Kid’s Fishing Derby and many park programs.

SS#10:  LOVEWorks Sign, Daniel Boone Marker or Crooked Road Sign

Portable LOVEWorks Sign

Portable LOVEWorks Sign

At mile 63.8, you will come to the town of Duffield.  On your right, stands one of the few remaining Daniel Boone markers, a portable LOVEWorks sign and Crooked Road Music Trail site.  Across the intersection is Kenny Fannon’s Railroad Museum, which is open by appointment only by calling 276-431-2428.  The train depot, which is visible from the road, was used in the film, “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

SS#11:  ChuBeez or Daniel Boone Wilderness Interpretative Center

Continue straight onto Duff-Patt Highway.  Several dining options are available in Duffield, but for local flavor, try ChuBeez on the left.  Another great stop in this location is the Daniel Boone Wilderness Road Interpretative Center, located at 371 Technology Trail, (mile 64.4). The center is free and open Fri.-Mon., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.  The center offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of settlers as they traveled the Wilderness Trail from Sycamore Shoals in Elizabethton, Tennessee to the Cumberland Gap in Kentucky.

Next turn left at 64.7 onto Pattonsville Road.  Travel to 68.3 and turn left onto Canton Road.  On this road, you will see a “Magical Mystery Tour,” at 72.5 miles.  Housed on private property, the carriages and two-story and carvings were created by a local craftsman who was responsible for building many homes in the Duffield community.

At 72.7, turn left onto Sinks Road, then left onto Fairview at 74.9.  At the end of Fairview (84.1), turn right onto Highway 23/58.  Merge into the left-hand lane to turn left at 84.5 onto the Clinch River Highway (Highway 65).

SS#12:  Clinchport Swinging Bridge

At the intersection of Bridge Road and Dewey Avenue is the Clinchport Swinging Bridge, which is open and available to walk across.  At mile 85.4 is the Clinchport public boat ramp, a great spot to launch a canoe or kayak.

SS#13:  SomeThing Squatchy

Travel another mile (86.2) to SomeThing Squatchy, a campground and local outfitter for the Clinch River.  SomeThing Squatchy offers guided raft tours and kayak and tube rentals.  Drive down into the parking area and take a photo with Sasquatch.

SS#14:  Clinch River

In four miles (90.9) turn right onto Manville Road.  This area is also a pull off and provides boat access to the Clinch River.  Traveling up Manville Road, look over to your right for a scenic view of the Clinch River and to the left for sweeping vistas of High Knob.

At mile 96, turn right onto Copper Creek and then left at 96.8 back to Manville Road.  This area was once home to a local grist mill, Spivey Mill.  Continue up and around Manville Road and at mile 101.3, you will arrive back at the Scott County Courthouse and the end of your journey through Scott County, Virginia.

Fat Bottom Girl Cupcake, The Family Bakery

Fat Bottom Girl, The Family Bakery

Overnight accommodations are available in Gate City at Robert’s Mill Suites and Estilville Bed & Breakfast and nearby at Boone’s Pointe Cabins.  For a pickup after your Scott County Tour, stop in at The Family Bakery on Jackson Street for the world’s best cupcake. Yearning for Mexican, LaCaretta in Weber City, has you covered.  For good country cooking, stop in at the Campus Drive-in on Kane Street.  For a quick, drive through meal, Pal’s is a great choice.  The only fast food restaurant to ever win the coveted Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Pal’s is best for “Sudden Service.

BEGINNING ALTERNATE ROUTE:  If you want to avoid the dirt mountain road, Forest Tower Road, use this route.  Start at the Scott County Courthouse and travel straight through downtown on Highway 71 towards Nickelsville.  At mile 2.5 on the left-hand side of the road is Mountainview Market (Alternate SS#1).  This is a must see stop in Scott County.  What appears as a little country market on the side of the road is truly a shopping Mecca.  You can buy anything there, from milk to Ariat boots, and the store stocks cute Tees, clothing, handbags and a wide variety of additional merchandise.

Turn left and continue on Highway 71 to mile 6.2..  For a nice detour, turn left onto Snowflake Road, which takes you to Creation Kingdom Zoo (Alternate SS#2). This is one of the Virginia’s premier zoos for breeding and preservation of endangered species.  A great stop for the children and those young at heart, please allow two hours to tour the zoo.  Once finished, head back out to Highway 71 and turn left and just .4 miles up the road, you will turn right onto Big Moccasin.  This beautiful farming valley parallels the Clinch Mountain and offers spectacular scenery with local farms and the Big Moccasin Creek.  At mile 15.7, you enter into Russell County and the road becomes Moccasin Valley.  Continue to mile 16.4 where you see Little Duck on the left.  Here you pick up the original route.  You have just bypassed the dirt road and the fire tower.

ALTERNATE END ROUTE:  Once you get to Duffield, if you are running short on time, you may want to head back to Gate City via Highway 23/58.  If time allows and the Center is open, you are encouraged to stop in and visit the Daniel Boone Wilderness Road Interpretative Center, 317 Technology Drive.  Once you get to the intersection of Duff-Patt Highway and Highway 23/58, turn left and head back to Gate City.  A great stop on the way back is to take Daniel Boone (10 miles from Duffield, Route 870).  This is a right-hand turn from 23/58.  On Daniel Boone, travel 3.8 miles to the iconic Hob Nob Drive-in Restaurant (Alternate SS#3).  The restaurant currently remains curbside only, and even though you may not be hungry, a milkshake or a small cone of soft-serve custard ice cream is a must.  The milkshakes require a spoon to enjoy and are guaranteed to give you a brain freeze or two.  Continue on this road for 7.6 miles and you will return to the Scott County Courthouse.

Once you have completed the trail, please post your photos on Instagram and use the hashtags #scottcountyva, #scottvascenicselfie, #loveva, #wanderlove.  Shoot me an email to [email protected] and include your name and address.  I will mail the first ten road trippers a $50 gift card.  Happy Trails.

 

 

 

 

Twin Creeks String Band

Twin Creeks String Band

Saturday, September 21st, 2019, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Twin Creeks String Band – an old time band formerly known as the Dry Hill Draggers.  Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. Tickets are available at the door. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

In the late 1970s, some neighbors and friends started gathering to play old time music which had been passed down from generations before.  Most of these gatherings were in the Dryhill and Ferrum areas of Franklin County, Virginia. One day while playing music and having some fun some of the musicians were falling behind, and Edgar Crowe said since they were dragging behind on their timing, he was going to call the group the “Dry Hill Draggers.”  So in 1981, the band Dry Hill Draggers established by Jimmy Boyd and brother, Billy Boyd, along with other band members – Carl Scott, Murphy Shively and Bob Trammel – began playing together professionally at festivals and events.  The name Dry Hill Draggers stuck for over thirty years.

The Draggers cut their first album in 1982. It was called Knockin’ Around With the Ole Time Sound.  In 1983 the album There Will Come a Time came out followed up with Budded Roses a couple of years later.  The next album, Pallet on Your Floor, was followed by Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind.  Several years passed without any studio work, but in 2009, a CD was released called Take a Drink on Me.  In 2011, which marked the 30thyear anniversary for the band, a CD was recorded and released with some of the band’s favorite songs from all past eight recordings entitled 30thYear Anniversary. 

Throughout the years, band members have come and gone and some have passed away, but the tradition and heritage is still going strong today to keep the old time sound of the mountains alive. Also, throughout the years, the band has traveled around the east coast from New York to Alabama playing.  In 1982, they had the privilege of playing at the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee.  The Dry Hill Draggers played at several fiddlers’ conventions over the years capturing numerous awards and first place finishes.  That included a second place finish in the Ole Time Band category at the 2011 Galax Fiddlers’ Convention.

The group’s members today are still carrying on the old time sound.  Banjo player Jimmy Boyd and his brother Billy Boyd started the official Dry Hill Draggers band in 1981.  Over thirty years later, some of the Draggers’ members formed the Twin Creeks String Band.  Members of Twin Creeks are Jared Boyd, grandson of Jimmy Boyd, a third generation claw-hammer banjo player; his dad Stacy Boyd on upright bass; on guitar and vocals Jason Hambrick; and Chris Prillaman on fiddle.

Twin Creeks String Band has a the driving old-time beat that is irresistible to dancers.  Wherever there’s good old time music, you can find Twin Creeks.  They are popular at the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival and the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention.  The Fold audience knows them well, and Carter Fold is thrilled to Twin Creeks String Band return to the Fold.

If old time is what you like, the Twin Creeks String Band will deliver.  Flat-footers and two-steppers are welcome to come out and shake a leg with Twin Creeks. The group is known for their knock-down, hard-driving beat, and there will be lots of fiddle tunes and some rare old time tunes that aren’t often heard commercially today.  Don’t forget your dancing shoes, and get ready for some old time, mountain family fun! Bring along all your family and friends. For more information on the group, check them out on both Facebook and YouTube.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic mountain music. The center is a family-friendly, drug and alcohol free venue.  In addition to the performance area, we also maintain the Carter Family Museum and the A.P. Carter birthplace cabin – each are historic landmarks.  The cabin and museum are open Saturdays at 6 p.m. until show time at 7:30 p.m. and they both reopen at our intermission.  For more information on the center, go to our site on the internet – www.carterfamilyfold.org/.  Partial program funding is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts,the National Endowment for the Arts, and by the Virginia Tourism Corporation.  To access recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. We’re on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo.  To speak to a Fold volunteer staff member, call 276-594-0676. If we don’t answer you right away, we will get back to you in 24 hours.  The Center is only open Saturday nights, and we are run by volunteer staff – one of few true rural arts organizations in the U.S.

 

Jay DixonClinch Mountain Music Fest is gearing up for its 14thannual celebration of mountain music in Scott County, Virginia on Saturday, April 27th, 2019.  Established by Jay and Carol Dixon and the Southwest Virginia Community Foundation as a means of preserving and perpetuating the heritage of the Appalachian region through its’ music, the festival was created as a means of showcasing the culture and natural beauty of our region.  A native Scott Countian, Jay genuinely wanted to bring attention and attract new visitors to the unique place where he grew up and loved.  Clinch Mountain Music Fest will be held entirely at the Carter Family Fold.  Although the music starts early, crafts and outside vendors won’t be part of this year’s festival.  Admission to the festival is $12 for adults, $3 for children 6-11, and under 6 free. Doors at the Carter Fold open at 4 p.m., and the shows kick off at 5 p.m.  The Carter Family Museum and the A.P. Carter birthplace cabin will be open from 4 to 5 p.m.

This year’s festival is once again dedicated to Jay Dixon who chaired the festival for five years and passed away in January of 2012.  Having grown up in Nickelsville near Bush’s Mill, Jay left the area to further his education and pursue his career.  We’re delighted that one of our main sponsors – RACE 1 – the Regional Adult & Career Education Program – is closely linked to Jay and the beginning of his successful career.  Jay was himself a GED recipient.  He went on to receive multiple degrees, write textbooks for West Point, and serve as a consultant to the U.S. Military.  Passing up a chance to be the Under Secretary of Defense, he chose instead to come back to his native Scott County, establish the Southwest Virginia Community Foundation and Clinch Mountain Music Fest, and to take on the monumental task of refurbishing Bush’s Mill.  The SW Virginia Community Foundation continues to flourish under the guidance of Jay’s wife, Carol.  After his death, she completed the work he had begun on Bush’s Mill.  Jay was, in fact, born near Bush’s Mill and remembered seeing the mill operate as a child.  As Jay requested, Clinch Mountain Music Fest was entrusted to the Carter Fold. Five groups will be featured –Ronnie Williams and Lorrie Carter Bennett, Mountain Park Old Time Band, Southern Pride with Leon Frost, Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny, and the Spencer’s family band – the Whitetop Mountain Band.  Ronnie & Lorrie will feature Carter Family music, and the bands are all old time musicians who will highlight mountain music.

Lorrie Carter Bennett & Ronnie Williams  When Mother Maybelle Carter began to tour with her three daughters in the 1940s, listeners everywhere fell in love with the beautiful singing of Anita Carter, whom many consider to be the greatest voice in the history of country music.  She shared the stage and recorded true country masterpieces with several music legends, including Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings, and Hank Snow.  And though Anita passed away in 1999, her daughter Lorrie Carter Bennett, carries on the Carter tradition with a voice that is every bit as heartbreakingly stunning as that of Anita herself.  Born with county music in her blood, Lorrie was touring with the Carter Sisters by age 14 and later with Johnny Cash.  Johnny made sure to tell the masses how Lorrie’s Lorrie Carter Bennettvoice was every bit as breathtaking as her mother’s.

Ronnie has been playing since 1975.  One of his best memories is playing for Sara and Maybelle at the Fold in 1976.  He played Gold Watch and Chain and Black Mountain Rag for “Mommy and Maybelle” at Janette’s request.  He plays a Gibson guitar much like Maybelle’s, and he also plays autoharp and sings beautifully.  He’s been a friend of the Carter Family for years – covering three generations.  He often visited various members of the family – a tradition he continues to this day.  A great cook, Ronnie often helps out in the Fold’s and the Carter Family’s kitchens.  You won’t find anyone who knows more about the Carter Family and their music or anyone who plays it with more reverence than Ronnie Williams does.

Mountain Park Old Time Band was formed more than ten years ago as a group of friends who happened to enjoy old time music got together to have a good time.  The group has five members, all of whom are very versatile and talented musicians. Johnny Gentry plays guitar, dobro, and fiddle as well as doing vocals for the band.  His wife Nancy drives the rhythm with her excellent bass playing.  She and Johnny both teach music, and Johnny also makes beautiful banjos.  Roger Stamper handles the fiddling for the group and he plays guitar and bass as well. C. T. Janney plays the washboard – an “instrument” rarely played today.  C.T. also cuts a mean rug when he dances.  Dr. Mark Handy plays banjo and does vocals – he’s also a champion clogger. When he’s not playing old time music, Dr. Handy practices medicine in Abingdon, Virginia, and helps to run his family’s farm.

Southern Pride will be making their debut performance at the Fold for Clinch Mountain Music Fest.  Started by James and Joey Burris in the 1980s, the band has performed at the Galax Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention many times.  As old timey as it gets, Southern Pride delivers old time music just the way audiences at the Fold like their music – no frills with a some slow dance tunes, a little bit of gospel, and lots of fast-paced, fun fiddle tunes. Lending his instrumental and vocal talent to the group will be long time Fold friend, Leon Frost.  The group placed high on a  long list of bands competing in old time at 2018’s Galax Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention.

Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny is a seven-piece, old-time string band from Rover, Tennessee, with musical influences by the Carter Family, Gid Tanner, Uncle Dave Macon, the Coon Creek Girls and many other old-time bands from year’s past.  Band members emanate from the Williams and Derryberry families. Uncle Shuffelo (Keith Williams) plays banjo. Austin Derryberry plays fiddle, banjo, ukulele, guitar, and harmonica. Brian Derryberry plays upright bass. Conner Derryberry plays the banjo, bones and spoons. Emma Jean Williams plays autoharp and jug. Megan Williams plays washboard and kazoo. Courtney Derryberry plays guitar, banjo, ukulele and tuba.  The Hootenanny plays old-time hillbilly music for the soul.  In addition to being one of the finest bands performing at the Fold, they’re some of the nicest country folks you will ever meet.

Whitetop Mountain Band, from the highest mountains of Virginia, is a family-based band.  Whitetop is an area rich in old time music tradition, and the band has deep roots in the music of the mountains.  Whitetop’s members have worked tirelessly to preserve the region’s style of old time fiddling and banjo picking and are legendary musicians and teachers of the style.  Their shows are high energy and unlike any other show you have ever seen. There’s everything from fiddle and banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, honky tonk, traditional bluegrass numbers, old time ballads, originals, four-part mountain gospel songs – and some amazing flat foot dancing.  Well-known for their charisma on stage and their ability to engage audiences of all ages, this group has been performing at the Fold  since shows first began at the A.P. Carter Grocery in the 1970s.  The Whitetop Mountain Band is still carried on today by the Spencer family and their friends.  Emily Spencer is featured on banjo and vocals, her daughter Martha Spencer is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bass) and fine vocalist and dancer.  Emily’s son, Kilby Spencer, will be doing lots of fiddling.   Debbie Bramer plays bass in the band and dances.  Ersel Fletcher plays guitar and also adds his vocal talent to the group.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic mountain music. The center is a family-friendly, drug and alcohol free venue.  In addition to the performance area, we maintain Carter Family Museum and the A.P. Carter birthplace cabin.  Both the cabin and the museum are historic landmarks .  For more information on the center, go to our site on the internet – www.carterfamilyfold.org/.  Partial program funding for programs is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Marketing and technical assistance are provided by Virginia Tourism Corporation.  To access recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. We can be found on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo.  To speak to a Fold volunteer staff member, call 276-594-0676. If we don’t answer you right away, we’ll get back to you in 24 hours.  The Center is only open Saturday nights, and we are run by volunteer staff.

Cyclists will be delighted by Scott County’s scenic roads and trails.

Clinch RiverThe Dungannon and Clinch River Scenic Road Tour winds for 24 miles along country roads in the heart of Scott County. This beautiful route passes historical buildings and cemeteries, the world-famous Clinch River, a stunning waterfall and two charming small towns.

The Guest River Gorge Trail is one of the area’s easiest and most scenic hiking and biking trails and is the best way to explore a State Scenic River by bike. Cyclists will be enthralled by gorge geology, trestle-top views of the river, rare plants and river wildlife.

Another popular and relatively flat bike ride is along the A.P. Carter Highway. Here you can ride through Scott County’s scenic valley without all the twist, turns and inclines on the Clinch River Highway.  Start at the Hiltons Train Depot and ride all the way past the world-famous Carter Family to Mendota, Virginia.  There you can hook up with the Mendota Bicycle Trail.

You will travel through lovely countryside that parallels the Holston River for several miles.  Feel free to venture forth on one of the side roads, such as Lunsford Mill Road and circle around to Anne B. Cooper.  Along with the Carter Fold, you will see the picturesque Lodge at Crooked River, standing high on a hill overlooking the Holston River. The Lodge is available for wedding and event rentals and features an Crooked River Lodgeoutdoor wedding chapel on the banks of the Holston Rive

For many years, the Yuma community was home to the Tour De Possum Creek, a popular bike race, held in conjunction with Kingsport, Tennessee’s annual Fun Fest celebration.  Even though the event was abandoned, bike enthusiasts can still follow the 43-mile course, featuring a 2,600 feet climb.  A second option included a rolling, beautiful shorter ride of 22 miles plus a six-mile fun ride.  For the family or pro, this is a great ride through the rolling hills of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.

http://www.mapmyride.com/us/gate-city-va/tour-de-possum-creek-ridge-race-route-2914741

For mountain bike enthusiasts, Natural Tunnel State Park has an eight-mile, single-track mountain bike path.  Another great mountain bike ride is a nine-mile ride along Waters Edge, which parallels the Clinch River.  This gravel road will take you along the Clinch River to the Tennessee State line.  When the water is right, you will spot several naturally-occurring waterfalls along this path and even a swinging bridge.  It is also a favorite trek for horseback enthusiasts.

For additional bike riding suggestions, contact the Scott County Tourism Department at 276-386-6521.  New trails are being added with the help of the Spearhead Trails Initiative.

 

Bush Mill in Nickelsville, Virginia

Tiger 1B PhotoWith outdoor recreation, music, history and our own zoo, Scott County, Virginia is a great location for a family vacation.

The cabins at Natural Tunnel State Park or Appalachian Mountain Cabins make a great home base for your family fun.  During the summer, Natural Tunnel offers daily activities suitable for the entire family.  Take a kayak or canoe trip down the Clinch River, one of the world’s most bio-diverse river systems.  Better yet, grab a spot for canorkeling where you can view the river’s large variety of freshwater mussels.  Caving, guided hikes to the Devil’s Bathtub, sunset hayrides and many more family friendly activities are offered at the park.

One of the area’s top attractions, Creation Kingdom Zoo is a breeding facility for rare and endangered species.  Creation Kingdom provides visitors with the opportunity to see rare animals up close and personal. Owned and operated by Marc and Elaine Bradley, the zoo is totally self-funded and participates in the Species Survival Programs (SSP).  The zoo prides itself in a more natural landscape for the animals and visitors alike to enjoy!  If you visit around Halloween, don’t miss Creation Kingdom Zoo’s “Boo at the Zoo” event where your little ghosts and goblins can trick or treat around the animal exhibits at night!

Pack the family into the car and retrace famed frontiersman Daniel Boone’s historic trek on the Wilderness Road.  Make sure to visit the John Anderson Blockhouse at Natural Tunnel and learn how the pioneers used this facility to defend themselves from Indians.

With caches placed throughout the county, this is also a great time to do some family geocaching.  Bush Mill, an over-shot, water-powered grist mill, and Kilgore Fort,New Bush Mill

one of the oldest forts still standing in Southwest Virginia, can be visited by special arrangement.

Immerse your family in the rich musical history of Scott County!  The entire family will enjoy Allen Hicks’ informal Friday Night Jams in Nickelsville.  Musicians, young and old, both professional and amateur, take the stage every Friday night for some laid back pickin’.  Saturday night head over to Hiltons for a visit to the world-famous Carter Family Fold.  Every Saturday night, the Fold celebrates the life of A.P. Carter and his contribution as the “father” of traditional old-time music.  Bands take the stage at 7:30 with some foot stompin’ music and visitors are encouraged to join the regulars in flat footin’ or clogging.

There are plenty of local family-owned restaurants, plus the typical chain varieties.  When visiting Scott County, however, there are several must-stop eateries—The Family Bakery, voted “Best Bakery” during the  Virginia Culinary  Challenge; Pal’s Sudden Service, a local franchise that is the only restaurant to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award; Smoke ‘n Big Barbecue, Campus Drive-in and Molcajetes Mexican Grill in Gate City; Teddy’s In Nickelsville; the Hob Nob in Daniel Boone; the Duffield Grille in Duffield;  and Front Porch Store & Deli in Fort Blackmore,  where fried white fish is served daily.

For more information or help planning your trip to Scott County, Virginia, call 276-386-6521.