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Carina NebulaSaturday, September 21

8:30 a.m. – Cherokee Canoe Trip. Spend time floating 5.5 miles down the Clinch River. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

 2 p.m. – Wild Cave Tour: Bolling Cave. Explore the underground world of caves in their true form. Crawl through crevasses and waddle through tunnels. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

7:00 p.m. Touring the Galaxy. View the stars, from the gazebo, as they begin to illuminate in the night sky. Park interpreters will provide a shuttle up to the gazebo. Only flashlights with a red filter are permitted, to help preserve night vision. Free

Sunday, September 22

10 a.m. – Stock Creek Passage. View the tunnel from the inside out. This strenuous walk will include crossing boulders and rocks, just like the early adventurers. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

1 p.m. – Tunnel Talk. As you enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the mouth of the tunnel, discover why this geologic phenomenon is so unique. Meet at the Visitor Center. Free

Saturday, September 28

8:30 a.m. – Clinch River Cleanup. Join interpreters on National Public Land’s Day as they paddle down the Clinch river picking up trash that may be clogging our waterways. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

2 p.m. – Wild Cave Tour: Bolling Cave. Explore the underground world of caves in their true form. Crawl through crevasses and waddle through tunnels. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

7 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Lighting of the Tunnel. Take a lantern lit chairlift ride down to the naturally made tunnel at night.

Sunday, September 29

10 a.m. – Stock Creek Passage. View the tunnel from the inside out. This strenuous walk will include crossing boulders and rocks, just like the early adventurers. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

1 p.m. – Tunnel Talk. As you enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the mouth of the tunnel, discover why this geologic phenomena is so unique. Meet at the Visitor Center. Free

Fincastle Hayrides

September 20 and 27 at 6 p.m.

Take a step back in time as we travel along the historic Fincastle Turnpike. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Blockhouse Parking Lot.

For more information:

https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/park-event-info?id=NT190046-05

With a national forest, a state park and locally-owned campgrounds, Scott County has plenty of camping options; including Yurts, primitive, RV and dispersed camping in the Jefferson National Forest.

Camp Clinch

Camp Clinch on Anglers Way RoadFamily owned campground on the Historic Clinch River.Camping here means waking up to the sounds of the river and nature.  We are 7 miles from the main highway, it’s the perfect place to get back to nature and spend time with the ones you love.

The totally renovated camp features 30 and 50 amp sites, 27 full hookup sites with 20 electric and water, 20 premium full hookup sites on the river.  There are fire pits at each site and new picnic tables.  Along with the renovations is a totally refurbished bathhouse plus a new gravel road and campsites.

The Nature Conservancy considers the Clinch River “America’s Crown Jewel” in southwest Virginia. The Clinch River is home to more species of endangered and rare freshwater mussels than anywhere else in the world. Come Kayak, Tube, Canoe or Explore this natural wonder. But, don’t forget to make time to fish or just relax and enjoy the scenery.

Conveniently located near Bristol Motor Speedway, A.P. Carter Family Fold, Creation Kingdom Zoo, Natural Tunnel State Park, plus endless hiking opportunities to Devil’s Bathtub, Little Stony Falls, High Knob and the Jefferson National Forest.

Campground includes a small playground for children, plus a large area for recreational sports, basketball hoop and a hand-launch site to the Clinch River.

AMENITIES

  • Pet Friendly
  • Group Friendly
  • Waterfront

For more information, visithttp://www.campclinch.com

For reservations, call RESERVEAmerica

Jefferson National Forest

Bark Camp LakeBark Camp Recreation Area

Bark Camp Recreation Area is situated on a 45 acre lake that is regularly stocked with rainbow trout. A three mile shoreline trail circles the lake, offering outstanding views. Highlights include an open air amphitheater overlooking the lake, a short hike to an interesting geological formation called “Kitchen Rock,” and outstanding universally accessible fishing piers and picnicking facilities. This recreation area bosts 34 campsites, 9 of which have electric hookups.

At a Glance

Fees $16 per single campsite per night. $32 per double campsite per night. $5 electric hookups. $3 per vehicle day use area fee.
Open Season: mid-May to mid-September
Restrictions: No gasoline powered boats allowed on the lake.
Closest Towns: Coeburn, VA
Water: Water may not be available this season. Call the Clinch Ranger District for more information.
Restroom: BBath houses have hot showers and flush toilets (depending on water availability)
Operated By: Clinch Ranger District: (276) 679-8370
Information Center: Bark Camp Recreation Area:  276-467-1209

General Information

Directions:

From Kingsport, TN: Follow US23 North to Norton VA. Take the Alternate 58 East exit toward Coeburn VA. Follow Alt 58 East for 5 miles to Tacoma. At the stop light turn right onto SR 706 and follow to the intersection with SR 699 on the left. Follow SR 699 for 0.1 mile then turn right onto SR 822. Follow SR 822 for 2 miles to the entrance of Bark Camp Recreation Area on the right.

From Abingdon, VA: Follow US 58W/US 19N to Hansonville, VA. Turn left onto US 58W Alternate and drive to Tacoma, VA. At the stop light, turn left (south) onto SR 706 and follow to the intersection with SR 699 on the left. Follow SR 699 for 0.1 mile then turn right onto SR 822. Follow SR 822 for 2 miles to the entrance of Bark Camp Recreation Area on the right.

High Knob Recreation Area

The High Knob Recreation Area was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the late 1930’s. This remote and private location offers cooler summer temperatures due to its higher mountain elevation.

At a Glance

Fees $10 per camp site per night. Group camp site $25 per night. For day use area $5 per vehicle up to 8 passenger capacity, and $1 per person for buses and large vans carrying more than 8 passangers and walk-ins.
Open Season: mid-May to mid-September
Restrictions: 16 foot maximum vehicle length (vehicle and trailer).
Closest Towns: Norton, VA
Water: Drinking water available
Restroom: Bath houses have hot showers and flush toilets
Operated By: Clinch Ranger District: (276) 679-8370
Information Center: High Knob Recreation Area:  276-679-1754

General Information

Directions:

From Kingsport, TN: Follow US23 North to the first Norton, VA exit. Take this exit and make a right onto SR 619. Travel 3.8 miles to the intersection with FS238 East. Turn left onto FS238 East and travel 1.6 miles to campground entrance.

From Abingdon, VA: Follow US 58W/US 19N to Hansonville, VA. Turn left onto US 58W Alternate and drive to Norton. At Norton, turn south onto SR 619. Travel 3.8 miles to the intersection with FS238 East. Turn left onto FS238 East and travel 1.6 miles to campground entrance.

Natural Tunnel State Park

Natural Tunnel ChairliftCamping

The park has two campgrounds, Cove View Campground and Lover’s Leap Campground. All sites have electricity and water (EW). Sites in Lover’s Leap Campground may be specifically reserved. Here’s a table (PDF) with details about those sites. Click here for pictures of those sites. Cove View Campground sites are reserved upon arrival.

Cove View Campground – 16 electric-water hookup sites

  • Up to six people per site. The only exception is for immediate families of no more than two adults over 18 and their minors, all of whom must be under 18.
  • Each campsite has a campfire-ring grill and an extended-top picnic table.
  • Firewood and ice are sold at campground host site.
  • Two vehicles per campsite. There is additional parking by the bathhouse (an additional daily parking fee applies there).
  • Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. through 6 a.m. Only overnight guests are allowed in the park after 10 p.m. Guests visiting campers should park in the bathhouse parking area.
  • The park has a junior Olympic-size swimming pool and 100-foot water slide. Each member of the camper party may get a pool pass. Passes are part of the registration packet. A pass is issued for each night of rental. The pool is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The last two weeks of August, it is open only on weekends. Refunds will not be made should the pool be unavailable. Swimming is free to overnight guests only when available.

EW – Electric and Water Hookup Sites (001 EW – 016 EW). Shaded and sunny sites are for tents, pop-ups and RVs up to 38 feet. Electrical service is 20 and 30-amp. All sites are gravel pull-through with a grassy area and have a campfire-ring grill and a picnic table. A bathhouse with hot showers is at the end of the campground loop.

Lover’s Leap Campground – 18 electric-water hookup sites

  • Up to six persons are allowed per site. The only exception is for immediate family.
  • Each site has a campfire-ring grill and an extended-top picnic table.
  • Firewood and ice are sold at campground host site.
  • Two vehicles per campsite. There is additional parking by the bathhouse (an additional daily parking fee applies there).
  • Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. through 6 a.m. Only overnight guests are allowed in the park after 10 p.m. Guests visiting campers should park by the bathhouse and must pay the daily parking fee.
  • A volleyball net and horseshoe pits are in campground area.
  • The park has a junior Olympic-size swimming pool and 100-foot water slide. Each member of the camper party may get a pool pass. Passes are part of the registration packet. A pass is issued for each night of rental. The pool is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The last two weeks of August, it is open only on weekends. Refunds will not be made should the pool be unavailable. Swimming is free to overnight guests only when available.

EW – Electric and Water Hookup Sites (LL 01- LL 18). These sites are for tents, pop-ups and RV’s up to 50 feet. Electrical service is 20, 30 and 50-amp. All are back-in sites and have a campfire-ring grill, picnic table, lantern post and utility table. Campsite 9 is accessible to the disabled and is near the bathhouse. The site is not reserved strictly for those with disabilities. Because sites are assigned upon arrival, ask park personnel for this site when you get there. Tents and all other recreational equipment should be set up within the campsite’s boundaries. The campground bathhouse has showers, restrooms and a laundry facility.

Total camp sites in the park of each type: EW: 34

Group Site

Natural Tunnel’s group site is in a partially wooded area about half a mile from main campgrounds and bathhouses. Parking is available at the site, but RV’s and camping units are not allowed.

Amenities

  • Five 15 ft. x 15 ft. tent pads. (Accommodates up to 30 people total, depending on tent size.)
  • Common area with fire ring.
  • Eating area with four picnic tables.
  • Camp tent suitable for group activities.
  • Utility building with electricity and lights suitable for storage or food prep (no cooking inside shed).
  • Parking for up to five vehicles. (Overflow parking available in main campground). No RV or camping trailer parking is available.
  • 30-amp electrical outlet.
  • Potable water spigot.
  • Two portable toilets. (No showers on site.)
  • Swimming for group campers is $1 per person.

Yurts

Yurts at Natural Tunnel CampgroundRecreational yurts are a modern adaptation of an ancient nomadic shelter. Functionally speaking, they’re a cross between a tent and a cabin. The park has four yurts, which are adjacent to the Cove View Campground. Each has a large wooden deck with patio tables, a picnic table and a fire-ring with cooking grate. Reservations are required. Parking for two vehicles is allowed. Those with additional vehicles must pay a daily parking fee and park in the overflow lot by the park office.

Check-in is 4 p.m. and checkout is 10 a.m. The rental season begins on the first Friday in March and ends on the first Sunday of December. Cabin rental and cancellation policies apply. There is a two-night minimum rental during the rest of camping season.

  • Maximum occupancy four. Sleeps three. One queen-sized and a twin-sized trundle pull-out. Guests must bring sleeping bags or linens.
  • No smoking, cooking or pets allowed in the yurt.
  • Each yurt has no electricity or water, but there’s a common-use water spigot shared among the yurts.
  • Dining table seats four.
  • No heat or air-conditioning.
  • Guests use the Cove View Campground bathhouse.
  • Yurts 3 and 4 are ADA-accessible.

 

Continue the journey along the Wilderness Road by visiting the new Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Interpretative Center, located in Duffield, Virginia.  Daniel Boone Interpretative Center

The new center overlooks Kane Gap–a visible representation that shows the path settlers once toon on their westward journey.  A satellite location of Natural Tunnel State Park, the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Interpretative Center is a multi-purpose facility with a large conference room, library and museum.  The center focuses largely on the story of the Wilderness Road from Sycamore Shoals to Cumberland Gap.  The ultimate goal is to educate visitors on the importance of the Wilderness Road and the key role it played in westward expansion.

At the center, explore the interactive museum, participate in a scheduled program and visit the gift shop for souvenirs and additional information about the area’s history.  The center is the perfect location to schedule a field trip or reserve the conference room for a meeting or special event.

Winter hours of operation are Friday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Free.  Located at 371 Technology Trail, Duffield, Virginia.

Call 276-431-0104 for more information.

 

 Natural Tunnel State Park Image

Natural Tunnel

Stunning views of the natural tunnel, trails, bird watching, campground, swimming pool, chair lift, visitor’s center, meeting facilities, picnicking, amphitheater, and interpretive programs.

Directions:
Natural Tunnel State Park is in Scott County, about 13 miles north of Gate City and 20 miles north of Kingsport, Tenn.. To get there, from I-81, take U.S. 23 North to Gate City (about 20 miles). The turn-off to the park is at mile marker 17.4 on Rt. 23. Take Natural Tunnel Parkway about one mile east to park entrance.

Drive Time:
Northern Virginia, eight hours; Richmond, six hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, eight to nine hours; Roanoke, three and a half hours
Contact Person: Robert Chapman
Phone: (276) 940-2674

Highlights:
Gorge surrounded by 400 foot cliffs, water-carved 850 foot tunnel, rare plants, trains

Length:
Seven trails range in length from 0.3 miles to 1.1 miles.

Difficulty:
Easy to difficult

Trailhead:
From Duffield, drive south on Rte 23 for 4 miles until you see a sign for Natural Tunnel State Park at mile marker 17.4. Turn left and follow the Natural Tunnel Parkway about one mile east to the park entrance.

Facilities: picnic areas, visitor’s center, campground, playground, swimming pool, chair lift, canoe trips, cave exploration, campfire programs, geo-ranger programs, visitor center and amphitheater. Natural Tunnel State Park offers a variety of short trails close to the interstate, perfect for an afternoon of walking.

About Natural Tunnel State Park
The park is named after a one million year old cave which runs under Purchase Ridge, allowing Stock Creek to go in one side and out the other. South of the ridge, the cave opens up into a spectacular basin encircled on three sides by 400 foot cliffs. A railroad has taken advantage of this natural passage to follow the path of the creek, and daily coal trains can be seen roaring through the tunnel. Of the seven trails found in the park, at least two are must-see additions to any Scott County visit.

The 0.3 mile trail into the gorge is steep but short, winding down the side of the cliff to the mouth of the tunnel. A chair lift follows the same route, so even those not interested in a hike can experience the gorge.

Back at the visitor’s center, a 0.9 mile loop can be created by Wood-Poppy-Celandinefollowing the Lover’s Leap Trail to a stunning vista overlooking the gorge, then heading back along the Gorge Ridge Trail. Botanists will be enticed by the rare, xeric (dry-loving) plants found along the cliff edge while birders often see raptors circling in the breeze.

Other trails include the 0.7 mile, easy Tunnel Hill Trail; the 1.1 mile, difficult Purchase Ridge Trail; the 0.3 mile difficult Spring Hollow Trail; and the 0.7 mile, moderate Birding and Wildlife Trail. Visit the park’s website to learn about cave and canoe tours and other special events.

More about the park:
Natural Tunnel, called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by William Jennings Bryan, has been attracting visitors to the mountains of Southwest Virginia for more than 100 years. Today, it is the focal point of the Natural Tunnel State Park, an 850-acre park owned and operated by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Natural Tunnel was recently named “One of the Top 20 Tunnels in the World” by the “Weather Channel.”

The 850-foot-long Natural Tunnel is more than one million years old. The Norfolk Southern Rail System uses the track that winds through the Natural Tunnel on a daily basis. Visitor access to the tunnel is by a hiking trail or a chair lift. Once you make the 530-foot descent, a 500-foot boardwalk and observation deck are provided — both accessible to physically-challenged visitors.

Blockhouse-in-Fog

Wilderness Road Blockhouse

Cove Ridge Educational Center
Cove Ridge is a beautiful lodge equipped with meeting rooms and classrooms that are ideal for school groups, retreats, etc. Dorm-style lodging accommodations are connected to the main building. A huge deck on the back of the lodge affords guests and visitors a breathtaking, panoramic view of the mountains.

Also within the state park, visitors can find a replica of the John Anderson Blockhouse, which was used a way station during the early settlement of this nation.  Pioneers, headed west, and travelers would stop and wait at the Blockhouse until they had enough guns for protection against Indian attacks to proceed their journey westward.

Throughout the spring, summer and fall, Natural Tunnel offers numerous

Lighting of the Tunnel

Lighting of the Tunnel

educational programs.  “Lighting of the Tunnel,” held after Thanksgiving thru the week before Christmas is a real highlight of the holiday season.  The Park also offers “Lighting of the Tunnel” once a month during the summer.

For more information, please contact the park at (276) 940-2674 or 800-933-PARK or visit their website at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/nat.shtml

36-Miles of Historic Virginia Coal Heritage Trail in Scott County, Virginia

Scott County was formed in 1814 out of Lee, Russell, and Washington Counties.

The county plays host to a variety of natural and cultural attractions. The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail travels through Scott County and witnessed thousands of pioneers pass through on journey as part of our nations westward expansion. The Coal Heritage Trail travels along Route 23 from Lee County 4.09 miles to the town of Duffield, Virginia. Duffield, once known as Little Flat Lick, serves as a gateway to the West along the Wilderness Road. This location provides a vantage point in which visitors can watch the trains roll past full of coal leaving Southwest Virginia.

Fannon Railroad MuseumLocated on the right at the intersection of Route 58/421/23 is the Fannon Railroad Museum operated by local railroad enthusiast Kenny Fannon. Many of the exhibits and items on display depict the rich railroad history that was a result of the coalfields that lay just to the North.

The Coal Heritage Trail leaves Duffield and travels 4.6 miles on Rt. 871 (Natural Tunnel Parkway) to Natural Tunnel State Park.Natural Tunnel State Park

The 850 foot long Natural Tunnel provides a way through to the coalfields beginning in 1890 and continuing until today. The tunnel is the focal point of Natural Tunnel State Park. The park offers a variety of recreational activities.

The Coal Heritage Trail then leaves Natural Tunnel State Park along Rt. 871 and travels 1.2 miles to an intersection with Route 23/58/421. Turning left onto Route 23/58/421, travel 1.26 miles to Route 65 (Clinch River Highway).

After turning left onto Route 65, you will travel under the Norfolk Southern Railroad trestle. This trestle represents one of two major railway lines hauling coal out of Southwest Virginia to Southeastern U.S. power plants.

The Coal Heritage Trail then leaves Natural Tunnel State Park along Rt. 871 and travels 1.2 miles to an intersection with Route 23/58/421. Turning left onto Route 23/58/421, travel 1.26 miles to Route 65 (Clinch River Highway).

After turning left onto Route 65, you will travel under the Norfolk Southern Railroad trestle. This trestle represents one of two major railway lines hauling coal out of Southwest ie
Virginia to Southeastern U.S. power plants.

The area immediately past the railroad trestle is what remains of a town known as Clinchport. This once thriving river town was completely destroyed by a catastrophic flood in 1977. Remains of the town blocks can still be seen.

From Clinchport, you will travel 8.6 miles to the town of Ft. Blackmore. Along the way you will be traveling parallel to the Clinch River, one of the most ecological diverse rivers in the CSX TrainUnited States. The Clinch River flows 135 miles through Southwest Virginia and into Tennessee where it ends at the Tennessee River. Also following the river is the CSX railroad formally known as the Carolina, Clinchfield, and Ohio Railroad. This railroad, in addition to the aforementioned Norfolk Southern line, provided avenues of commerce through Scott County to move coal, timber, and freight products from the region.

While traveling along Route 65 you will pass the General John Salling Monument. This monument is in honor of General John Salling, Virginia’s last surviving Confederate veteran and resident of Scott County. General Salling died in March of 1959 at the age of 112.

Upon arriving at Fort Blackmore, you will turn left on State Route 65/72 and travel 8.35 miles to Dungannon, Virginia. Fort Blackmore was a famous early fort and was situated on an ancient elevated flood plain on the north side of the Clinch River. For many years, this fort was on the extreme frontier of Virginia and was used by hunters, explorers, adventurers, and home seekers for rest and refreshment.  Daniel Boone was in command of Fort Blackmore and other forts on the Clinch River in 1774 while the militiamen were engaged in the Point Pleasant campaign of Dunmore’s war. From Ft. Blackmore continue on Rt. 65/72, 8.35 miles to the town of Dungannon.

In Dungannon, be careful to turn right on Rt. 65 and cross the Clinch River following Route 65 as it travels 5.08 miles to the Russell County line. In Dungannon, Route 72 leaves Route 65 and travels up the mountain to Coeburn, Virginia where you can continue on the Coal Heritage Trail in Wise County, Virginia.

 

Panthers Breath Motorcycle Route Map

Approximately 78 Miles

  1. Start at Natural Tunnel State Park
  2. R on 871 to Duffield
  3. Straight at Red Light on 58
  4. L on 604
  5. L on 63 toward Sneedville
  6. L on 33
  7. L on 600
  8. Straight to 610/Dry Branch Rd
  9. R on 604
  10. R on 600
  11. Follow 600/623 to Hwy 58
  12. L on 58/23
  13. L on 23/58 to Big Stone Gap
  14. L on 58A Through Dryden
  15. L on 421 at Pennington Gap
  16. L on 58/421 to
  17. Straight at red light on 871 to Natural Tunnel State Park

 

Old Time and Bluegrass music have a long history in the mountains of Appalachia.

The Cove Ridge Foundation of Natural Tunnel State Park is dedicated to preserving these traditions as well as instilling  a passion for them in our youth. The Festival is named for University of Virginia at Wise Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Joseph C. “Papa Joe” Smiddy, a well-known educator, entertainer, and old time musician.  The Labor Day show features local musicians, plus bluegrass and old-time music majors from local colleges and universities, including East Tennessee State University, Mountain Empire Community College, and the University of Virginia–Wise.

Held at the amphitheater at Natural Tunnel State Park, the program is presented by the Cove Ridge Foundation of Natural Tunnel and its Arts & Education Council.  The festival starts at 3 p.m. with winners of the local “Pickin’ in the Park” summer competition, followed by student performances and Papa Joe Smiddy’s Band.  In 2018, the Cove Ridge Foundation honored the late Dr. Smiddy with a brick sculpture by Tazewell Artist Johnny Hagerman.

The event features plenty of great concessions, local artisans and the opportunity to learn how to square dance or do a little flat footin’.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of the Festival. Once the concert date nears, tickets can be purchased at Addington Oil in Weber City, Natural Tunnel State Park, the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, or by calling the Natural Tunnel State Park office at 276-940-2674.

Little-Stony
New-Bush-Mill

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.