Biking | Canoeing | Clubs | Fishing | Golf | Hiking | Horseback | Wildlife
Buchanan County caters to the adventurer who enjoys whitewater rafting, mountain biking and hiking where Daniel Boone once blazed. Found nearby is Breaks Interstate Park and the Jefferson National Forest. Some of the main communities in Buchanan County are: Big Rock, Oakwood, Grundy, Pilgrim's Knob and Vansant.

Click here for Site Review of Trail Potential

Click here for a Preliminary Overview of Existing & Proposed Trails in Buchanan County.

Breaks Interstate Park – “Grand Canyon of the South”, was created in 1954 by joint action of the Kentucky and Virginia legislatures encompassing 4,500 acres of green woodlands and sky scraping mountain scenery.  Outdoor recreation abounds within the park – swimming, camping, picnicking, hiking, unusual geological formations, hidden springs, caves, horseback riding, lodge, fishing, boating, whitewater rafting, wildlife & bird viewing and much more. For more information about the Appalachian Plateau, click here.

Coal Heritage Trail – winds its way through Buchanan County, one of Virginia’s leading coal counties.  Provides the self-guided visitor a view of this vital industry.  Has active and worked-out mines of various types: golf course on reclaimed strip mine, coal coking plant, coal preparation plants and coal-hauling railroad.  Passes through communities of Whitewood, Compton Mountain, Patterson, Dismal River, Vansant, Grundy, Slate Creek, Roseann, Hurley, Big Rock, Harman and the Breaks then moves on to other counties. The route is 325 miles and was designated by the Virginia General Assembly in 2007 as an official Virginia Byway.

Grundy – mural that portrays the area’s history of hunting, farming, timbering, coalmining, natural gas production, recreation and more from pioneer days to the present.  Mural is located on the exterior of a food store at Vansant and is visible from US 460.

Birding and Wildlife Trails

Buchanan County hosts three sites with six adjoining sites in neighboring Dickenson County. The trails are a part of the 340 sites that make up the Mountain Area of the state's SW Virginia trail system. The trails in Buchanan County consist of Compton Mtn./Horn Mtn., Poplar Gap/Sunset Hollow and the Breaks Interstate Park which is shared with Dickenson County - Pine Loop. Compton Mountain, Poplar Gap Park and Breaks Interstate Park are prime areas for bird watching.  Buchanan County has 170 species or birds that can be found in its forested mountains or grassed over strip mines.  The county also has black bear, coyote, deer, bobcat, fox, a variety of other small mammals and a variety of snakes and reptiles.

Buchanan Bird Club
County Public Library, 1185 Poe Town Street, Grundy, VA 24614
(276) 259-7636

Leading birdwatchers in the Breaks Interstate Park and Horn Mountain.

Mountain Top Golf Course
Pilgrims Knob, VA (276) 259-7314
Nine-hole public golf course located on 30 acres of previously strip-mined land atop Compton Mountain. Features artificial greens and is the first course of its kind in the U.S.
Willowbrook Country Club, private club, 9 hole course.
William P. Harris Park
P.O. Box 950, Grundy, VA (276) 935-6500
Large community center, swimming pool, tennis and volleyball courts, athletic fields, picnic shelters, stage with bleachers, 2-100 year old restored cabins for meetings and special events.

Poplar Gap Park/Fairgrounds – located on reclaimed mountaintop property.  Offers an unusual children’s playground with a large pirate’s ship, Noah’s ark, train, tractor, jeep, castle, airplane and life-size playhouse.  Gym, horse ring, athletic fields, picnic shelters and office/concession stand.  Horse shows and county fair are held here. 

Kiwanis Park
Grundy, VA (540) 935-2204
The Kiwanis Park in Grundy features picnic facilities, a walking track, a covered stage, playground equipment and a tennis court.

Verner Blankenship Park – Hurley.  Community center, covered stage, playground, picnic shelters, community gym and athletic fields.

Keen Mountain Park – Rt. 801 on Keen Mountain.  Accessed by both Dismal River and Levisa River.  Covered stage, restrooms, golf driving range, baseball field, women’s softball field, playground and picnic shelters.

Enochs Branch Recreation Field – Off Rt. 83 mountaintop.  Athletic fields, large picnic shelters, restrooms, playground equipment.

Russell Fork Whitewater Adventures - Route 80, Big Rock, VA 24603. Outfitter for day trips on the Russell Fork River, which offers whitewater rapids of Class III-V+. Outfitter works with individuals or family's needs and skills on river rafting. (276) 530-7044 or 530-7243.

Lonesome Pine Trail Riders ATV Club

Whitewater Kayaking and Rafting – Class II-V rapids on Russell Fork.  Russell Fork is a mountain stream rising in Buchanan County and gathering the waters from two other rivers before flowing through Breaks Canyon.  Waters are released seasonally from Flannagan Reservoir to flow into Russell Fork creating the world class whitewater rapids each October that draws enthusiasts from all over the country.

Coalfield Motorcycle Riders – non-profit group enjoys recreational rides and poker runs to raise money for various charities.

ABATE Motocycle Club - (276) 935-5812.


(fall) whitetail deer, black bear, raccoon, squirrel, rabbit, wild turkey, ruffed grouse and dove.  (spring) gobbler turkey season.


  • Big Buchanan Hunting Club (276) 498-4966
  • Dismal River Hunt Club (276) 259-6073
  • Knox Creek Hunt Club (276) 566-8209
  • Wild Turkey Federation (276) 498-4524.


Dismal River rates as Buchanan’s top trout stream.  Levisa River produces trophy size small bass and the Russell Fork rates as a good small bass stream.  These streams can be waded or floated in small boats.  Bass boats and jet skis can be used on nearby Flannagan Reservoir. Click here for more information.


Grundy: 3 mile hike and bike trail.  Breaks Interstate Park:  12 mile well groomed, single track mountain bike trail. Jewell Valley:  6 mile hike and bike trail.  Coast-to-Coast:  Trans America Bike Route follows Hwy 80.

Club: Appalachian Cycling Association (276) 935-5352.

For more information on biking and mountain biking trails, click here.


Numerous places to hike in Buchanan County.  There are several parks in Grundy with walking & hiking trails.  Breaks Interstate Park has 16 hiking trails that cover over 25 miles of terrain with varying degrees of difficulty. For more information about hiking trails, click here.

Rainbow Drive Inn
U.S. 460, Vansant
(276) 935-2796

Homecooked meals, fresh salad, homemade pies. Catering, banquet room. Open 7 days a week 6 am - 10:30 pm.

Mountain Perks
Across from Appalachian School of Law (ASL)
(276) 935-4344

Espresso, coffee, pastries, and much more.

Italian Village
Walnut Street, Grundy, VA
(276) 935-5454

Pizza, Subs, salads, and dinners.

Breaks Interstate Park

Lodging and dining room.

Comfort Inn
Rt. 5, Box 590, Grundy, VA 24614
(276) 935-5050

Clean hotel offers in-room coffee makers, full size irons and ironing boards, clock radios, hair dryers, refrigerators and microwaves and 25-inch remote control televisions with cable and free HBO.

Shortridge Motel
Rt. 460, Box 6A, Vansant, VA 24656
(276) 935-2968

16 single/double units available. Gift shop and sporting shop adjacent to motel. Numerous restaurants nearby.

Vansant Motel
Vansant, VA
(540) 935-8191
Coalfields Folklife Festival
Grundy, VA
First Weekend in June

This festival is a celebration of life in the coalfields of Southwest VA. There will be driving tours along the Coal Heritage Trail, storytelling at the local library, quilting, arts & crafts, music, birding, owling, agriculture and mining related displays and classes, wood carving, herbs, flower walks, local farm products, a blacksmith, foods and much more. Information, maps, and many events will be centered on the Appalachian School of Law campus in Grundy.

Motorcycle Rally
Memorial Day Weekend
Poplar Gap Park
Bluegrass Extravaganza
July 4th Weekend
Breaks Interstate Park
Poplar Gap Horse Show
Various Dates Spring to Fall
Poplar Gap Park
Warbler Watch Day
Second Saturday in September
Compton Mountain
Rivers to Ridges Century Bike Ride
First Saturday in October

Crosses up to eight mountains with both a 100-mile route and a 60-mile route.

Homemaking in the Mountains
Late October
Breaks Interstate Park
Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking
Each October Weekend
Breaks Interstate Park

Buchanan County Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 2818, Grundy, VA 24615
(276) 935-4147

Our thanks to the Virginia Tourism Corporation (Virginia.org) for their use of some of the photos on this website.
WMTH CORPORATION PO BOX 51153 BOWLING GREEN, KY 42102 PHONE (270) 792-5300 FAX 721-0004