Tazewell County is full of historic rural sites and small towns that offer a taste of the way life used to be. Enjoy the beautiful countryside with numerous opportunities for hiking, hunting and fishing, as well as the mountain grandeur that you just can't ignore. There are many working farms and pioneer settlements that will allow visitors the experience of the past.
Some of the main communities in Tazwell County are: Bluefield, Cedar Bluff, Claypool Hill, Doran, Jewell Ridge, Pocahontas,
Pounding Mill, Richlands, Burke's Garden, Ward's Cove and the city of Tazewell.
Click here for a Preliminary Overview of Existing & Proposed Trails in Tazewell County.
George Washington/Jefferson National Forest Headquarters
For More Information, Contact: 5162 Valleypointe Parkway, Roanoke, VA 24019 (540) 265-5100
U.S. National Forests combined to form one of the largest areas of public land in the Eastern United States. They cover 1.8 million acres of land in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky. This dynamic forest duo is home to over 500 species of trees and plants, including oaks, hickory, maple and pine. Wildlife watchers and nature lovers should stay alert for glimpses of black bears, white-tailed deer, bobcats, bald eagles, weasels, otters, and Martens. Everyone will enjoy mountain biking and hiking. For more information about trails, fishing and other recreational offerings in the Washington/Jefferson National Forest, click here.
Virginia Coal Heritage Trail winds its way through Tazewell County. 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 Jewell Ridge, Richlands, Cedar Bluff, Pounding Mill, Tazewell and Bluefield in Tazewell County. The route is 325 miles and was designated by the Virginia General Assembly in 2007 as an official Virginia Byway.
Birding & Wildlife Trail - Mountain Heritage Loop Tazewell County is home to six of the eight designated points on the Mountain Heritage Loop, which begins in Bland County but the majority lie in Tazewell. Those points are: Sandy Head Ostrich Farm - Along with native species, the farm is home to ratites (flightless birds such as ostriches and emus) and rare breed chickens such as Turkens and Aracunas. Burkes Garden - is the only community in the state designated as a National Historic Rural District. Lincolnshire Park - has many amenities and is a good place to watch for deer. Cavitt's Creek & Lake Witten - supports nature enthusiasts with great camping and a beautiful environment for whitetailed deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife and birds. Historic Crab Orchard Museum - history of the people who settled in the area. Offers living history days throughout the year and is open to the public. Thistle Cove Farm - whitetailed deer, wild turkeys, black bear, coyotes, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, Baltimore orioles, goldfinches, red-wing blackbirds and other wildlife.
Fincastle/Cumberland Gap Turnpike was established in 1834 by the Virginia General Assembly. The route begins by traveling on Rt. 11 to Rt. 220 North to Fincastle. Turning left on the Scenic Byway Rt. 61 through Bland County, west to Tazewell County, left onto west Route 19/460 through Tazewell County and onto Route 19 through Russell County and the town of Lebanon traveling west to Route 71. Right on Alt. 58. Left on Rt. 65 through Dungannon and Fort Blackmore. Right on Rt. 650 through Rye Cove, then right onto Route 58 to connect with Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail, connecting to the Cumberland Gap at the Virginia State Line. Click here for a map of the trail.
Clinch River is the crown of the mountain empire flowing southwestward from its origin near the town of Tazewell, the Clinch travels some 135 miles, reaching portions of Tazewell, Russell, Wise, and Scott counties on its way to the Tennessee state line. In a cast of Virginia rivers that portray history and natural wealth, the Clinch has a story and a character all its own. The river is home to about 50 species of mussels, which is more than any other river in the world and over 100 species are non-game fish - minnows and darters that sport brilliant colors and play a vital role in the survival of other fish and mussel species. But, the variety of sport fish is what makes the Clinch a great destination for anglers.
Cavitt's Creek Park/J. Witten Recreation Area Tazewell, VA 24651
The 54 acre lake is part of the 164 acre Cavitt's Creek Park. Lake Witten is classified as a "Class A" lake. The Virginia Game Commission stocks trout nine times during the year. Open for fishing, camping, picnicking, hiking and boating (only electric motor boats are permitted). Nine full service RV/camper sites, laundry room/bathhouse, primitive camping spaces and full service campsites are available. Boats and paddle boats are also available for rent. Wildlife viewing, biking and birding trails. 7 picnic shelters with a large playground. Lake Witten is classified as a "Class A" lake. The Virginia Game Commission stocks trout nine times a year. Open for fishing, camping, picnicking, hiking and boating (only electric motor boats are permitted).
Laurel Meadows Park
7 acre park with 1/2 mile walkway, caboose, pavilions and playground equipment
Lincolnshire Park Hwy Route 61, Tazewell, VA
Located in sorthern part of the county. Swimming, tennis, picnicking and fishing facilities. Kidzown Playground was built almost entirely by volunteers. The park boasts a beautiful 25 acre lake with boat launching facilities, two basketball courts, one sand volleyball court, three picnic shelters, one horseshoe pit, two softball fields, and a Junior Olympic size swimming pool. The park also possesses KIDZOWN playground which was built and funded by the community.
West on Hwy 460. Refreshing mix of industrial property and country living. Unique dining, entertainment, varied shopping (boutiques, gifts, crafts, plazas) and an active regional farmers market. Hiking, walking, biking, fishing and hunting. Richlands Recreation Park and Clinch River Walking Trail are pleasant and Critterville is a great park for young children.
Appalachian Arts Center. Gov. G.C. Perry Highway, located on Rt. 19, 2 miles south of Claypool. (276) 596-9188. Features exhibitions on the work of local crafts people and fine artists. Open Tuesday - Saturday. Click here for location map.
Ward's Cover "The Cove"
Area named for the way it settles between the mountains. 50th Anniversary movie “Lassie: Best Friends are Forever” was filmed here. Most of the farms are being worked by the 7th or 8th generations of original settlers. Many say this area reminds them of the Scottish highlands. Jefferson National Forest borders the Cove area and offers hunting and fishing. Wildlife in the area: black bear, white-tailed deer, wild turkey and native trout.
Built in 1968 on farmland. 9 hole public course on 52 acres of rolling hills and spectacular views. Consists of 3 par, four par 4, 2 par 5 holes. Challenging layout for beginners and experienced players.
Sandy Head Ostrich Farm Hwy 61, Tazewell, VA
Ostriches, emus, Aracaunas, Turkens and other rare breed birds. Tours for groups, school groups & individuals. Container garden, hummingbird & butterfly garden, gift shop.
Burkes Garden called “God’s Thumbprint”, a title most obviously understood by looking at it from an aerial view. Bowl shaped indention into the earth not sure of its origins.
Burkes Garden Country Store front porch rockers and one gas pump. Plank floor invites one on in for a game of checkers or a leisurely stay around the potbellied stove. Part of the loop for the Heart of Appalachia Bike Trail and Driving Route, outstanding scenic route for cyclists and bikers. Burkes Garden Old Elementary School central point of the Burke’s Garden Fall Festival held the last Saturday in September. Local farmers, artisans, crafters and bakers all participate. Fresh farm produce, locally made quilts, freshly baked breads, homemade apple butter or hand spun yarn from local sheep. Lots of scenic pastoral farms to view on the drive there.
Designated as a National Historic Landmark. First mine in the Pocahontas Coalfield. Opened in 1882. Mine operated for 73 years. In 1938, the “show” mine was opened. Visitors can walk through the mine with a tour guide to view the coal formed 400 million years ago and see the methods of mining. This mine is the only mine to ever be declared a National Historic Landmark. It is adjacent to the Coal Heritage Museum, gift shop and Learning Center.
Frog Level - No Longer in Operation Tazewell County, VA
Tiny stop at the intersection of VA 16, US 19 and US 460. Frog Level Service Station is one of the oldest Taverns in Virginia and features a bar serving a wide variety of beers. Saturday afternoons there is often a group of musicians picking away on their strings, playing whatever music comes to mind. Sometimes, one of the County's excellent barbeque chefs will come by, asking the folks gathered around to sample his latest recipe for barbeque sauce on freshly cooked pork. Or pick up a commemorative t-shirt from the Frog Level Yacht Club.
The west fork of Plum Creek runs its course nearby. It is a small waterway named because of the wild plum trees that grow along its banks.
Was completed in 1896, it is now home to the Tazewell County Visitors Center. Solid oak woodwork, original mural and furniture. House museum includes Sanders Family documents, pictures and collections. Space available for meetings and receptions, oak is perfect for a bridal procession. Property also contains a granary, smokehouse and cottage outbuildings.
Museum preserves the cultural heritage of the Appalachian Region with exhibits on the 500 year-old Native American Village discovered on site, Pioneer Life, and military conflicts, such as the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. There are 14 log cabins from the 1800s showing what life was like. There are carriage rides, a hearse, farm equipment from that time period and a Model T featured there. Gift shop available with such items as handmade crafts, period toys, books, and snacks.
A charming 19th century town developed along the Old Kentucky Turnpike. Elaborately restored old grist mill, 1873 birthplace of Governor George C. Perry, historic district is on America’s National Register. Old Jones Chapel, Old College Hill schoolhouse, 1890 Clinch Valley Blanket Mill.
Working farm that breeds American Curly horses, Shetland, Romney and Merino sheep. Farm tours give an Appalachian homstead overview including fiber demonstrations of carding, spinning and weaving. Tours are available by reservation. In the Thistle Cove Farm Store you can purchase a collectible wool blanket or shawl. Traditional Appalachian artisans offer quality handcrafted dulcimers, fillet, crochet, wool shawls and lost more.
Richlands Coal Miners Memorial 200 Washington Square, Richlands, VA 24641
The memorial is a tribute to all the men/women who sacrificed everything to simply make a living. Shows a miner leaving the mine with lunch pail and pick. There is water cascading over the black wall which represents the mine itself. Etchings are on the front and names of over 1000 miners are on the back. Those 1000 are the ones who died working in mines. This is considered the official Coal Miners' Memorial of the Commonwealth.
St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church (1896)
10 life size murals painted on the ceiling and walls of the church.
St. Elizabeth was founded in 1896 for all of the european immigrants in Pocahontas. Some of their descendents may still live in the area, since the church still hosts an annual Hugarian Cabbage Roll ("Hunky hand grenades") Dinner. It sits on the hilltop overlooking the town. (Photo provided by coalcampusa.com)
Opera House & Old Town Hall (1895)
Historic building that has shown many first-run Broadway shows.
Built in early 1900s. Building reflects rich European culture in the area
An attraction in itself, this specialty restaurant is situated in an old dairy barn. Once inside, you will be dazzled by the offerings: fresh fish flown in twice a week, 2-inch thick prime rib, lobsters from Maine, homemade bread, and 20 kinds of imported beers including Fosters Lager on tap. With some of the finest barbecue and biggest steaks, this visit is a treat. Other specials include Thai Curry, grilled fresh fish and crabcakes with chili Hollandaise.
Big Daddy's Resturant Tazewell, VA
Highland Bull Pub Rt. 609, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609
Located in Wardell and housed in a 130-year old general store, this pub offers over 100 different varieties of beer and also has snacks, soda and juice. Serves as an oasis for bikers on the Heart of Appalachia Bike Route. The Highland Pub northwest of the Cove on Hwy 609. Tiny restaurant boasts country ham sandwiches and over one hundred varieties of beer. Interior design is based on funny signs, dollar bills and tall tales. The owner raises Scotch Highland cattle and sells beef out of the store.
Loose Change 850 E. Fincastle, Tazewell, VA 24651
Loose Change is an unusual store located in the heart of Tazewell County with a complete selection of bridal supplies, party goods, country gifts, Leanin' Tree cards and Breyers Horses.
April 3rd Weekend. Jeffersonville Skirmish Civil War Reenactment (Crab Orchard)
July 2nd Friday Sunday. Old Time Bluegrass & Fiddlers’ Convention (Crab Orchard)
April 3rd Saturday. Sheep Shearing Day Thistle Cover Farm
April Last Saturday. Coal Heritage Days Festival and Candlelight Mem Serv
May 2nd Weekend. Bluefield Heritage Days, Bluefield
October 2nd Saturday. Ostrich Festival, Tazewell
Free continental breakfast, coffee, outdoor heated pool, cable/satellite, tennis court. 61 rooms. AAA Rating: 3 diamonds. All well-appointed guest rooms come equipped with Sleeper by Serta beds, coffee makers, hair dryers, irons, ironing boards and cable television. Refrigerators and microwaves are available in most rooms.
U.S. Rt. 460W, Pounding Mill, VA (276) 964-9014
Cuz's restaurant, famous for its food since 1979, now has two new cedar log cabins. Both cabins have indoor hot tubs, woodburning fireplaces, and king size beds. A beautiful and secluded outdoor pool built on the hillside is open in the summer months, as well as two clay tennis courts. Amenities: Continental Breakfast, Refrigerator, Microwave, Jacuzzi, Outdoor Pool
Fincastle Motor Inn
East Fincastle Drive, Tazewell, VA (276) 988-2531
Features 40 rooms, cable tv. One King and One Queen room available; all others rooms have two standard size beds.
Hotel & suites. Spacious king and queen double bedding along with 17 suites. King Suite features a fireplace and hot tub. All suites have wet bar with mircowave, refrigerator and sofa sleeper. Indoor pool, whirlpool, exercise room featuring Nautilus equipment. Continental breakfast, jacuzzi, indoor pool.
Beautiful and elegant, early 1900's country farm house. Carefully renovated, keeping the integrity of the original beauty and features of the home, while making it comfortable for modern expectations. Original interior oak woodwork, along with magnificent oak fireplaces, featuring the original tile, copper surrounds and screens, converted from coal to gas logs. 3 guest rooms - amenities: room snacks and beverages, bath robes, fresh flowers in room, books and magazines, internet connection, hot tub, telescope · BBQ Grill · picnic table.
Our thanks to the Virginia Tourism Corporation (Virginia.org) for their use of some of the photos on this website.