Wise County sets in the southwestern part of the state of Virginia. The county is noted for its rural, scenic, recreational and historic attractions.
When you get tired of hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing or boating in Jefferson National Forest or High Knob Mountain; visit the antique and craft shops, museums and other historic & cultural attractions. Watch Virginia's Official State Outdoor Drama, Trail of the Lonesome Pine.
Some of the communities found in Wise County are Appalachia, Big Stone Gap, Coeburn, Norton, Pound, St. Paul, and the city of Wise.
Click herefor a Preliminary Overview of Existing & Proposed Trails in Wise County.
George Washington/Jefferson National Forest Headquarters 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. 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.
For more information about the Appalachian Plateau, click here.
The museum houses a collection of items from the region. The collection was started by C. B. Slemp, who served in Congress from 1907 to 1923 and was President Coolidge’s personal secretary. The gift shop features many one-of-akind items.
Challenging 4-mile route to Little Stone Mountain in the Jefferson National Forest.
Birding & Wildlife Trails, click here for a complete listing of birding and wildlife trails. Wetlands Estonoa is an ongoing project of the Saint Paul Community. The Center will promote the study of a wetlands ecosystem and encourage the preservation of a natural resource. Local citizens, students from St. Paul High School and Elementary School, as well as individuals from neighboring communities will access the Estonoa Learning Center.
Saint Paul High School, 3207 Deacon Drive, St. Paul, VA 24283.
(276) 762-0221 or (276) 762-5221
Chief Benge Trail 9416 Darden Drive, Jefferson Naitonal Forest, Wise, VA 24293
18.7 mile trail for experienced hikers through the Jefferson National Forest.
Coal Heritage Trail - This byway winds its way through seven (7) counties in southwest Virginia. In Wise County, the town of Appalachia is full of coal heritage and continues to mine coal. There are many scenic mountains and valleys on the Coal Heritage Trail and a stop in the county is the Mountain Rose Vineyard. Another stop is at Big Stone Gap - the Harry W. Meador Coal Museum features displays of mining equipment, tools, coal company items and a collection of photograhs.
The Crooked Road Trail(Virginia's Heritage Music Trail) - The Crooked Road winds through the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Bluegrass, old time, and traditional country music is as beautiful and rugged as the landscape itself. Their mission is to support economic development by promoting heritage tourism as well as Blue Ridge and Appalachian culture. The trail travels through the counties of: Dickenson, Wise, Lee, Scott, Washington, Grayson, Carroll, Floyd, Patrick and Franklin. The major venue for Wise County is the Country Cabin. The Country Cabin is the oldest mountain music/cultural venue currently operating along the Crooked Road.
Devil's Fork Trail System 9416 Darden Drive, Wise, VA 24293
Hiking trail. Old logging grade. 20' waterfall, mountain overlooks and the Devil's Bathtub.
Guest River Gorge Trail Jefferson National Forest, 9416 Darden Drive, Wise, VA 24293
Rails to trails project that follows an old railroad right of way paralleling the Guest River, a Virginia Scenic River. Trout fishing is permitted in the river, as well as kayacking and canoeing.
6 mile trail that includes railroad tunnel, bridges w/remaining trestles, waterfalls and rock outcroppings.
The Heart of Appalachia Bike Route runs from Burke's Garden in Tazewell County to Guest River Gorge in Wise County. This 125 mile (with 40 miles of side trails) backroad and back country biking excursion. Offers backroads, rails to trails, single track, historic sites, a natural preserve area, wilderness area, Amish general store, a pub, a swinging bridge, three scenic rivers, farms and coal country, and gorgeous views.
High Knob Lake Trail 9416 Darden Drive, Jefferson National Forest, Wise, VA 24293
1.3 mile trail that leads to High Knob Lake.
Lake Keokee Loop Trail 9416 Darden Drive, Jefferson National Forest, Wise, VA 24293
3.7 mile trail around the 92 acre lake. Hiking, fishing, & wildlife watching
Laurel Fork Trail 9416 Darden Drive, Jefferson National Forest, Wise, VA 24293
Camping, picnicking, scenic with small waterfalls. 1.5 miles long
Little Stony National Recreation Trail 9416 Darden Drive, Jefferson National Forest, Wise, VA 24293
2.8 mile trail follows the stream through a 400 ft. deep and 1.700 ft. wide gorge. Two waterfalls and the Hanging Rock Picnic Area. Fishing is allowed.
Phillips Creek Loop Trail 9416 Darden Drive, Jefferson National Forest, Wise, VA 24293
Self-guided trail that comes with a narrative trail brochure. Wildlife clearing where one may see deer, turkey and other wild game. Old homestead, waterfalls. 1.3 miles
Phillips Creek Recreational Area Beach area, picnic shelters on Pound Reservoir
Red Fox Trail & Civil War Monument 9416 Darden Drive, Jefferson National Forest, Wise, VA 24293
Historical intrepretive trail about the 1892 massacre. Red Fox was a legendary bad man immortalized in plays and storytelling.
Stone Mountain Trail 9416 Darden Drive, Jefferson National Forest, Wise, VA 24293
14.3 miles. Miniature falls amidst interesting rock formations. Stand of old growth hemlock over 300 years old. Lots of rock outcrops and rock formations for scenic value. Difficult hike because of the length and unevn footing.
Straight Fork Ridge Trail 9416 Darden Drive, Jefferson National Forest, Wise, VA 24293
2 mile hike has many scenic vistas to enjoy looking over the mountain.
Wallen Ridge Trail 9416 Darden Drive, Jefferson National Forest, Wise, VA 24293
6.9 mile trail travels along the top of Wallen Ridge to an area just west of Mountain Empire Community College.
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. Click here for more information on the Sugarhill-Clinch River Trail.
The camp offers 25 camping units with tent pad, picnic table and parking spur near 60 acre warm water lake which provides opportunities for fishing and boating (electric motors only). Paved boat launching ramp, hiking trails and picnic units with tables and grills are also featured.The lake is stocked with northern pike, bass, blue gill, rainbow trout and catfish.
Bulitt Park 103 Shawnee Ave., Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Is the largest of nine community parks. Includes a football field, tennis courts, fitness and biking trails, large playground area, picnic area, and a track.
Veldon D. Dotson Recreation Park
5733 Airport Road, Wise, VA 24293
Bear Creek Reservoir & Recreation Area 800-933-PARK. Activities revolve around the 40-acre lake with a swimming beach, picnicking, camping with full hookups and meandering hiking trails. Bear Creek Lake maintains a healthy population of largemouth bass, crappie, bream and catfish. A boat launch is available for non-gasoline powered boats. During the summer months the park rents bikes, canoes, rowboats, paddleboats, hydro-bikes, trolling motors and picnic shelters. Swimming is free for campers.
Camp Bethel Birchfield Road, Wise, VA 24293
The Appalachian Wilderness Adventure Program (AWAP) is a challenging ropes course. The program is a part of the ministries located at Camp Bethel, which also operates youth summer camp. The Appalachian Wilderness Adventure Program was developed in 1986 to work with churches, youth groups, schools, busineses, social services, and mental health groups. AWAP is an exciting outdoor/indoor activity that can be used to attract all ages.
One of the largest campgrounds in the Jefferson National Forest. Small lake for swimming, fed by a spring that originates in the mountains above the cave. Hiking trails are developed in the area. 41 camping sites with electrical hookup.
Devil's Bathtub & Waterfall 9416 Darden Drive, Jefferson National Forest, Wise, VA 24293
Hikers can see a stream racing down a rock chute, swirl through the "tub" and race downstream.
A.R. Matthews Park St. Paul, VA (276) 762-5297
The area includes access to the eastern bank of the State Scenic Clinch River, which is lined with numerous large hardwood trees. Pileated woodpecker, flycatchers, vireos and thrushes can be found along this river embankment. There are several species of endangered mussels in the Clinch River.
Lonesome Pine Country Club 2706 Country Club Rd, Big Stone Gap - (276) 523-0739
The 18-hole "Lonesome Pine" course at the Lonesome Pine Country Club facility in Big Stone Gap, Virginia features 5,862 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 71 . The course rating is 67.9 and it has a slope rating of 120 on Bermuda grass. Lonesome Pine golf course opened in 1924. Ken Crowder manages the course as the Golf Professional.
Fraley’s Park Big Stone Gap, VA((276) 523-4950
Situated along a small creek that feeds into the Powell River. The main focus of the park is the circular walking path that is heavily used by the local community. Hardwood trees, which include maples and yellow poplar within the small track, attract eastern bluebird, downy woodpecker, northern flicker, and white-breasted nuthatch. This site is home to a fairly large entourage of urban mallards. However, the creeks still attract other wading birds
Big Cherry Recreational Area
Located in Jefferson National Forest
Known for the Fishing opportunities and other water activities such as Kayaking
Sets at an elevation of 4,162 feet. Spectacular panoramic view of the mountains of Southwest Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia and North Carolina. The tower is an octagonal shape and built in a clearing atop a mountain. Has a fieldstone base level and two wooden levels circled by observation decks. Mountain ranges in the distance are visible for miles. Observation Tower burned, watch the site for updates.
North Fork Reservoir - Cane Patch Camping U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rt. 1, Pound, VA 24279
154 Acre Lake is used for fishing, boating, camping, picnicking, and hiking. 33 campsites with restrooms, showers and playground equipment. Fish species include: largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, and sunfish.
Pound Boat Launch 9416 Darden Drive, Jefferson National Forest, Wise, VA 24293
Access to the 154-acre North Fork of Pound Lake. Picnic area
Wise Lake Reservoir Rt. 646, 5545 Browning Lane, Wise, VA 24293
Stocked fishing, boat ramp, picnic facilities
Whispering Pines Family Campground Birchfield Road RT. 759
Wise, VA 24293
160 acres. Fuly equipped RV sites and primitive tent sites. Includes a dumping station, bathhouse, swimming lake, hiking trails, volleyball, basketball and other recreational facilities.
Considered to be a largely intact "era" town of the late 1800's to the early 1900's. At that time the town was the center of a booming coal mining culture. The town sprang up after the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and Southern Railroad made a junction there in 1890. Many railroad buildings still remain in the town.
Virginia-Kentucky Opry 724 Park Ave., Norton, VA 24273
A 247 seat theatre that showcases traditional music.
June Tolliver House & Folkart Center 522 Clinton Ave East
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Free tours of June Tolliver house are offered. The first floor has antiques from the turn of the century. Throughout the house are paintings that were donated by local artists. The majority of the paintings are of actors and actresses who have previously starred in the drama over the past three decades. The house is a National and Virginia Historic Landmark. The house also serves as a craft/gift shop with items featured from local artists. Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama. 518 Clinton Ave. (276) 523-1235. Virginia's official outdoor drama featuring folk music, feuding and romance.
Appalachian Cultural Arts Center Main Street, P.O. Box 754
Appalachia, VA 24216
Created to foster commitment to the future, to economic development, and to the cultural pride of the Town of Appalachia, the surrounding communities, and their residents. The purpose of the center is to revitalize the souls and spirits of a community and her people through the use of the arts and humanities.
Lonesome Pine School & History Center 511 Clinton Ave., Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
School memorabilia, photos and genealogical materials displayed in a historic house.
Big Stone Gap 619 Gilley Ave., Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Many of the town's attractions are featured in Adriana Trigiani's books, Big Stone Gap, Big Cherry Holler and Milk Glass Moon. Just as in the book, this is a lovely, Victorian-era town. Walking/driving tour of attractions, buildings, historical landmarks and Victorian-era homes.
Clinch Haven Farms 2524 Clinch Haven Road
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219 (276) 523-3276
Tour a traditional farm where visitors can observe the workings of the farm and visit the animals in the petting area. Explore our corn maze and pumpkin patch each autumn, or pick your own vegtables such as green beans or sweet corn. Children are especially welcome.
Coeburn Train Depot Main Street, Coeburn, VA 24230
Built in 1870 for the South Carolina & Georgia Railroad, this private car was used by the president of the railroad and is one of the oldest and finest examples of typical passenger car construction of the late 19th century. It contains an observation room, two staterooms, a dining area, and facilities for the porter and a kitchen area. Today the car houses a regional visitor information center.
Country Cabin II presents old time and bluegrass music every Saturday night, featuring local and regional musicians. Mountain-style clogging is taught at Country Cabin II. Other special events include the Dock Boggs/Kate O'Neill Peters Sturgill Memorial Music festival, jam sessions, picking lessons, weddings, birthday celebrations, music benefit shows and bus tours. Located at: 6032 Kent Junction Road (276) 679-2632. Is the oldest mountain music/cultural venue on the Crooked Road. State and National Historic Landmark. Local musicians gather at the cabin to perform traditional bluegrass and country music. Events include: traditional musicians, dancers, mountain arts & crafts, and home made mountain foods.
Local groups entertain and provide music to "shake a leg" to on the dance floor. Informal jams are also held on Thursday evenings.
Harry W. Meador Coal Museum 570 Shawnee Ave E
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Museum features exhibits and objects from a local coal company. The house was a two room building that served as a library and study. Later a wing was added and the building served as a community center. Various displays exist in the museum, including a collection of photographs, mining equipment and tools, office equipment, coal company items, and a small dentist office from the early 1900's.
Derby Coal Camp Derby Road, Appalachia, VA 24216
1920 coal camp built by mining company. Original glazed buildings intact.
Home of John Fox, Jr., the famous mountain author of many novels and short stories. An outdoor drama based on his novel, Lonesome Pine, is staged in the town of Big Stone Gap and has been designated as Virginia's Official Outdoor Drama. Fox, Jr. was also an avid outdoorsman who served with Teddy Roosevelt as a rough rider. The present museum is the family home that is still filled with original furnishings from the turn of the century. The natural cedar shingled house is rustic in design with large screened porches off both stories.
Grapevines and roses abound as you enjoy the only Virginia wines made from grapes grown on land formerly mined for coal. Tasting room overlooks a sparkling pond in the beautiful mountain setting surrounded by roses and nine varities of grapevines. Specializes in fruity wines, both dry and sweet.
Tacoma Community Center 4408 Stone Mountain Road
Tacoma, VA 24230
The Tacoma Community Center, nestled in the Appalachian mountains along The Crooked Road, presents a traditional music show every Saturday that features Bluegrass, Old Time or Traditional Country music. Musicians and bands are from the Coalfield region of Southwest Virginia.
Stock car racing on 3/8 mile oval track. Nascar racing series.
Appalachian Childrens Theater 217 Main St., Wise, VA 24293 (276) 328-5000
Showcasing local talent and bringing live theatre to the region are just a few of the goals of Applachian Children's Theatre. A.C.T. is in it's seventh year of offering professional and quality programs to the children and adults of our area. ACT offers after school programs, summer programs, workshops, local history presentations, and so much more.
Carriage House Restaurant 1051 Park Ave SW
Norton, VA 24273
Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy top floor dining with a scenic view.
But it’s equally important that you have a good time when you visit any Reno’s Roadhouse. Help yourself to all the peanuts you want while you visit with friends, entertain a client, or celebrate a special occasion. And, when you hear the dinner bell ring, join us in a big Yee-Haw! Reno's offers everything from a great salad to quality steak. Also on the menu is chicken, ribs, burgers, sandwiches, soups and desserts.
Robo's Drive In Pound, VA
Romano's Restaurant 999 Park Avenue, SW
Norton, VA 24273
Authentic Italian, serving lunch and dinner. Romano's Restaurant has been serving the Lee and Wise County area for many years. Throughout our history, our main goal has remained the same: to deliver a fun, fine Italian food dining experience.
A Glass Expression Stained Glass Studio 8429 Main Street, Pound, VA 24279
Full service stained glass retail store/working studio. Teach more than 15 classes in all aspects of stained glass, including, but not limited to: copper foil method, lead method, fusing and slumping, hot glass, jewelry making, mosaics, stepping stones, lamp making, etc. Also, sell tools and supplies and have a glass inventory of more than 300 types from various manufacturers. Shop time and kiln time are rented out.
L. J. Horton Florist 321 Wood Avenue, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Fresh and silk flowers and collectibles, Boyd Bears, Lovelite Candles.
Littons Uptown 510 Wood Avenue East. Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Bridal and formal wear
Mutual Drug Store & Cafeteria 314 Wood Avenue, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Made famous by the novel, Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani, Mutual Pharmacy, is a wonderful place to enjoy an old fashioned soda fountain type meal. One of the few remaining drug store with a cafeteria type dining experience, this is a unique dining/shopping stop in Big Stone Gap.
Powell River Pottery 419 Wood Avenue, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Functional stoneware, decorative raku, handspun wool, knitted items, and woven items - all by Fiona Zahnke. Baskets by Coleen Zahnke.
Unique location for traditional crafts and local music.
Frog Level Near the Historic Crab Orchard Museum, on the Virginia scenic byway known as the Trail of the Lonesome Pine, the original two-lane U.S. Rts. 19 & 460 intersects at Frog Level with U.S. 16. Here at this crossroad, there are only a few homes within view. Mainly, you see a one-story simple white frame country store that until recently also had gasoline pumps. Its official name is Frog Level Service Station, T. E. Bowling, Jr., Prop. But this is no typical country service station or store! Instead, it IS downtown Frog Level, Va., a regular gathering place. It is the headquarters of the Frog Level Yacht Club, and sells sweatshirts and T-shirts to prove it.
Behind the store, the land drops sharply to a creek basin that is nowadays often dry, sometimes flooded. It is still the only place in Virginia able to serve beer without also providing meals. In the evenings, particularly on weekends, Frog Level draws young local business and professional people together for fellowship and frivolity. Often, they even have out of town guests with them once in awhile. When entertaining guests from overseas, Tazewell's Rotary Club finds a few of its members willing to take them there on Friday nights. It’s been host to visitors from Russia, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Korea, Australia, and many other faraway places.
Sue's Hallmark Shop & Trail Antiques 325 Wood Ave., Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Large gift and crafts selection, antiques, collectibles and gourmet foods.
The Gift Corner 402 Wood Ave., Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Many collectibles. Yankee Candles, Snow Babies, lighthouses, crystal, knifes and Fenton Art Glass. Free gift wrapping. Come and browse till your heart's content. Family owned and operated.
The Keeping Room 325 Powell Valley Road, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Antiques, decorating accessories, custom framing, and estate sales by tag.
Offers high quality scenic, landscape and exciting unique photographic prints for collectors and gifts.Collection of photographic images that showcase the scenery and life of Southwest Virginia’s mountain region.
Derby Historic District - Appalachia On the National Register of Historic Places097-0048
includes architectural styles of colonial revival, bungalow/craftsman. Includes a church, businesses, school, private homes
Bark Camp Recreation Area Camping 9416 Darden Drive, Wise, VA 24293
21 camping units with tent pad, picnic table and parking spur. 60 acre warm water lake with opportunities for fishing, boating (elec. motors only), paved boat launching ramp, hiking trails, picnic units with tables and grills. Lake is stocked with northern pike, bass, blue gill, rainbow trout and catfish. Two fishing piers are located on the northern shoreline.
Best Western 124 Woodland Drive, Wise, VA 24293
New facility with 60 rooms. Heated indoor pool, business center, meeting rooms, exercise facility, free breakfast.
Only developed campground at North Fork of Pound Lake. Large open areas for games, camping units each with parking spur. Picnic tables, fireplace or grill. RV spaces up to 32 ft. Bathhouse with showers, playground equipment, volleyball and basketball courts.
One of the largest campgrounds in Jefferson National Forest. Small lake for swimming. Lake is fed by a mountain spring originating in a cave. White sand beach located on the northern shore. Day Use: 10 picnic units each with wooden table and grill. This camping area has 41 camping units with tent pad, picnic table and parking spur. RV spaces up to 22 ft. are available. Hiking trails leading to the cave and stone overlook as well as to Stone Mountain.
Comfort Inn 1928B Wildcat Road
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Large indoor pool and exercise room. Free continental breakfast. Nearby Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama. 61 guest rooms. Rooms come equipped with coffee makers, irons, ironing boards, hair dryers and cable television with free HBO. Suites feature fireplaces and some rooms include microwaves and refrigerators.
Country Inn & RV Park 627 Gilley Avenue, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Motel and RV Park. Small pets allowed.
Dan Hall Mountain Resort & Country Club 5560 Dan Hall Mountain Road, Coeburn, VA
10 bedroom lodge. 1-3 hour guided scenic horseback ride or play the 9-hole golf course.
High Knob Lake Campground Jefferson National Forest, 9416 Darden Drive, Wise, VA 24293
1 double/13 single sites, no hookups, waste disposal station, flush toilets, central water hydrants, 300' swimming beach on 4 acres cold water lake.
Holiday Inn 1051 Park Ave. SW, Norton, VA 24273
Travelers looking for lodging can enjoy a comfortable stay at the new Holiday Inn hotel in Norton located just off Highway 23 and surrounded by the scenic Appalachian Mountains. Health & fitness center (onsite), indoor pool. Carriage House Restaurant is located onsite.
32 camper sites with full hook-up, including cable tv & dump station. The bathhouse and office, which includes a gift shop, are all newly constructed and handicap accessible. North Forth of the Powell River travels throughout the two acres of the campground, so you can enjoy fishing or relaxing.
Journey's Inn 9050 Camp Bethel Road, Wise, VA 24293
Log cabin apartment type setting.
North Fork Reservoir Camping U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rt 1 Box 369, Pound, VA 24279
154 acre lake used for fishing, boating, camping, picnicing, hiking and the municipal water supply. Picnic area looks over the reservoir w/restroom facility. Fish include: largemouth bass, crappie, catfish and sunfish. Cane Patch is the center of the recreation activity. It has 33 camping sites with restrooms, showers and playground equipment.