Taking the Scenic Route

Mt.Rogers Scenic Byway | Smyth, Grayson

Enjoy a variety of scenic curves and interesting changes in the terrain as you follow either of the two sections of this byway. The first section begins at Troutdale, VA. You will drive west for 13.2 miles over Virginia Route 603 to Konnarock. VA. You will traverse the heart of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Highway 603 is a two-lane paved road. The second section of the byway leads you 32.5 miles east from Damascus, VA to Volney, VA. The byway follows US Route 58, which is the easiest access to the “High Country” of the NRA. US 58 is a two-lane, paved scenic road.

Big Walker Mountain Scenic Byway | Wythe

Passing through national forest and private land, this 16-mile stretch showcases mountain vistas, historic farm homesteads and tree-lined forest vistas. At the top, a 100-foot tower at Big Walker Lookout affords a spectacular view of the mountains and valleys. The business has a craft/gift shop on premises. In this historic mountain pass, Molly Tynes made her famous midnight ride to warn Wytheville of Toland’s raiders riding from Tazewell to destroy the railroad during the Civil War. Virginia Birding trail. Fishing, hiking, biking, camping along the route. The starting point for Monster Rock hiking trail, a 15-20 minute walk to a rock bluff overlook that offers a breathtaking panarama of the north valley. It is also the entrance to the Big Bend Picnic Area just 4 miles on up the mountain. Virginia City Gem Mine is on south side of byway.

Blue Ridge Parkway | Patrick, Floyd, and Carroll

Drive Virginia’s Blue Ridge Parkway – “America’s Favorite Scenic Drive”. The Parkway in 2005 has been designated an All-American Road, the highest honor bestowed by the Federal Highway Administration to recognize roadways that possess surpassing scenic, historic, recreational and other intrinsic qualities that make them “one of a kind”.
Extending 469 miles along the crests of the Southern Appalachians the Parkway’s spectacular natural beauty, wildlife and foliage is highlighted by picnic facilities, camping, hiking trails, waterfalls and sweeping overlooks. It meanders in and out of Patrick County for a 30 mile stretch. The Parkway runs from Shenandoah National Park in northern Virginia to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in western North Carolina.

Catawba Road, A Virginia Byway | Montgomery County

A portion of the Catawba Road is designated a scenic byway. This road passes through pastoral landscapes, including historic buildings, mills, a tanyard, a brick kiln, 19th century churches and an early 20th century school. The Catawba Road is also part of the TransAmerica Bikeway.

Burke’s Garden on State Route 623 | Tazewell

Sometimes referred to as “God’s Thumbprint” because of its view from the air, this mountain-ringed bowl is 10 miles in diameter and filled with some of the most fertile farmland in the state. The area, at 3000 feet, is the highest mountain valley in Virginia. It was designated a National and Virginia Rural Historical District. The community can be viewed from the Appalachian Trail or by car from state route 623. Visitors can buy baked goods and vegetables, bike on area roads, hike and hunt in nearby Jefferson National Forest. First discovered in the 1740’s by James Burke while hunting in the area. The name “Burke’s Garden” was given to the valley as a joke in 1748 after Burke planted potato peelings by the campfire of a 1748 surveying party. The next year, a fine crop of potatoes was found.