Outdoor Recreational Areas
Southwest Virginia is literally surrounded by outdoor recreational areas that showcase the beautiful surrounding Appalachian Mountains. Tourists enjoy visiting the breathtaking sights and natural attractions unique to the area. These destinations include the Jefferson National Forest, High Knob Recreational Area, Breaks Interstate Park, and Natural Tunnel State Park. Each of which offer recreational opportunities and camping accommodations.
The Jefferson National Forest extends for 690,000 acres across west-central Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The National Forest offers spectacular views of the surrounding Appalachian Mountains, cascading waterfalls, rare wildflowers, and Virginia’s highest peak. The hardwood and conifer forests feature many areas to explore, including the Mount Rogers National Recreation, Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area, and an additional eleven wilderness areas. Mount Rogers National Recreation area offers explorers more than 400 miles of maintained trails, 60 of which belong to the Appalachian Trail. The steep and rugged terrain of Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area is known for its prominent mountains: Mount Pleasant, Pompey Mountain, and Cole Mountain.
High Knob Recreation Area is located in the heart of Appalachia in Wise County Virginia and operates the highest campground in the Clinch Ranger District at an elevation of 3,800 feet. High Knob Recreation Area belongs to the Jefferson National Forest and surrounds the 4-acre High Knob Lake. Fishing is permitted on the lake with a valid Virginia license and a Forest Service Stamp. The camping sites at High Knob Recreation Area feature picnic tables, bathhouse, and operating toilets.
Dubbed “the Grand Canyon of the South,” Breaks Interstate Park is the deepest gorge east of the Mississippi River. The Breaks Interstate Park consists of 4,500 acres of woodland and makes up one of two interstate parks in America. Many of the features of Breaks Interstate Park make this a unique tourist destination. Visitors can Hike Breaks Interstate Park and enjoy biking and horseback riding along the many trails that meander throughout the forest. Recreational areas also scatter the woodlands, inviting visitors to extend their stay at the rustic lodge, cottages or abundant campgrounds. Additionally, Breaks Interstate Park features a conference center, restaurant, gift shop, and visitor’s center.
Located in Scott County, Natural Tunnel State Park, features a natural tunnel that William Jennings Bryan called the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Natural Tunnel State Park has been attracting visitors to the park for more that 100 years. The creation of the tunnel began during the glacial period when groundwater bearing carbonic acid began to slowly deteriorate the limestone and dolomite bedrock, eventually forming the tunnel. The tunnel walls feature evidence of prehistoric life, and fossils scatter the creek bed and tunnel walls. The Natural Tunnel State Park features a complex that houses a 5,400-square-foot swimming pool, bathhouse, and concessions. Seven walking trails meander throughout the park leading visitors to magnificent sights such as the tunnel floor, Lover’s Leap, Tunnel Hill and Gorge Ridge.
To see what else Wise County has to offer, visit the Wise County Tourism website.
For more information about The Journey’s Inn, call 276-328-6876 or 1-800-359-4049, e-mail us, or use our online request form