Discover the beauty of southwestern Virginia’s majestic mountains…
From the breathtaking scenic vistas along the mountain ridges to their cradled, lush valleys below on the Heart of Appalachia’s rural byways. With over 600 miles of vetted routes to explore, you’ll find historic landmarks, unique attractions, stunning landscapes, meandering waterways, quaint towns with down-home hospitality, great eateries, relaxing lodging, and epic elevation changes – just up…or down the road, waiting for your visit. Contact us to get your FREE map!
it’s all here in the Heart of Appalachia, connected by these Appalachian Backroads. Experience it for yourself.
The Heart of Appalachia region offers travelers countless ways to ELEVATE & Relax your heart rate while exploring these amazing byways. The mountains have something FUN for everyone, whether you like the heart-pumping thrills of hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, ATV riding, whitewater rafting, and rock climbing. If relaxing by a campfire, sipping local wines, and tapping your toes to the music of the Crooked Road are more your style, we’ve got you covered.
Visitors will also enjoy amazing natural wonders, ample bird and wildlife watching, world-class fishing, tubing, overlooks, and waterfalls. Shopping, handmade crafts, museums, historical sites, traditional Southern food, and lots of family-friendly activities will round out your visit to this exciting, yet affordable area. In addition to these six routes, there are tons of additional miles along our amazing arteries.
Stone Face Chase – Follow the pioneer’s path along the Wilderness Road on this 80 mile loop through Virginia’s westernmost county.
The Clincher – 111 miles of camera candy: charming, historic towns along the most bio-diverse river on the continent, the Clinch.
The Elevate’r – Climb to an elevation of 4,233 ft. atop High Knob before descending 2,800 ft. into the scenic valleys below for 100 miles of smiles.
Heart Breaker – A ride so thrilling, you’ll wish it never ends! 137 miles through the Heart of Appalachia to the Grand Canyon of the South, Breaks Interstate Park.
Ridge Runner – Travel the crest of the Appalachian mountains for 112 miles, including the Great 80 Curves of Challenge.
The Taze’r – 124 miles of curves, overlooks and valleys. Watch your Back, as you are close enough to feel the Dragon’s breath.
The renowned Back of the Dragon offers 32 miles and 260 curves showcasing the unmatched beauty and riding enjoyment provided by VA Route 16, the two lane ribbon that traverses the three separate mountains between Tazewell and Marion, Virginia. Route 16 is a thrilling way to enter our hundreds of miles of Appalachian Backroads from I-81. Whether you enter our region upon the Back of the Dragon or not, you’ll want to Master the Beast before you leave!
A moving experience that you’ll want to ride over and over. ELEVATE your heart rate, on two wheels or four, in the mountains of southwestern Virginia!
Things to do during & after your ride
Ma & Pa's Restaurant - Castlewood
Family owned restaurant, opened July 4, 1966 ~ offering a hot buffet bar, a variety of sandwiches, homemade pizza, side dishes homemade desserts and ice cream treats. One of the newest affiliate...See details
June Tolliver House & Folkart Center Store - Big Stone Gap
The June Tolliver House is recognized as one of Virginia's Historical Landmarks and serves as a craft and gift shop. Many items featured from local artists, including our own home town author...See details
Home Hardware & Furniture Co. - Norton
Construction on the building occupied by Home Hardware began in 1919 and was finisherd in 1921. It was home to the Wise Hardware Company until a fire upstairs forced them to move across the street....See details