Deep in the heart of Appalachia, there lies a valley that is the highest, greenest, and, some say, prettiest in the entire state of Virginia. The valley is geologically unique in that it is completely surrounded by one mountain. Nicknamed “God’s Thumbprint,” it indeed looks as if a large thumb made this indentation on Garden Mountain.
Burkes Garden, as this valley is known, is a remote, unspoiled, pastoral paradise that is home to fewer than 300 people. And, after seeing some of those 300 residents driving horse and buggies, Burkes Garden is my choice for Virginia’s best ramble. Terrain: Flat to gently rolling. Few hills on Route 625 will challenge beginners.
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