Starting in southwest Virginia in Abingdon, site of the Barter Theater, the 75-mile drive heads into the Blue Ridge highlands. The drive combines visits to Virginia’s coal country and Big Stone Gap, including several exhibits and museums, with the outstanding mountain scenery of the Powell Valley and the High Knob Recreation Area in Jefferson National Forest. Southwest Virginia is a land of contrasts, an up-and-down country of rugged, forested mountains and valleys, open, scenic vistas, and winding roads. The area is a mixture of prosperity and poverty, unspoiled natural beauty and coal mine slag heaps, thriving towns and struggling villages.
Special attractions: Abingdon and the Barter Theater, coal country, Big Stone Gap, the Coal Museum, the John Fox, Jr. Museum, the Powell Valley, Jefferson National Forest, and High Knob Recreation Area and observation tower. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
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