Awe-Inspiring Scenery!

Exciting Recreational Opportunities!

Visit Southwestern Virginia’s Craig County

Rolling Hills Of VirginiaCredit: Morgue File - lynette

Tucked in the heart of the mighty mountains of Southwest Virginia, Craig County [1] derives its name from a respected 19th century Virginia congressman, Robert Craig. Formed in 1851, the area has a rich historical heritage, a diverse Appalachian culture, awe-inspiring scenery and exciting recreational opportunities.

Although Craig County encompasses 331 square miles, it is sparsely populated, offering a quiet contrast to the “hustle and bustle” of city life. Strategically located where Johns Creek, Meadow Creek and Craig’s Creek merge, New Castle, originally known as New Fincastle, was one of the first areas settled in the wilderness area between the Shenandoah Valley [2] and the rugged mountains ranges of what is now West Virginia. New Castle is the only incorporated town in the region.

The Craig County Administration welcomes visitors. They advise, “The area is marked by a succession of mountain ridges, running northeast-southwest. The valleys and creeks between the ridges provide for agriculture and population centers. Nearly two thirds of the county is Appalachian Trail,[3] Jefferson National Park [4] and Niday State Park. Rural in nature, it has no stop-lights and is criss-crossed by Virginia Scenic Byways.”[5]

FawnCredit: Morgue File

If you are looking for a quiet and secluded area for a romantic escape or a relaxing family vacation, Craig County, Virginia is the perfect travel destination. If you are seeking outdoor adventure, Craig County offers a diverse array of hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails. Tour the back roads on a motorcycle, go fishing, hunting, kayaking, rafting, canoeing, swimming or just unwind beside the campfire.

KayakerCredit: sirdouglas- Morgue File

Within the county travelers will find comfortable lodging, fine food, intriguing shopping, historic points of interest, mountain music combined with a laid-back country atmosphere of getting back to nature and neighbors helping neighbors. You will enjoy time spent in Craig County and wish to return again and again.

Colored LeavesCredit: Morgue File

Craig County History

New Castle, the county seat, boasts several structures proudly listed in the National Register of Historic Sites. History buffs will especially enjoy touring the elegant antebellum-styled courthouse constructed in 1851. In 1861 the Commonwealth of Virginia pledged its allegiance to the Confederate States of America and the “Dixie Boys” of Craig County left to join the battle. On a quiet June morning of 1864, General David Hunter led his Union troops on a raid in search of food and supplies. During the raid, Hunter’s men attempted to burn down the courthouse. The stately structure was saved but many valuable early records were dragged into the town square and destroyed by fire. Aside from Hunter’s raid, Craig County escaped the destructive battles of the Civil War.

Built in 1840, the Old Brick Hotel in New Castle is now a showcase for artists, antiques, a genealogy library and historic artifacts. Located across the street from the Craig County Courthouse, the hotel flourished from its opening through the boom days of the early 1900s. Maintained since 1981 by the Craig County Historical Society, the hotel is open April through November.

FireworksCredit: Morgue File

Festivals And Celebrations

Ferris WheelCredit: Morgue File - kakisky

Craig County Fall Festival

In mid-October the community comes together to celebrate the magnificent fall foliage and honor the harvest. Artists, entertainers, craftsmen, food vendors and mountain musicians add to the rich mix of enjoyable entertainment. Shop for Appalachian arts and crafts including baskets, woodcarvings, quilts, pottery and more. At the Craig County Fall Festival you can find a unique and unusual treasure for everyone on your Christmas list. The Craig County Fall Festival is a fun-filled event for the entire family.

For complete information for events and activities in Craig County, contact Craig County Administration, PO Box 308, New Castle, Virginia 24127 or call (540) 864-5010.

 Have you visited Craig County? Please offer your travel suggestions and comments. 

Visit New Castle to shop for Appalachian arts and crafts.