Exceptional Recreational Opportunities Await!
A Great Destination For A Family Reunion.
Discover Smyth County Virginia
, a substantial portion Smyth County is located within the boundaries of Mount Rogers Recreation Area. Smyth County has three major lush valleys carved by three forks of the mighty Holston River. Three towns are located within the county: Saltville, Chilhowie and Marion, the county seat. A popular tourist destination, Smyth County attracts thousands of visitors each year. For trip planning brochures, maps and a calendar of county events, contact Virginia Tourism Corporation, 901 E. Byrd Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219.
The Smyth County Tourism Association advises, “In Smyth County uncover the many sides of yourself from adventurous and exotic, to romantic and playful, to reflective and philosophical. Immerse yourself in nature, outdoor recreation, theatre, history, and culture, shopping, and dining. Take a drive on a crooked road or just sit a spell and take in the local color.” For assistance in planning your trip to Virginia, contact Smyth County Tourism Association, 408 Whitetop Road, Chilhowie, Virginia, 24319 or call (276) 646-3308.
Formed in 1832 from portions of Wythe and Washington Counties, Smyth County was named in honor of General Alexander Smyth, a decorated hero of the War of 1812 that later served in the Virginia State Senate and the United States Congress.
For travelers wishing to learn more about the historical heritage of Smyth County, the county has a plethora of historical sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The H.L. Bonham House, the Chilhowie Methodist Episcopal Church, the A.C. Beatie House and the Downtown Chilhowie Historic District, all in Chilhowie are engaging points of interest. In Marion, the Henderson Building on the grounds of Southwestern State Hospital, the Hotel Lincoln, the Lincoln Theater, the Marion Male Academy, the Abijah Thomas House, the Norfolk and Western Railroad Depot, and Hungry Mother State Park Historic District are featured in the National Register. In Saltville, Civil War history buffs will want to include a stop at the Aspenvale Cemetery, Saltville Battles Historic District, the Saltville Historic District, the Preston House, and the Scott-Walker House.
Smyth County Historical and Museum Society
If you are seeking to trace your ancestral roots, the Collins House contains a treasure-trove of historical information. Located in Marion, the Smyth County Museum is home to an extensive collection of photographs, artifacts, manuscripts and memorabilia that offer an captivating “tour through time” that reflects the social and economic growth and development of the county. For more information contact the Smyth County Historical and Museum Society, 109 W. Strother Street, Marion, Virginia 24354 or call (276) 783-7286.
Southwest Virginia Heritage Library
Located in the Smyth-Bland Regional Library in Marion, the Southwest Virginia Heritage Library is another terrific source of information about the culture and history of Southwest Virginia. The library welcomes visitors to explore the Sherwood Anderson Archive. The library advises, “The archive offers what other libraries cannot, immediate access to Sherwood Anderson’s world in Southwest Virginia. Sherwood spent his life searching for utopia and probably came closest to finding happiness in these mountains among the people he so enjoyed.” Visit the library at 118 S. Sheffey Street in Marion or call (276) 783-2323.
Occupied from 1795 through the 1960’s, the King-Stuart cabin exhibits the numerous renovations and transitional modernization periods the rustic cabin has experienced over the years. Historic notes reveal fascinating stories of the various occupants that have occupied the cabin. Inhabitants included William King as well as William Alexander Stuart, the brother of General J.E.B. Stuart and Flora Stuart the widow of General Stuart.
Civil War Battlefield Overlook
Located at 275 Buckeye Street in Saltville, the Civil War Battlefield Overlook provides visitors with a “look back’ at the historical heritage of Smyth County. The scene of fierce battles during the Civil War as the Union fought to gain control of the salt flats, Saltville historic sites include Salt Park, restored fortifications and a reconstructed salt furnace. History buffs will enjoy viewing the replica log cabin depicting where Patrick Henry’s sister, Madam Russell lived as well as other historic replica buildings and two restored steam locomotives. For more information call (276) 496-5342.
Madam Russell Methodist Church And Cabin
Named in tribute to Madam Russell, Patrick Henry’s sister, the charming Methodist Church and adjacent cabin are located at 207 Main Street in Saltville. The magnificent stain glass windows are spectacular.
Museum of the Middle Appalachians
Located at 123 Palmer Avenue in Saltville, the Museum of the Middle Appalachians displays several interactive displays featuring the Saltville Valley, Eastern Woodland Indians, Company Coal Town and the Civil War. For more information call (276) 496-3633.
Mount Rogers National Recreation Area
Located within the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, the 200,000-acre Mount Rogers National Recreation Area offers 3 cabins, seven campgrounds, 4 horse camps, two lakes, 100s of miles of hiking, horseback riding and biking trails, 50 miles of streams, historic sites, hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, bird watching and more. The well-maintained campgrounds include Raven Cliff, Bear Tree, Grindstone, Raccoon Branch, Hurricane, Comers and Stony Fork. For additional information and reservations contact the USDA Forest Service, Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, 3714 Highway 16, Marion, Virginia 24354 or call (276) 783-5196.
Appalachian Trail – Mount Rogers NRA
Follow in the footsteps of the early pioneers. The section of the Appalachian Trail that wanders through Southwestern Virginia offers breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife, high mountain ridges, dense forests and brilliant floral and foliage displays from spring through autumn. For trail conditions and peak spring wildflower or fall foliage display times, contact the United States Forest Service, 3714 Highway 16, Marion, Virginia, 24354 or call (276) 783-5196 or (800)628-7202.
Smyth County Artisan Trail
The Virginia Tourism Corporation welcomes visitors to Smyth County. They suggest, “When you visit one of the craft festivals, farmers markets, or wineries, you'll see that the artisans of Smyth County are spirited, distinctive and rooted in mountain traditions that come alive through their creative work. Smyth County is home to Mount Rogers, the highest peak in Virginia. Smyth County’s rich history and picturesque scenery make it one of Virginia’s must-see places.”
The Back Of The Dragon
Take a “Ride On The Wild Side.” Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the country travel to Southwestern Virginia to ride “The Back Of The Dragon”, an unforgettable 32-mile riding experience that includes 260 curves and an elevation gain of 3,500-feet from the valley floor to the top of the mountain. Across three mountain ridges, the twisted trail follows Route 16 from Frog Level in Tazewell County to Marion in Smyth County. The “Claw Of The Dragon” offers challenging loops that range from 62 to 224 miles. Find out if you are the one to tame the dragon. For information on becoming a “Dragon Master” contact Drag-A-Knee, Inc., 224 Tazewell Mall Circle, Tazewell, VA 24651, (276) 988-5726.