Located in the heart of the New River Valley, Pulaski County beckons visitors seeking a romantic getaway, outdoor adventure, a family vacation or a corporate retreat. The county and the town of Pulaski were named in honor of Count Kazimierz MichaÅ‚ WacÅ‚aw Wiktor PuÅ‚aski, a decorated Revolutionary War hero from Poland who served under the command of George Washington. Pulaski is known as “the father of the American Cavalry.”
Bordered on the north by the breath-taking Allegheny Mountains and on the South by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pulaski County beckons visitors with majestic vistas, raging rivers, clear mountain lakes, dense forests, abundant wildlife, fresh air and recreational opportunities beyond compare. Summer activities include rock climbing, swimming, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, white-water rafting, camping, hiking, horseback riding and more. Winter offers cross-country skiing, snow boarding, sledding, ice fishing, snow tubing, snowmobile rides and crackling campfires. So what are you waiting for? Head for Pulaski County and make some memories.
Hiking and Biking Trails
The Dora Trail
If you are planning to bike or hike around the City of Pulaski, the old Pulaski Railway Station is a terrific place to start your adventure. Station amenities include restrooms, parking and bicycle rental and repair. The Dora Trail is a walking trail and bicycle path that links the New River Trail to downtown Pulaski. The 2.5-mile trail provides a leisurely way to ramble through Kiwanis and Heritage Parks then a quick jaunt along Peak Creek to connect to the northern terminal of the New River Trail. For trail conditions and area trail maps contact Dora Trail of Pulaski, 20 South Washington Avenue, Pulaski, Virginia 24301 or call (504) 994-8696.
The New River Trail
The challenging 57-mile New River Trail wanders through Grayson, Carroll, Wythe and Pulaski counties in Southwestern Virginia. Scenic highlights of the trail include numerous historical sites, panoramic view sites and 4,500-acre Lake Craytor. A “Rails to Trails” project, the scenic trail follows the historic New River for more than 39 miles. The name of the river is deceiving. The New River is actually the oldest river In America. The trail may be accessed at its northern end in Pulaski, at the southern terminal in Galax, Virginia or points along the way. Horseback riders, bicyclists and hikers will find picnic shelters and primitive campsite alongside the trail. A fairly steep and arduous trail, the trek is best left to the strongest mountain cyclists and the most physical fit hikers. Horseback riders smile and tell you what a lovely scenic ride they enjoyed.Credit: Morgue File
Scenic 87-acre Randolph Park, “The Pride of Pulaski County.” is located at 5100 Alexander Road in Dublin, Virginia. Housing a state-of-the-art outdoor recreational facility, the park is one of the nicest locally owned parks in all Virginia. A gift to the community, the parkland was donated by Evelyn in of her father, Randolph Alexander and mother Annie Crowgey Alexander. Pulaski County, charitable donations and community fund-raisers maintain the quiet little park and wildlife habitat. The park is a delightful place to relax, enjoy nature as you stroll the walking and wheelchair accessible trails. The park allows lots of ways to release some energy including an asphalt track for rollerblading, a disc golf course, waterpark, athletic fields, picnic shelters, gazebos, bathhouse and more. The park is often used for weddings and family reunions. To book an event or request more information contact Randolph Park or the Pulaski County Visitor Center at (504) 674-4161.Credit: Morgue File
Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Pulaski, Virginia, Gatewood Park and Reservoir invites travelers to rest and relax. Surrounded by the lush foliage of the Jefferson National Forest, Gatewood Park provides a wealth of recreational opportunities including fishing, boating, camping, swimming, hiking and more. Encompassing more than 400 scenic acres, the park offers campsites and trails, sparkling streams, cascading waterfalls, active wildlife and the always-present majestic mountains. Pet and family friendly, Gatewood Park and Reservoir is a fun destination for a weekend outing.
Tract Fork Trail
An easy 4.0 mile hiking trail, the Tract Fork Trail is a wide trail that wanders along Track Fork Creek. Parking and picnic areas are available at both ends of the trail, one access is on Little Walker Mountain, the other on Tract Mountain. To access the northern trailhead, take Route 738 north from Pulaski. Travel 4 miles to Route 641. Follow Route 641 for 2.5 miles until the road ends. Follow USFS Road 692 1.5 miles until it ends at the trailhead. Although somewhat out of the way, the Tract Fork Trail rewards hikers and campers with stunning scenery, a wide and easy to navigate trail and impressive wildlife viewing opportunities.
Shady Ridge Trail
A short, 0.6-mile hike, this easy trail is located with Claytor Lake State Park. The brief walk is a fabulous way to get a bit of exercise while viewing some of the most remarkable scenery in the state. In autumn, the fall foliage makes a dramatic contrast with the deep blue gemstone tones of the crystal clear lake. This is a walk not to miss.
Drapper Mountain Bike Trail
A labor of love and countless hours of volunteer time by cyclists and outdoor advocates, the Draper Mountain Bike Trail, named for John Draper and his family, is located just south of the Town of Pulaski. Steep and challenging, the trail overlooks panoramic vistas of mountains, valleys and brooks. To access the trail, follow Valley Road to just past the church, look for a sign on your left marking the trailhead.
Unique Lodging Options
Rockwood Plantation is a 130-year old architectural masterpiece tucked amongst the trees on 68-acres of lush, well-manicured grounds. The mansion invokes the “old-time” charm of gracious plantation living while offering the latest in modern amenities. The friendly hosts at the plantation advise, “You will find claw foot tubs and whirlpool baths, fireplaces and fine linens, superb mattresses and furnishings, all leading to a restful night. The fragrances of a gourmet breakfast awaken your senses in the morning. A perfect home in which to rekindle old flames, celebrate new ones and renew family ties. So come relax awhile and pamper yourself. You know you deserve it.” For reservations or further information, contact Rockwood Manor
Bed and Breakfast Inn, 5189 Rockwood Road, Dublin, Virginia 24084 or phone (540) 674-1328.
From primitive campsites to 5 Star Luxury Resorts, Pulaski County offers accommodations to fit every budget and everyone’s taste.
Festivals And Celebrations
Pulaski County 4-H And Community Fair
The annual Pulaski County 4-H and Community Fair, held the first week of July, provides an opportunity for the youth of the county to show off their efforts. Come and join the fun, support a worthy cause and meet old and new friends. Call the Pulaski County Extension office at (574) 946-3412 for event schedule and complete information.
The New River Valley Fair
The annual fair held on the fairgrounds in Dublin, Virginia is one of Pulaski County’s most anticipated events. Fabulous food, name entertainers, displays, jaw-dropping midway rides, cotton candy and lots of fun for the whole family make the New River Valley Fair a winning destination. For dates and information, contact New River Valley Fair, PO Box 595, Newbern, Virginia 24126 or call (540) 674-1548.