Virginia Isn't Just For Lovers
Plan A Fun Filled Family Weekend In The Commonwealth
Mountain Heritage Loop
Visitors following the Mountain Heritage Loop of the Birding and Wildlife Trail will find six of the eight designated points located in Tazewell County. Tazewell County sites include Sandy Head Ostrich Farm. The quaint farm, located 6 miles east of Tazewell on Route 61, is home to several native species of birds and waterfowl as well as ostriches, emus and rare breed chickens. Families with children find the farm a delightful diversion and a enjoyable learning experience for all.
Another intriguing stop along the Heritage Loop is the Historic Crab Orchard Museum. For travelers wishing to learn more about the traumatic history of the Appalachian Region, the Museum offers a treasure trove of artifacts, documents and memorabilia representing pioneer life. Antique agricultural and mining equipment are on display. A nearby excavation site continues to produce extraordinary artifacts that offer a glimpse of “early days.” The Museum is open to the public. Conveniently located at 3663 Crab Orchard Road, Tazewell, Virginia, 24651, the Crab Orchard Museum is also an important stop on the Coal Heritage Trail. For more information call (276) 988-6755 or visit the website: www.craborchardmuseum.com
When traveling the Mountain Heritage Loop, be sure to plan a stop at Burke’s Garden. Locally known as “God’s Thumbprint” because of its shape when viewed from the air, Burke’s Garden is a steep mountain-rimmed bowl over 10 miles in diameter. The name “Burke’s Garden” was jokingly bestowed when Burke, on a hunting trip in 1796, planted potato peels beside the campfire. The following year his efforts produced a bumper crop of potatoes. The valley is blessed with some of the most fertile soil in the state. The village of Burke’s Garden is accessible via State Route 623. In the village visitors can view the spectacular scenery, shop for local produce, Appalachian crafts, antiques, pottery, jams, jellies, quilts and woodcarvings.
Cavitt’s Creek Lake is a 54-acre lake located at 750 Recreation Drive in North Tazewell, Virginia. The little lake is part of the 164-acre Cavitt’s Creek Park Campground and J. Witten Recreational Area. Off the beaten path, the park is a peaceful place to camp, picnic, swim, fish and more. The campground offers handicapped accessible restrooms and hot showers, full service RV sites, a playground and two boat ramps. The lake is a favorite local spot to fish for walleye, trout and bass. Be sure and bring your camera. The area is a perfect place to see black bear, whitetail deer, red tail hawks, eagles and ospreys.
Located on Cove Road in Tazewell County, Thistle Cove Farm is a working Appalachian homestead that raises rare American Curley horses and Shetland sheep. Visitors interact with a diverse array of domestic farm animals and wildlife at Thistle Cove Farm. Wild turkeys, whitetail deer, grouse, squirrel and a host of songbirds and waterfowl inhabit the scenic homestead. Black bears and bald eagles are frequent visitors. Tours are available for groups or individuals. To organize a family or group tour contact Thistle Cove Farm, Cove Road, Route 1, Box 351, Tazewell County, Virginia 24651 or call (276) 988-4121
The Back Of The Dragon
Motorcyclists tell us The Back of the Dragon is the best ride in the state. Located in Tazewell County, winding, two-lane Route 16 swoops and dips as it traverse three mountains between Tazewell and Marion, Virginia. Group rides and club meetings are planned monthly, weather permitting. If you would like to join a group before tackling The Back of The Dragon by yourself, call (276) 988-5726 for more information or write to The Back of the Dragon, 497 Myrtle Road, Tazewell, Virginia 24651
If you are traveling in the southern part of Tazewell County, Lincolnshire Park, just off Route 61 in Tazewell, is an ideal place to stop and let the kids stretch their legs. Built by volunteers and funded by the community, Lincolnshire Park amenities include a tranquil 25-acre lake, picnic shelters, boat launching facilities, a horseshoe pit, softball fields, volleyball courts and playground equipment. Fish for sunfish, crappie, bass and trout, take a hike or cool off with a dip in the lake. Lincolnshire Park has something for everyone.
Festivals And Celebrations
Every year in the third week of April folks from near and far gather to participate in and watch the Jeffersonville Skirmish Civil War Reenactment held at Crab Orchard. The 3rd Saturday in April is also Sheep Shearing Day at Thistle Cover Farm. On the last Saturday of April join locals to celebrate Coat Heritage Days. On Saturday evening there will also be candlelight memorial service for miners lost in all too frequent coal mine disasters. The first weekend of May marks Bluefield Heritage Days in Bluefield, Virginia. On the 2nd Saturday in October, the Ostrich Festival in Tazewell is a lively event. For more information on events in Southwestern Virginia, contact Virginia Tourism Corporation 901 E. Byrd Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219 or call (800) 847-4882.