The pointy corner of Virginia is a long way from the hustle of the big cities to the east – this quiet landscape is defined by its rolling mountains, isolated hollows, and beautiful landscapes.
Go as far west as you can go in Virginia and there you’ll find Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, home to scenic drives and tons of hiking trails. At Natural Tunnel State Park, you can ride a chairlift down into a natural cave carved into a limestone ridge and sign up for cavern tours.
Breaks Interstate Park is shared with Kentucky – it’s a gorgeous region of intense greenery and rippling mountains. Burke’s Garden – sometimes known as “God’s Thumbprint,” is a mountain-ringed bowl home to some of the most fertile farmland in the state – stop by to bike the area’s roads or stock up on fresh produce.
The region’s history is on display at Martin’s Station, where you can see firsthand what the frontier days were like. In Jonesville you can tour the historic and beautiful Dickinson-Milbourn House and in Pennington Gap make sure you see a show at the historic Lee Theater.
Whether your passion is history or adventure, you’ll find it in Virginia’s Heart of Appalachia.
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Have you been to the Gap? Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is a 20,508-acre reserve in far western Virginia. The gap is a large natural break in the Appalachian Mountains and the park preserves the area’s legacy as a transportation corridor – both by modern day humans, ancient peoples, and the region’s animals. In addition to learning about history, you can hike on a restored wagon path and stroll through Hensley, a preserved mountain community.
Fill up the tank and drop the top – the Heart of Appalachia features gorgeous vistas, curvy roads, and hidden gems which combine for the perfect road trip. Drive under the Cumberland Gap then through Wilderness Road State Park. Peel off on to Route 676 and slow down for crossroads stores. Ride the hairpins on Trail of the Lonesome Pine then end the day with craft beer and live music in Abingdon – a classic small town.