About Us

Telling our authentic story and promoting our region since 1993.

Recognizing that the Coalfield Counties have a unique culture and history, the VA General Assembly created the Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority in 1993 to tell our authentic story and promote this region as an attractive tourism destination.  Focusing on our exciting outdoor adventure and relaxing scenic beauty, Heart of Appalachia promotes the westernmost counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, Wise and the City of Norton.

Click here to Explore our Region

In the Heart of Appalachia,

there are countless ways to ELEVATE & Relax your heart rate.

The mountains have something FUN for everyone, whether you like the heart-pumping thrills of hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, ATV riding, whitewater rafting, or rock climbing.  If relaxing by a campfire, sipping local wines, and tapping your toes to the music of the Crooked Road are more your style, we’ve got you covered.   Visitors will also enjoy amazing natural wonders, ample bird and wildlife watching, world-class fishing, tubing, overlooks, and waterfalls.  Shopping, handmade crafts, museums, historical sites, traditional Southern food, and lots of family-friendly activities will round out your visit to this exciting and affordable area.

All this is here…

in the Heart of Appalachia, connected by these Appalachian Backroads. Experience it for yourself.

We showcase our best assets in a variety of marketing materials that include the Appalachian Backroads Motorcycle Touring & Travel Map, Fish to Your Heart’s Content fishing brochure, and the Visitor’s Guide to the Heart of Appalachia currently in progress.  In addition, we bring our message to fun-seekers at Trade Shows, Festivals & Events, as well as numerous digital and print media outlets.

Click here to request a brochure or more information

Board of Directors

  • Stan Botts Jr.Wise County Representative276-870-7711stanbottsjr@yahoo.com
  • Cody HowellTazewell County Representative304-888-1787hpwel3cr@dukes.jmu.edu
  • Charles SlempBoard Secretary/Treasurer & Lee County Representative276-546-5440jslemp@hrblock.com
  • Alice MeadeBoard Chair/Russell County Representative276-889-1663aliceandbernard@verizon.net

  • Chris JonesBoard Vice-Chair/Norton City Representative276-679-1530vicsdecorating2@hotmail.com
  • Mary BelcherBuchanan County Representative276-935-4147bcchamber@bvu.net
  • Pam CoxScott County Representative276-386-6521pcox@scottcountyva.com
  • Rita SurrattDickenson County Representative276-926-6074rsurratt@dcwin.org

  • Kitty BarkerHeart of Appalachia Executive Director276-762-0011director@heartofappalachia.com
  • Pam VanceTech Manager276-762-0011pvance@heartofappalachia.com
  • Abigail CampbellAdmin Assistant276-762-0011info@heartofappalachia.com

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