Recognizing the Coalfield Counties have a unique culture, history, and scenic beauty, the VA Legislature created the Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority in 1993 to tell that authentic story and promote this region as the exciting tourism destination it is. Focusing on our exciting outdoor adventure and serene scenic beauty, we promote the westernmost localities of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, Wise Counties and the City of Norton.

Come, experience and explore all the gems of Virginia’s southwest for yourself – treasure the Heart of Appalachia!


Buchanan County

From its scenic foliage in the spring and fall to its snow-covered hills and valleys in the winter and lush greenery in the summer, Buchanan County is evidence of Mother Nature’s handiwork. The county is rich in history and tradition from the pioneer spirit of its earliest settlers to its rich legacy of timbering and mining. Named in honor of former United States President James Buchanan, the county was formed from the counties of Tazewell and Russell in 1858.  From Southern Gap Outdoor Adventures to the Breaks Park, to the Dismal and Levisa Rivers, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and explore. Hiking, biking, fishing and more await the avid outdoor lover. And, Spearhead’s Coal Canyon ATV trails offer 127 miles of off-road exploration.

Cities & Towns


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Dickenson County

The rough mountainous terrain has greatly influenced the development of Dickenson County. Early settlers located along stream beds where the best farmland was to be found. The county was formed in 1880 from sections of Russell, Wise and Buchanan Counties. Named for William J. Dickenson, the delegate to the General Assembly who sponsored its formation, Dickenson County became the one hundredth county in Virginia – known today as “Virginia’s Baby.”

Breaks Interstate Park will forever be the gem of Dickenson County. From hiking, biking, rock climbing, kayaking, and camping to the luxury cabins, horseback riding, a waterpark, and recently added ziplines across the Grand Canyon of the South, there’s something for every adventure visitor.

Cities & Towns

Clintwood –
Clinchco –
Haysi –