Fall Adventure Getaway There's nothing like the colors of Fall in the Heart of Appalachia

10:55PM May 20, 2019
Written by Pam Vance

Lov­ing­ly Writ­ten by Abi­gail Camp­bell

Start your fall adven­ture by dri­ving the scenic routes of Heart of Appalachia on your way to Breaks Inter­state Park, where you will see 4,500 acres of green­wood lands and moun­tain scenery. Zip into fall on the newest addi­tion at Breaks, the Canyon Rim Zipline Tour. Join the guides for a thrilling zipline tour along the rim of the Breaks Gorge. With 25 miles of hik­ing trails, 12 miles for moun­tain bik­ing, horse­back rid­ing, ped­al boats, hydro bikes, canoe rentals, fish­ing and white-water raft­ing, vis­i­tors have count­less oppor­tu­ni­ties to enjoy fall foliage. The Fall Elk View­ing Tour is a MUST, with a 100% suc­cess rate on view­ing elk and many oth­er species of ani­mals, includ­ing white­tail deer, wild turkey, and the occa­sion­al black bear. The elk tours are sure to please. While at Breaks Inter­state Park vis­it the Rhodo­den­dron Restau­rant for brunch. They offer a broad menu selec­tion along with breath­tak­ing views of the gorge from their floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows that you do not want to miss.Breaks Interstate Park - Fall Foliage


Dante Coal & Railroad MuseumFrom there, take the scenic SR63 over Dante Moun­tain, with a stop at Dante’s Rail­road and Coal Muse­um for a look into the area’s past. This his­toric “com­pa­ny town” was a bustling hub for shop­ping, din­ing and enter­tain­ment when coal was king. Con­tin­ue your trek into the town of St. Paul. Enjoy a stroll along the Clinch Riv­er to Blue­bell Island or aside Oxbow Lake to take in the beau­ty of col­ors before break­ing for a late lunch or ear­ly din­ner at Sug­ar Hill Brew­ing Com­pa­ny. Trans­formed from an old hard­ware store in down­town, Sug­ar Hill is the area’s newest des­ti­na­tion for qual­i­ty craft beer, food and com­mu­ni­ty gath­er­ing. After get­ting your stom­ach full, fin­ish your day’s dri­ve with anoth­er scenic route to Moun­tain­Rose Vine­yard. Take Hwy 58alt to Coeburn, then onto Wise Moun­tain Road. Take a tour and enjoy a tast­ing of the only Vir­ginia wines made from grapes grown on land for­mer­ly Historic Inn at Wisemined for coal. Fin­ish the evening out and rest overnight at the His­toric Inn at Wise, a 100-year-old his­toric land­mark in south­west Vir­ginia. Their Pub & Tap Room often has live local music to end the day on a hap­py note.

Start day two by vis­it­ing the City of Nor­ton, named 2017 Top Adven­ture Town by Blue Ridge Out­door Mag­a­zine. This, the small­est inde­pen­dent City in Vir­ginia, is also known for the myth­i­cal moun­tain leg­end, the Wood­booger. While in Nor­ton you can get a bet­ter view for the fall foliage and the city from 3,250 feet in ele­va­tion at Flag Rock Recre­ation Area, locate three miles from down­town. To con­tin­ue your fall view­ing, vis­it High Knob Obser­va­tion Tow­er, at an ele­va­tion of 4,223 feet, were vis­i­tors can view 5 states. Do not for­get to bring your cam­era!

Woodbooger GrillOn your way back through Nor­ton share a meal with the myth­i­cal leg­end at the Wood­booger Grill. Besides the gamut of burg­ers large and larg­er, there’s some­thing for every­one on the menu. Con­tin­ue your fall foliage view­ing to Lit­tle Stony Falls just out­side of Coeburn onto VA 72 and State Route 664, on the North­ern Trail­head in Dun­gan­non. The 2.8-mile hik­ing trail fol­lows the stream through a 400-foot deep and 1,700-foot wide gorge. After enjoy­ing the scenic views, return to Wise to relax and grab din­ner at Reno’s Road­house, Mon­ter­rey Mex­i­can Restau­rant, or Roma’s Restau­rant. If you’re ready to hit the town, you can enjoy Blue­grass music on Sat­ur­day nights at Coun­try Cab­in II Appalachi­an Tra­di­tions Vil­lage, or an out­door movie at Cen­tral Dri­ve-In.


Dri­ving Direc­tions to Lit­tle Stony Falls (link to Google Maps):

Lit­tle Stony Falls – North­ern Trail­head, For­est Rd 701, Dun­gan­non, VA 24245 Fol­low Nor­ton Coeburn Rd, US-58 ALT E and VA-72 S to State Rt 664 19 min (13.4 mi)

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