Let the Heart of Appalachia Call You Home Behind the scenes of Kaitlyn Baker's extraordinary musical tribute to the Heart of Appalachia!

7:24PM July 21, 2018
Written by Pam Vance


Kaitlyn Baker has extraordinary talent. Her songwriting, storytelling, uniquely Appalachian voice, and love for this place she calls home exemplifies all that is the Heart of Appalachia. Virginia’s outdoor adventure destination, the Heart of Appalachia’s rugged landscapes, rich cultural heritage and downhome hospitality can’t be found anywhere else on earth. Her song embodies all that we, the westernmost tip of Virginia, have to offer both visitors and locals alike. Come, see for yourself… let the Heart of Appalachia call you home!

So what went into the making of this 3.27 minute music video, you ask? Videographer Brian Volland spent three days wading through rivers and swamps, climbing up & down mountains, standing on rock ledges and in horse manure, and hauling camera equipment all over the region. Brian’s incredible skill resulted in fantastic footage.

The result is top notch talent, hours upon hours of work, a dedicated body of community volunteers, and never-ending fun adventure and exploration in the Heart of Appalachia!

Let’s take you on a tour of Kaitlyn’s musical tribute adventure…

Pocahontas Exhibition MineFields of flowers and butterflies galore may be found seasons long throughout the Heart of Appalachia. Our little barefoot girl with ponytails and butterflies romped through a field of wildflowers found in Tazewell County, near Bluefield, a short distance from the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine .  A National Historic Landmark, Pocahontas Exhibition Mine features tours from retired coal miners into a section of a real mine that served as the birthplace of the world-famous Pocahontas #3 coal that heated homes across the United States and was the chosen fuel of the United States Navy. Open from April-October annually, the mine features a 13-foot tall coal seam, tools and techniques used to harvest the black gold, and the an extensive museum/education center located in the mine’s former powerhouse. To learn more about the Coal Heritage Trail and Museums dedicated to the Coal Heritage of the region visit www.VirginiaCoalTrail.com/. The coal story is told at Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama, John Fox House, SWVA Museum State Park, Harry Meador Coal Museum, Dante Coal & Railroad Museum, and many more museums and coal miner memorials throughout the Heart of Appalachia.

Kaitlyn At Coal CanyonKaitlyn at Coal CanyonKaitlyn at Coal Canyon The music video scenes of Kaitlyn Baker on an ATV Trail were taken on the Original Pocahontas trail in Tazewell County. Spearhead Trails currently manages four off road trail systems in the Heart of Appalachia. Each has its own “personality” with challenges for all skill levels. Check out Mountain View, Coal Canyon, Stone Mountain and the Original Pocahontas ATV trails for the ultimate off road exploration… Kaitlyn did and she had a wet and wild ride!


Motorcycle routes wind through the Heart of Appalachia providing perfect curvy riding for motorcycles and sports car enthusiasts who love mountain roads. For back road adventure on two wheels or four, our Appalachian Backroads will entice and excite. The motorcyclists in our video were enjoying their ride on the Back of the Dragon at Thompson Valley in Tazewell County. A special thanks to local motorcycle riders who support the Back Motorcycles on Appalachian Backroads - BODof the Dragon route. Heart of Appalachia is home to 18 different motorcycle loops routed through small towns, by scenic overlooks and unique attractions.  For more information on outdoor adventures, scenic drives, music and history, visit www.VisitTazewellCounty.org.

CrabOrchardRendezvousPioneer History comes to life at Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park in Tazewell County.  To get a flavor of what you might experience, Kaitlyn’s video shared some authentic log cabin porch pickin’ and grinnin’ and some pioneers kickin’ up their heels to their sweet tunes during the annual Mountain Men Rendezvous reenactment. Crab Orchard Museum hosts an annual Fiddlers Convention, Frontier Christmas and Mountain Man Rendezvous, as well as other special events throughout the year well worth adding to your bucket list. When you go, take a guided tour of the museum and be sure to ask about the infamous Burke’s Garden Varmint! The Fincastle Turnpike and the Daniel Boone Wilderness Road provide ample opportunity to travel in the footsteps of early pioneer settlers. Early migration stories are reenacted in various attractions throughout the year including the Anderson Block House at Natural Tunnel State Park, Wilderness Road State Park’s Martins Station and the Cumberland Gap Historic National Park.

Wise County and the City of Norton’s outdoor recreational assets played a major role in the filming of the video. IMG_7512Scenic overlooks at High Knob, Flag Rock and Bear Rock are at the heart of the video. The sunset scenes were taken at High Knob at the end of the first day of filming. Fresh flowing mountain streams and rivers with rushing waterfalls and bubbling rapids, and pristine lakes are aplenty in our neck of the woods.

Little Stony FallsKaitlyn’s music took us to Little Stony Falls to do some flyfishing with local experts, Mark Leonard of Trout Unlimited and Dan Wynn of Wynn Cane Flyfishing. Not only is Little Stony a favorite for fishing, the foot trail along its banks are a hiker’s utopia. For more information about fishing to your heart’s content, click here! The front entrance of the Inn at Wise was showcased as an elegantly restored historical hotel. For more information on the tourism attractions and sites to see in Wise County visit www.VisitWiseCounty.com.

IMG_7482IMG_7490The kayaker in Kaitlyn’s video hails from Pound, Police Chief Tony Baker, and he’s going with the flow traversing the rapids on the Pound River. For more watersport adventure, consider the Clinch, the Powell, the Guest, the Russell Fork, and the Pound rivers… in fact, all our rivers, lakes and streams offer something different to explore. And if you need an outfitter, we can hook you up!

Here’s some of the finest around:

Natura Tunnel ChairliftRemember the chairlift? This one’s quite unique as it takes visitors down to an 850 ft. long, 10 story tall Natural Tunnel. Natural Tunnel State Park offers many special events and outdoor activities that immerse visitors in the nature and scenic beauty of the region. You can walk in the footsteps of Daniel Boone, experience pioneer life, participate with Interpreters and enjoy hiking. Natural Tunnel State Park is one of four parks in the region. Wilderness Road State Park, SWVA Museum State Park, and Breaks Interstate Park round out Virginia’s finest. Cumberland Gap National Historic Park is located at the very western tip of the Virginia.

Breaks Rock ClimbingBreaks Interstate Park, in Dickenson County, plays a major role in the music video as the site of the newest Rock Climbing location in the region. The Park sits on top of a mountain ridge overlooking a magnificent gorge surrounded by high mountains. The overlooks provided incredible scenic backdrops for Kaitlyn Baker’s music video. The park has horses available for horseback riding, and multiple mountain biking trails. The lodge, restaurants and cabins are located along hiking trails that open up to breathtaking vistas.  Breaks offers a water park, fishing, Elk Tours, and has multiple opportunities for visitors to participate in educational presentations from bird watching to moonshine.  A special thanks to the staff at Breaks Interstate Park for assisting with the video filming. Hats off to Adriel Perkins who piloted the drone for the spectacular shot of Kaitlyn Baker on the edge of mountain cliff overlook. Kaitlyn’s horseback trail ride was hosted by Into the Mountain Outfitters, located at Breaks Interstate Park.

Kaitlyn Baker On Horseback at BreaksIf mountain biking is your favorite thrill, visit Sugar Maple Trail near Flag Rock Recreation area in the City of Norton. Several trails are available at Breaks Interstate Park, Guest River Gorge, Michael D. Young Trail in Grundy… For a comprehensive list of our trails, click here.

What an amazing time we had at the Ralph Stanley Museum! Traditional Appalachian, Country, and Bluegrass music floats and flows through our hills and hollows – it tells the story of our Heart Song. Ralph Stanley II makes a cameo appearance in the video at the legendary Ralph Stanley Museum in Clintwood, Va. . Kaitlyn Baker and Larry Cordle had a great time IMG_7460harmonizing at the Ralph Stanley Bluegrass Festival in McClure Larry Cordle and Val Storey provide vocal talent to the song. If musical melodies are on your list of entertainment musts, you can follow the ”heart” of the Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail from Carter Family Fold to Lays Hardware and the Country Cabin with plenty of affiliate stops along the way for a toe tapping good time! Be sure to check our Events Calendar for performances, jam sessions and special events throughout the year.

Historic Inn at WiseOur filming journey took us to the town of Wise and the Historic Inn at Wise. The Inn offers accommodations and cuisine, all presented with Appalachian warmth and hospitality and is just a short jaunt to many of the filming locations in Kaitlyn’s video.  Both visitors and locals enjoy the Pub and Tap Room as well as the Corner Diner located inside the Inn.   For a comprehensive listing of lodging offerings in the Heart of Appalachia, visit here.

Kaitlyn’s mention of Market Square is really near and dear to our Heart! After all, The Heart of Appalachia state certified Visitor’s Center is located in the center of the historic downtown district in St. Paul’s Market Square, adjacent to the Clinch River Farmer’s Market. St. Paul is a Virginia Main Street community, the smallest and most forward thinking by our account, with in-town access to the Clinch, Wetlands Estonoa, Mountain View ATV Trails, and all of us at the Heart of Appalachia. Stop in and say howdy when you’re in town!

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Kaitlyn Baker was born and raised in Pound, Virginia, a small coal mining town (population 1,073) nestled in the Heart of Appalachia with its profound and rugged beauty in its landscapes, culture, and people. Kaitlyn’s music reflects the beauty of the Cumberland Mountains and ruggedness of the coal mining culture in which she was raised. The music of Kaitlyn Baker is available on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

Special thanks to Flying Flowers and Beagle Ridge Farm.  Ellen Reynolds provided the beautiful butterflies for the video.


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