Tucked into to the heart of the Blue Ridge Highlands of Southwestern Virginia, Grayson County is an ideal spot for a romantic get-away or a relaxing weekend with friends and family. Formed in 1793, Grayson County has a rich heritage, Appalachian culture and also a deep love for mountain music.
Mount Rogers National Recreation Area
Explore the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, home of the Virginia’s highest mountain, Mount Rogers at 5,729 feet. Mount Whitetop towers over the countryside at 5,520 feet of elevation. The rugged mountain terrain provides many trails for hikers, horseback riders and also snowmobile riders to explore. The Corners Rock Recreation Area also offers mountain bikers a broad array of inspiring trails. Whatever your choice of outdoor adventure, Grayson County provides the chance to pursue it! It’s in one of the most scenic areas in Southwestern Virginia.
The Grayson County Tourism Department advises, “We have it all in Grayson County! It includes Grayson Highlands State Park, New River Trail State Park, a portion of the Virginia Creeper Trail. There are also countless acres of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. It also includes Jefferson National Forests which has the Appalachian Trail. If that isn’t enough, hikes can also be found at the Grayson County Recreation Park. Finally there are spur trails off of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Mathews State Forest.”
Scenic and serene, the New River presents a wide variety of fun things to do! These include canoeing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, tubing, swimming, and also fishing. Sparking and clear, the New River, designated an American Heritage River, wanders for over 30 miles through Grayson County. The name New River is quite confusing. The mighty body of water is actually the oldest river in Virginia.
The friendly residents of Grayson County invite travelers to “Rest, Relax and Unwind”. From cozy mountain cabins to charming bed and breakfast inns, there are lodging accommodations for every taste and budget. For visitors that prefer to sleep under the stars, there are also endless primitive campsites. These are along the trail or campgrounds that offer full amenities. Leave the “hustle and bustle of city life” behind! Just savor the tranquility and also the scenic beauty of Grayson County, Virginia.
Festivals and Celebrations
Grayson County celebrates all the seasons with fun things to see and do. Annual festivals and celebrations include the Whitetop Mountain Maple Festival,and the Fairview Ruritan’s Fiddlers’ Convention. Furthermore, there is the Whitetop Mountain Ramp Festival. and the Grayson County Fiddlers Convention, the Independence Fourth of July Celebration, and the Grayson Wine Festival. It also includes the Grayson Highlands Fall Festival, the Baywood Pumpkin Festival, the New River Trail 50K, the Mountain Foliage Festival and Grand Privy Race and also the Whitetop Mountain Molasses Festival. All area events offer great food, Appalachian arts and crafts and also the constant sound of foot-stomping mountain music. For a brochure and detailed information contact the Grayson County Tourism. You can find them at Department, PO Box 217, 129 Davis Street, Independence, Virginia, 24348 or call (276) 773-2471.
Mountain Music in Grayson County
Bring and instrument and join in the pleasure of making music. Grayson County is a mecca for musicians. Jam sessions and sudden musical events are happening all over the county. Traditional gospel and bluegrass music encourage everyone to join in. So clap your hands, stomp your feet while you sing and dance. You can also enjoy some of the best fiddle playing in all of America. Learn to clog mountain style. If you love mountain music, the Henry Whitter Festival held in Fries and the Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition hosted in Grayson Highlands State Park in June are “joyful happenings” not to be missed.
Shopping in Grayson County
There are three incorporated towns of Independence. There’s Troutdale and Fries, the rural mountain villages of Elk Creek, Flat Ridge, Baywood, Mouth of Wilson and Fairview . They all offer superb shopping for local Appalachian mountain arts and crafts! These include woodcarvings, musical instruments, quilts, baskets, pottery and also antiques.
Photo by Brent Moore