Southwest Virginia:

Four Seasons Offer Beauty and Variety

02/07/2017   By Rosa Lee Jude Director, Wytheville Convention and Visitors Bureau
 

There’s a distinct beauty to each of the four seasons in Southwest Virginia. Normally moderate temperatures make winter an equally enjoyable time of year.

Abundance of Outdoor Recreation

With almost 60,000 acres of public lands, the Wytheville area is a fabulous location to find a variety of year-round recreational opportunities. Even as the weather grows colder and the foliage leaves the trees, the beauty of the area can be seen in a blanket of white or the unhindered views on a clear, crisp morning. 

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The relaxing variety and hospitable spirit makes everyone feel at home.

 

Hunters will find the quiet serenity to be ideal for their game sport as they explore areas deep within pristine forests. The lakes, rivers, and streams of the area offer ample opportunities for premiere fishing in winter waters. Hikers can achieve invigorating walks in the clean mountain air.

 

One unique opportunity during every season is a ride in the mountains via Lick Mountain Excursions. Rides from 90 minutes to an entire afternoon can be arranged that showcase the beauty and natural history of the area in a variety of terrains. It’s an excellent chance to get some incredible photography of the area and see virtually untouched lands. This is part of the seasonal learning environment of Beagle Ridge Herb Farm, a 160-acre wooded retreat with over four miles of nature trails and numerous display gardens. The walk-through butterfly house, Flying Flowers, is home to 32 different butterfly varieties with native and non-native plants.

Authentic Experiences

Scenic drives offer a great way to find a diversion from the hustle and bustle of interstate travel and experience the beautiful back roads of the area. While these drives are great in vehicles with four wheels, there is now an alternative route for those who prefer to travel on two wheels. In recent years, a special trail has been created with motorcycle riders in mind called the “Claw of the Dragon.” The trail features loops touted as “Rides on the Wild Side” ranging from 62 to 224 miles long. These roads weave in and out of neighboring counties, giving the riders an opportunity to experience the region while keeping Wytheville as their home base. Along the way, riders can stop at local attractions. Many of these were created because of the entrepreneurial passion of the owner.

An example of an authentic experience is a visit to one of the area’s many wineries. West Wind Farm Vineyard and Winery is a fourth generation family homestead with panoramic views of the beautiful mountain ranges. The family-crafted wine grown and produced there has almost a decade of awards and accolades honoring its young wine-making abilities. Local music and foods complete the weekend experience at the farm with special events each Saturday.

History Paralleling Our Nation

The history of the area patterns the history of the nation with many interesting events, legends, and characters along the way.  Wytheville embraces its heritage with over five historical museums honoring medicine, the Civil War, and polio’s unique impact on the area. The Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum depicts the mid-20th century era with its unique look at transportation. A self-guided historic walking tour showcases local history from pre-Civil War times until today.

The region’s only African American Heritage Museum has an emphasis on education through photographs and exhibits. Five locations on the Virginia Civil War Trails mark the route of Toland’s Raid in 1863 and offer a beautiful scenic drive between locations.

Few communities can tout being the birthplace of a First Lady. The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum tells the story of a Wytheville daughter who married the 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson. Her influential and controversial life is chronicled in artifacts from her childhood to her years in the nation’s capital.

Several mansions dating to the 1800s also offer a historical glimpse into some of the first families of the region and their parts in the growth of Southwest Virginia. The legend and lore surrounding these locations offer many interesting stories about the area’s first affluent citizens.

This is just a glimpse into why so many visitors have chosen Wytheville as a destination for a long weekend, vacation, or as a place to relocate. The relaxing variety and hospitable spirit makes everyone feel at home.

For more information about Wytheville, Virginia, contact the Wytheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, toll-free at 877-347-8307, or visit http://www.VisitWytheville.com on your computer or mobile device. Wytheville ... There’s only one.
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The Griffon Winter 2017

Vol. 40.3 | Winter 2017

The Griffon
The Griffon is written and published quarterly in the interest of the 108th National Training Command.
 






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