By focusing attention on these unique assets, we seek to provide economic opportunities and a high quality of life for our communities.
The initiative has two overarching objectives:
- Connecting major natural/recreational anchor areas to surrounding communities, and to each other, to create an aggregation of world class assets to establish Southwest Virginia as a national outdoor recreation destination.
- Developing an outdoor recreation industry in Southwest Virginia and its communities.
Anchor recreation destinations serve as focal points for the region's recreation:
- The Appalachian Trail: a 2,000 mile hiking trail, one of the two most celebrated hiking trails in the world, with its greatest mileage in Virginia.
- The Blue Ridge Parkway: America's Favorite Drive and the most visited national park in the United States with unbelievable views, wineries and musical communities.
- Breaks Interstate Park: "the Grand Canyon of the South," with 4600 acres in Virginia and Kentucky and world class whitewater and over 25 miles of trails for hiking, biking and birdwatching.
- The Clinch River: One of the most bio-diverse ecosystems in the United States, with nationally significant geological landmarks and a burgeoning 60 mile waterway.
- The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail: America's first frontier and gateway to western migration. The 300,000 who traveled through Cumberland Gap founded communities in Kentucky, Missouri, the Midwest and beyond.
- High Knob Recreation Area: one of the largest land masses in the US, with magnificent multi state views from its observation tower, horse trails and incredible hiking and water sports.
- The Mount Rogers Recreation Area: 200,000 acres of populated wilderness with 11 campgrounds and over 500 miles of trails. It is the home of the two highest mountains in Virginia, Mount Rogers and Whitetop.
- The New River: the second oldest river in the world with magnificent water sports and fishing opportunities and a 57 mile biking trail.