The view of the valley from the Powell Valley Overlook along Highway 23/Orby Cantrell Highway in Norton, VA on Friday, July 26, 2013. Copyright 2013 Jason Barnette


Hidden in Virginia: The Powell Valley Overlook

The Powell Valley Overlook is proof that not all scenic overlooks are the same. This overlook stands high on the side of a mountain range overlooking the lush valley below. Farms, homes, and wide open fields cover the valley floor. Day or night this is a place to visit for an amazing view.

6 Travel Photos of a Snow-Covered Hungry Mother State Park

Hungry Mother State Park is one of those hidden parks in Virginia that also turns out to be one of the best. It was part of the original six parks to open in June 1936, but this was the location of the governor chose for the grand opening ceremony. Today the 108-acre park’s main attraction […]

Whitetop Mountain: The Second Highest Mountain in Virginia

Don’t let the fact this mountain falls into second place discourage you from visiting the summit. In fact the view from the summit of Whitetop Mountain is better than the highest point in the state at nearby Mt. Rogers. Why? Because Mt. Rogers is completely forested at the top, and Whitetop Mountain is mostly bald.

36 Hours in Marion, Virginia

Marion was once one of Virginia‚Äôs most underrated and overlooked small towns, but thanks to a boom in local entrepreneurs such as a moonshine distillery, renovations of a National Historic Landmark hotel and theatre, and rise of the local food scene, this Southwest Virginia town now boasts one of the best Main Streets for tourism […]

Exploring Inside the Fort Monroe National Historic Site

“Stop here on red,” the sign read. I sat in my car with two ominous red eyes glowing at me from either side of a very narrow opening in the earthen wall of the fort. I was sitting on a bridge across a moat and water flowed on either side of me. The light finally […]

The sun was getting low in the sky, covering my campsite in a cool shadow from the towering, thick evergreens. I sat perched on an old log as the blue flame from my propane backpacker stove quickly boiled some water for my dinner. The air was still and quiet; not a sound to be heard […]

36 Hours in Wytheville, Virginia

Wytheville is one of those sleepy little hidden gems along the Interstate 81 corridor in Southwest Virginia you could almost miss. And if you missed it, you would really miss it. This town has several hidden features for shopping, eating, and entertaining that makes it unique among most towns in the region. It’s a fun […]

Hidden in Virginia: The Big Walker Lookout in Wytheville

I’m not a fan of heights, but I just had to climb the 100′ tall Big Walker Lookout tower on top of the mountain range near Wytheville, Virginia. By the time I reached the top my legs were trembling from fear of heights, but as soon as I saw one of the most beautiful mountain […]

Following The Santa Train Through Southwest Virginia

This family tradition began for me in 1988 when we were on our way through Southwest Virginia to my grandparent’s house. As we drove through St. Paul my dad noticed a large crowd standing on the railroad tracks just off the road. My dad asked what was happening and the three word answer would begin […]

Everybody knows you can find the wild ponies on the Appalachian Trail just outside Grayson Highlands State Park. Or at least, I think everybody knows that. But I find most people do not know the state park nestled in one of the most beautiful areas of Southwest Virginia boasts 17 trails for hiking, cross country […]