Take A Break From The Interstate is a 3 day road market along Historic Highway 21 from Wytheville, VA to Harmony, NC.
Experience peaceful leisure along 2 way roads as you……
Discover Quaint Small Towns, Southern Charms & History
Taste Home-cooked Meals at Local Restaurants
Stop along U.S. Highway 21 to Enjoy Panoramic Long-range Views
Explore 8 State & National Parks
Delight in Special Finds at Unique Shops & Antiques Stores
Taste North Carolina Wines in beautiful Vineyards & Craft Beer at Breweries
Dates: – 28
Directions: From I-77 or I-40 take Exit 54 North to Hwy. 21 which will take you to Harmony, NC. From I-81 or 77 take 21 South Exit which will take you to Wytheville, VA. I-77 runs parallel to US Hwy. 21.
Winding its way through the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, The Blue Ridge Parkway offers visitors breathtaking views. The Blue Ridge Mountains, famous for their bluish color when seen from a distance, are a nature photographer’s paradise. Mabry Mill, located at mile 176.1, is one of the most photographed spots on the parkway.
Grayson Highlands State Park
Located in the Jefferson National Forest and near the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, Grayson Highlands State Park offers stunning mountain views and many hiking trails to explore. The park’s most popular residents, a heard of wild ponies, provide plenty of photo opportunities.
The New River, which is actually an ancient river, flows generally northeastward across the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Whether you choose to bike or hike the New River Trail or spend a lazy day boating on the New, you’ll find yourself surrounded by magnificent scenery. During a float trip a few years ago, I was lucky enough to capture a photo of a black bear club splashing in the river. The historic dam in Fries, Virginia, built in 1901, provides a beautiful backdrop when the red buds are in bloom in the early spring.
The Claw of the Dragon, which loops through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after destinations in the south for motorcycle riders. The scenic 350 mile trail with its tight turns appeals to sport bike riders and touring enthusiasts alike. Accessible from interstates 77 and 81 as a starting point, the drive winds through parts of seven Virginia counties. From the trail’s hub, Wytheville, Virginia, it ventures over to the community of Marion to the west and Galax to the east.
Riders will want to allow adequate time to delight in the journey and stop along many interesting and authentic attractions along the way. After traveling through a heart stopping section of the ride that follows Virginia Route 16, the two-lane road which crosses three mountains between Tazewell and Marion called Back of the Dragon, riders will be ready to stretch their legs and explore the charming town of Marion. The General Francis Marion Hotel is a favorite of riders with its restaurant called The Black Rooster and a bar with 27 beer taps.
Next, continue on to the Wytheville area, where interstates 77 & 81 converge. Riders will enjoy a challenging ride up Big Walker Mountain. As the 16-mile scenic byway makes its way to the top, the rider will be in awe of the breathtaking natural beauty during any seasons. At the top, take a rest at Big Walker Lookout, climb the 100 foot tower, and enjoy a snack in the country store.
The final anchor community for The Claw of the Dragon is Galax, VA, famous for the Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention, which is held during the second week of August each year. For a “barbecue fix” riders must stop by The Galax Smokehouse, a local institution since 2003. Their barbecue is the best around and they also sponsor the annual “Smoke On The Mountain, Virginia State Barbecue Championship” which is held in downtown Galax each July.
For additional information about The Claw of the Dragon and all of the interesting things you can see and do as you ride, please visit www.ClawoftheDragon.com.
When you plan a boating trip on the New River in the Blue Ridge Highlands of Virginia, you will be floating into the past. The New River is an ancient river system, the oldest on the North American continent and second only to the Nile River in Africa as the second oldest river in the world. It begins as two streams in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, before merging into the New River four miles from the Virginia line. And therein lies another interesting fact of this ancient river — it flows northward rather than southward like most of the other major rivers along the eastern seaboard. It meanders some 160 miles through the counties of Grayson, Carroll, Wythe, Pulaski, Montgomery and Giles in Virginia before it turns into Bluestone Lake in West Virginia and emerges later as the Kanawha River at the Gauley Bridge. The New River ends its metamorphosis when it empties into the great Mississippi River.
Throughout its journey in Virginia, the New River flows through spectacular, untamed mountain scenery complete with craggy rock cliffs and magnificent gorges. Thus, the New River provides plenty of excitement for whitewater enthusiasts, with several Class II – III rapids. There is also an abundance of flat water if you prefer to kayak or canoe The New.