The Clinch River flows through some scenic gorges and has sweeping mountain views. Some sections contain Class I to III rapids. The river offers canoeing, kayaking and fishing for smallmouth and muskies. Map on website includes all access points
Five mile historic nature walk, also offers excellent biking challenge.
Multi-use Trail: Dante
In the works
A conceptual master plan has been completed which details out both a 1.3 mile primary loop and a 6.4 mile secondary loop connecting Dante Coal and Railroad Museum to an abandoned Mine Portal. Potential to connect the trail with trails in Dickenson County at a future time. See Conceptual Master Plan by Community Design Assistance Center which includes detailed maps and site photos.
Multi-use Trails: Primarily for hiking and mountain biking.
Existing and Potential
One starts at Pinnacles in Washington County
Hidden Valley and Hyder’s Gap Road
Guest River Gorge Trail
Existing and potential additional trails around Laurel Bed Lake
Public Fishing Lakes: Hidden Valley Lake
Public Fishing Lakes: Laurel Bed Lake
Scenic River: Guest River
Guest River in Wise County flows through a spectacular gorge on its way to join the Clinch River and has been designated a scenic river. Follows Route 72 to confluence with Clinch River. DCR Recommendation: The Forest Service should evaluate the Guest River's potential as a National Wild or National Scenic River.
Scenic River: Big Cedar Creek
Big Cedar Creek near Lebanon, 5.8 miles to confluence with the Clinch River has been designated a scenic river.
State Natural Area Preserves: Cleveland Barrens Natural Area Preserve
State Natural Area Preserves: Pinnacle Natural Area Preserve
The Pinnacle Natural Area Preserve is lush and offers visitors spectacular cliffs and breathtaking waterfalls. The Clinch River and Big Cedar Creek flow through this extraordinary landscape, which is known as karst topography. The rugged terrain has sinkholes, caves, sinking streams and unusual rock formations, such as The Pinnacle. The Clinch is home to various rare freshwater mussels. Big Cedar Creek is a trout fisherman's dream. The area, now managed by the state, had been managed by Russell County since 1946 as Big Cedar Creek Park.
In 1978, Youth Conservation Corps volunteers developed trails and added picnic tables. Biodiversity here is abundant; no other park in Southwest Virginia has more species.
Consideration should be given to acquiring developable land in the vicinity of the Pinnacle Natural Area Preserve that can accommodate river access and the development of day-use and overnight facilities to augment the natural and scenic attributes of the preserve. Any recreation facility developed in the area could increase the supply of canoeing opportunities through canoe livery services on the Clinch River.
State Natural Area Preserves: Red Rock Mountain
Counties: Russell (near), Tazewell (near)
State WMA (also hiking & fishing): Hidden Valley
County: Russell http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wmas/detail.asp?pid=27 Hidden Valley Wildlife Management Area is located in Southwest Virginia's Washington County, and is bordered by Russell County along the area's northwest boundary. This 6,400-acre property is mostly forested mountain land with the exception of a number of small openings, developed and maintained to enhance wildlife habitat. Two thousand feet at its lowest elevation, the area's highest elevation exceeds 4,000 feet, indicating the rugged steepness of the area. Logged in the early 1900s when much of the area was virgin forest, the predominate forest is now mature, mixed hardwood. Hidden Valley Lake is situated at the head of the valley, from which flows Brumley Creek.
With its network of closed roads, Hidden Valley Wildlife Management Area is excellent for hiking. Here, also, is the opportunity to view wildlife and photograph some of this area's unique mountain scenery. Hidden Valley Lake invites anglers to fish for smallmouth bass, rock bass, bluegill, northern pike and walleye. http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wmas/maps/hiddenvalley.pdf
State WMA (also horseback riding, hiking, boating, fishing): Clinch Mountain
Hunting: deer, bear, turkey, grouse, gray and fox squirrel, rabbit, and wood duck hunters usually enjoy success on these ponds, particularly during the first season that opens each fall.
Fishing: Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area offers anglers the opportunity to fish roaring mountain streams or placid, picturesque, 300 acre Laurel Bed Lake. A daily fee is charged for fishing some of the area's waters. Facilities: There is ample parking space. Two boat ramps are available at Laurel Bed Lake. A shooting range for archery is near the resident manager's house. There is a developed campground on the area and Raven Ridge Campground and B&B is just minutes away.
County: Russell Route 80 between Breaks Interstate Park and Route 19 in Russell County has been recommended for consideration as Virginia Byways. Apply for Virginia Byway status for section of road.
Water Trails: Clinch River
Two sections through Russell County have been designated a scenic river (Confluence with Little River to Route 645 - Nash Ford Bridge and at the confluence with Guest River), another section through Russell has desirable components to be designated (Nash Ford to Route 58) and the portion through Scott has potential components but requires further study (Confluence with Guest River to VA-TN line). Natural Tunnel State Park's Staff members conduct interpretive trips on the Clinch River in Scott County. Access is fairly good where the TVA and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) collaborated in the development of a series of access sites.
Potential for being designated a Scenic River and establishing a Blueway Trail on the Clinch River.
The shortage of public access sites limits the duration and types of trips that can be offered. There is also a need to improve public access to stocked trout streams in the region.
Inadequate parking and access trails create congestion, resource degradation and unsafe conditions during popular fishing days.
Facilities for canoe-in camping and public rest stops are also needed at appropriate distances along each river. State and local officials should work with river user groups to develop a canoe trail for the Clinch and Powell Rivers. And develop a management plan that addresses law enforcement, education, camping, sanitation, access management and maintenance.
Clinch River also needs additional public boat launching and bank fishing opportunities. See Pinnacle Natural Area Preserve for more on this.
OTHER NOTED INFORMATION OR ATTRACTIONS
Portions excellent and other portions good.
Some areas have been rated very high, some high and a few have moderate to general interest.
No Full time parks & recreation directors
Recreational Planning Regions: Cumberland Plateau - Region 2
WMTH CORPORATION PO BOX 51153 BOWLING GREEN, KY 42102 PHONE (270) 792-5300 FAX 721-0004