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Explore Virginia's Western Highlands - Falling Spring Falls by Darren Seay
Explore Virginia’s Western Highlands

Virginia’s Western Highlands is located on the western edge of the famous Shenandoah Valley along the border with West Virginia.

Virginia map with Craig County, Alleghany County, County of Bath, and Highland County highlighted

You’ll find everything that Virginia is famous for – history, beauty, hospitality – plus a few surprises found only in the Western Highlands.

Rustic cabin in Paint Bank, VirginiaCraig County is the southern gateway to Virginia’s Western Highlands. More than 112,000 acres of National Forest give visitors to Craig County an enormous playground for fishing, hunting, birding, camping and hiking, including access to the famous Appalachian Trail. Step back in time as you stroll through historic New Castle and the one-of-a-kind town of Paint Bank, VA.

LOVE work at Humpback Bridge, Alleghany Highlands VaThe Alleghany Highlands is home to two pedestrian friendly downtowns and one of the oldest covered bridges in the United States. The downtowns of Covington and Clifton Forge offer locally-owned shopping and dining opportunities as well as historic sites like the C&O Depot, a meticulously restored passenger rail station and the C&O Railway Heritage Center which tells the story of the railroad and its vital role in the community. The Alleghany Highlands is perhaps best known for its outdoor recreation, including paddling, fishing, hiking and some of the best mountain biking in Virginia.

The Homestead Spa and Resort in the County of BathBath County is a magical four-season destination that has been welcoming guests for more than 250 years. The county is known for its unspoiled mountain views and impeccable hospitality, which includes award-winning B&B Inns and the world-class Omni Homestead Resort and Spa. In addition to an endless number of outdoor recreation options, visitors to Bath County can enjoy great dining, live music at Garth Newel Music Center, quaint shops and a local winery, cidery and craft brewery. In 2022, the historic Warm Springs Pools re-opened after a meticulous historically accurate restoration. Enjoy a day of golf, shopping or hiking, then take a rejuvenating soak in the waters of the natural mineral springs.

Hightown in Highland County, Va

Highland County is the northern gateway to Virginia’s Western Highlands. Home to the headwaters of the James and Potomac rivers, it is the least populous county in Virginia, and one of the least east of the Mississippi River. Its high average elevation is key to the success of the local maple syrup industry, which culminates each year in its longstanding Highland County Maple Festival. Known for its breathtaking beauty and rural charm, Highland is characterized by unspoiled forests, pristine waterways and high mountain pastures. Due to the abundance of clean, cold spring water, trout can be caught year-round in the county’s streams, and hunting for whitetail deer, black bear, and wild turkeys is a favorite activity on private land, national forests, and DWR’s Highland Wildlife Management Area. Beyond the natural wonders, Highland County holds a tight-knit community made up of a mix of native farm families and new residents drawn to the high quality of life. Several annual events, like the Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge, Highland County Fair, and Hands & Harvest Festival provide family fun in all seasons. Overall, Highland County is perfect for those seeking solitude and a refreshing sense of freedom. Make yourself a part of our unique mountain culture!