Photos of the Guest River Gorge

The Guest River Gorge is one of Wise County’s natural wonders. The Guest River plunges through a canyon carved through Stone Mountain as it flows to join the Clinch River. Rails to trails project that follows an old railroad right of way paralleling the Guest River, a Virginia Scenic River. Trout fishing is permitted in the river, as well as kayacking and canoeing.

During the early 1900’s when timber and coal were being hauled out of the remote areas of Dickenson County, this passage was used as a rail line.

The history of the Gorge shows that millions of years ago the Guest River eroded a passage through Stone Mountain on its way to join the Clinch River. Cutting through massive rock, it opened a deep rock corridor that is a scenic wonder. Many other curiosities exist along the six mile trail, including an old railroad tunnel, bridges using the remaining railroad trestles, waterfalls and rock outcroppings.

Located in the G.W/Jefferson Forest near Coeburn, Virginia.

The Trail was officially dedicated [intlink id=”251″ type=”post”] [/intlink] in 1994, after the N-S Railroad had abandoned the railbed and donated the land to the Forest Service. The railway had originally hauled coal. Coal and saltpeter were mined near the gorge – coal for heating and smelting, and saltpeter for gunpowder manufacturing.

Native Americans occupied areas in and around the gorge for hunting, fishing and implement making from about 9000BC to the mid18th century.

The Forest Service manages the Guest River Gorge area as a Special Area. The 5.3 mile section of the Guest River is designated as a State Scenic River.

Bicyclists, hikers and runners are invited to use the trail. Along your walk, there are numbered signposts indicating points we think you’ll find interesting:

Swede Tunnel – constructed in 1922

Cliff line – Rocks in this and the other cliffs are about 300 million years old.

“Big Shot” – This section came to be called “by that name because it took a lot of explosives to get through the cliffline during constructing.

Vista – This is one of several scenic spots on the Guest River Gorge Trail.

The Culvert

Concrete retaining wall

The Guest river-Clinch River Confluence – The rivers join here

Information: The National Forest Service; Clinch Ranger District

Hikers, Fishermen, kayakers, canoeists and bicyclists are invited to the Gorge to enjoy the beauty of the scenery, and the seeming isolation from the rest of the world.

Bear Creek Lake and Recreation Area

Bear Creek Lake and Norton Reservoir

Located in Wise on Wise Mountain road

Stocked with Trout.

There is also Bass, Carp, Catfish, and Bluegill

There is a shelter with tables and bathrooms are available

Children’s Day is held once a year-Fishing, food, and prizes are given.

Norton Reservoir

Located near Flag Rock Recreation Area

This lake is stocked with Trout
$10,000.00 tagged “Benge” fish contest each year

Norton Reservoir – Fall & Summer

The Red Fox Trail

The Red Fox Trail near Pound, Virginia where a massacre took place.

If you would like to read more about the story of Doc Taylor, “The Red Fox of the Cumberland” and the Massacre of  Pound  Gap, you will find it in Charles A. Johnson’s book,[intlink id=”8″ type=”page”]WISE COUNTY VIRGINIA[/intlink].  You will find it in  the Bookstore on this site or visit Wise County Historical Society Office and Bookstore at the Courthouse in Wise.

Killing Rock In Pound, VA

Hiking the trail

Taking A Breather

Railroad Station Site

Shortcuts up the Mountain

Drinking from the Stream

Site of Ambush

Pausing for Thought

Places to visit in Wise County

Places of Interest to Visit In Wise County

The Inn at Wise


Appalachia: Food, Churches, Schools, Shops.

Roaring Branch: Near Appalachia, VA

Bee Rock Tunnel-Worlds second shortest railroad tunnell beside the beautiful Powell River

[intlink id=”353″ type=”page”]Coal/Railroad Days-[/intlink]August  (event)

Lewis E. Henegar Miners Memorial park: Callahan Avenue in Appalachia – Open Park with old mining machinery

The Peake Building: Main Street, Appalachia, VA (Guinness Book of Records)

101 Presidential Car: Railroad car from the South Carolina & Georgia Railroad, representative of passenger cars from the late 1800’s. Open Tues-Fri, 10am-5pm; May-Oct., Mon-Sat., 10am-5pm; Sun, 1-5pm.


  • Big Stone Gap: Hotels-Food-Services, Gifts, Hospitals, schools and Churches
  • Appalachian Day- October – Bullitt Park
  • Duff Acadamy: Duff Family Private School
  • June Tolliver House: Clinton, Avenue – Restored house,Gifts, Area Crafts and
  • John Fox Jr.  Museum – East Shawnee Avenue Preserved home of famous author.
  • Meador Coal Museum: See how coal was mined here for the last 100 years
  • Mountain Empire Community College: mountain crafts, food, music and more (event)
  • Dotson Park
  • Southwest Virginia Museum-First Street-Exhibits depict heritage of Southwest Virginia.
  • “Trail of the Lonesome Pine” Clinton Avenue – Oldest outdoor drama in Virginia
  • [intlink id=”353″ type=”page”]Home Crafts Day:  [/intlink]October at Mountain Empire Community College
  • Coeburn: Churches, food, schools-craft shops, shopping center
  • Flatwoods Job Corps
  • Flatwoods Picnic Area
  • Guest River Rally: Labor Day Weekend-music, crafts, food
  • [intlink id=”1343″ type=”post”]Guest River Gorge Trail:[/intlink] A trail made from an old railroad bed. Gorgeous scenery
  • Lay’s Hardware Building: Old Time Music, Flat-footing/Clogging  every Friday Night
  • Old Tacoma School and Community Center: – Blue Grass Music and Dancing- Friday Nigh
  • Ramsey-Flea Market: (Wednesdays) Long running flea market that started out as a stock – market, marketing cattle.
  • (This flea market has now discontinued after more than 50 years.)
  • Lonesome Pine International Raceway
  • Shopping Center


Food, Motels, Churches, Schools


Saint Paul-Food, Churches, Schools, Shopping

  • Ox Bow Lake
  • Sugar Hill Loop Trail
  • Guests River


Norton: Hotels, Food, Churches, Schools, Shops, Hospitals


Home Crafts Day

Mountain Empire Community College

Big Stone Gap, Virginia

Each Year in October, HOME CRAFT’S DAY is held at Mountain Empire Community College where people can bring their crafts to show and sell.

There is Apple butter making, Corn grinding, Wood work of many kinds, and various crafts where people show their magnificent handiwork of the mountains. Lots of Vendors, Music, Food and Fun.

scan0014Highway near MECC


apple.peelersApple Peeler’s

Apple_CiderApple Cider

grinding.cornGrinding Corn

Corn.mealCorn Meal

grindstoneGrind Stone

work.benchWork Bench

workbenchWork Benches

Corn.mealBench/old Irons

Fannie__NinaFannie Steele & Nina Mullins

Nina__WandaNina Mullins & Wanda Rose

wpe1Ganell Marshall and her corn-shuck dolls