Located in the southwestern tip of Virginia, Scott County is a “natural” for music lovers, history buffs, nature enthusiasts and vacationers of all types.
Music: Regardless of your taste in music, a visit to Scott County is not complete without spending a Saturday night at the world-famous Carter Family Fold, the true “Birthplace of Country Music.” It was in these hills and “hollers” of Scott County that A.P. Carter found the sound of what is known as country music. A collector of songs, A.P. would roam the hills and valley and listen to the “porch music” played by the descendants of the Scotch-Irish settlers of this region. A.P. took the old tunes and crafted a new sound, which was discovered at the 1927 Bristol Sessions by Ralph Peer.
A.P. convinced his wife, Sara, and sister-in-law, Maybelle Carter to accompany him to Bristol and make a recording for Peer. The Bristol Sessions are recognized today as the beginnings of country music. As A.P. lay dying, he asked his daughter, Janette Carter, to help preserve “old time traditional music. Janette replied, “Daddy, I’ll try;” and try she did. Almost 50 years later, the Carter Family legacy has been preserved at the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons. A.P.’s legacy lives on every Saturday night at The Fold where traditional artists take the stage and honor the father of this original sound.
History: Scott County’s rich history spans more than 8,000 years. Visitors today can walk in the footsteps of famed frontiersman Daniel Boone and visit the newly-opened Daniel Boone Interpretative Center to learn what is was like growing up on the frontier. Tour the 1700s John Anderson Blockhouse and learn how pioneers protected themselves from marauding Indians. Visit Bush Mill in Nickelsville, which is one of the few remaining restored over-shot water-wheeled gristmills.
Nature: Scott County is home to one of the world’s most bio-diverse rivers in the world—the Clinch River. With eight hand-launch sites, water warriors will find easy access to the lure of the Clinch, whether it be to fish or float. Once a hidden, local treasure, the Devil’s Bathtub is now known world-wide and often cited as the best tourist destination in Virginia.
The Falls of Little Stony is a must see for photographers and outdoor enthusiasts. The hike is a mere 2.8 miles, with the main feature including three cascading waterfalls. There are many scenic spots to take a break from the 600-foot ascent by resting along one of the many bridges. Here you will find a hemlock canopy and a relaxing spot to watch the rushing waters below.
Scott County is the perfect spot for a family-friendly vacation. Families will enjoy a visit to the Creation Kingdom Zoo, located in the Snowflake community. The zoo is a privately-owned by Marc and Elaine Bradley and is a breeding facility for rare and endangered species. You can walk around the zoo and get up close and personal with a white Bengal Tiger. Children will love the petting zoo and feeding many of the park’s animals.
Natural Tunnel State Park offers many inclusive family options—from caving to kayaking. More than 850-feet long and as tall as a ten-story building, Natural Tunnel was naturally carved through a limestone ridge thousands of years ago.
William Jennings Bryan called Natural Tunnel the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” and the Weather Channel listed it as one of the “Top 20 Caves in the World.” A Swiss-chalet chairlift takes you down to the bottom of the cave, where you can walk along the creek and follow the railroad tracks that still run through the tunnel today.
From camping under the stars to a mountaintop cabin, Scott County offers some truly original lodging choices, including Appalachian Mountain Cabins, Boone’s Pointe Cabins, Camp Clinch, The Sugar Maple Inn, and Estillville Bed & Breakfast.
Scott County offers several iconic eateries, such as Campus Drive-in, the Hob Nob, Teddy’s, and now the Commonwealth’s top Bakery, the Family Bakery in Downtown Gate City.
We invite you to delve deeper into the allure of Scott County, Virginia and see all there is to “EXPLORE.”