Creative Economy

Appalachian Spring

Appalachian Spring is a partnership of community and regional development, tourism, environmental stewardship, outdoor recreation, and entrepreneurial assistance stakeholders to develop and promote Southwest Virginia as a world class destination of natural and recreational assets for visitation and enjoyment.

Clinch River Valley Initiative

The Clinch River Valley Initiative (CRVI) is a pioneering effort to build local economies in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia, focusing on the Clinch River Valley—one of the most biodiverse river systems in North America.  Working at a watershed scale with several local partners, this grassroots effort has developed significant support and momentum throughout the region.  Utilizing a consensus-based approach, project partners have developed goals for connecting downtown revitalization, outdoor recreation, creating a state park, enhancing water quality, entrepreneurship and environmental education along the Clinch River.  Strategies are being identified to connect downtown revitalization with outdoor recreation along the Clinch River Valley, and a CRVI Action Plan has been developed (which may be found on the CRVI website:

Coal Heritage Trail

Stretching more than 300 miles in the farthest reaches of southwestern VIRGINIA lies the Virginia Coal Heritage Trail, a Virginia Scenic Byway.  Winding through mountains and valleys, twisting through coal camps and reclaimed mining lands, meandering through rural and industrial communities, the Trail is a true cultural heritage EXPERIENCE.  A unique way of life developed through migration, coal camp living, cultural adversity and poor economic conditions.  Coal mining has provided sustainability for generations in the coalfield counties of Tazewell, Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, Lee, Scott and Wise and the City of Norton.

My Southwest Virginia

Tucked in the mountains of southwest Virginia is a vibrant culture of music and craft. It’s a region of spectacular views, opportunities for outdoor recreation, and rich natural resources. Rooted deep in history, this culture is authentic. Distinctive. Alive. We’re building a sustainable creative economy that preserves, protects, and interprets our rich heritage and natural resources, creates jobs, and welcomes both visitors and new businesses to our region.

Round the Mountain

Round the Mountain: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network has been working since 2005 to promote the craft and culture of Southwest Virginia. We are a membership organization made up of artisans, craft venues, and agritourism business and serve the 19 counties and four cities of Southwest Virginia. In addition to providing marketing and educational opportunities for our members, we have developed the Artisan Trails of Southwest Virginia and the opportunity for our members to have their crafts for sale at Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway.

Spearhead Trails

Southwest Virginia will soon offer  over 500 miles of family-friendly ATV and equestrian trail systems by the end of 2016.  The first ATV trail system, “Mountain View”  opened this summer near the town of St. Paul.  Come enjoy the scenic beauty of Southwest Virginia and a riding experience like nothing else.  The purpose and goal of SRRA is to oversee the development and management of the Spearhead Trail System within the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, Wise and the City of Norton.

The Crooked Road

The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, winds through the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Here, the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Traditional Country music is as beautiful and rugged as the landscape itself. Our mission: Supporting economic development by promoting Heritage Tourism and Blue Ridge and Appalachian culture.

Wilderness Road

To promote the Wilderness Road: Virginia’s Heritage Migration Route through tourism marketing, utilizing regional partnerships and promotion of cultural and historic resources in a way that advances economic development throughout our defined service area.