Tag Archives: Giles County

Snowy hike to Giles County’s Cascade Falls

By Katy Lord
Guest Post

Snow Katy 1Saturday was sunny and 45 degrees, perfect for a winter hike in the snow at the Cascades, a 70-foot waterfall west of Blacksburg in Giles County. The falls were icy and, a week after more than a foot of snow fell in southwest Virginia, there was still plenty left on the ground.

Snow Katy 5The parking lot was full when we arrived at this very popular recreation area. The snowy, slippery conditions weren’t keeping anyone off the trails.

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The back roads and November vistas of western Virginia

By Lynn R. Mitchell

2While traveling the back roads from Blacksburg home to Augusta County, the winter woods opened vistas of the fields and mountains of western Virginia as we traveled through Montgomery, Giles, Craig, Botetourt, Allegheny, Bath, and finally Augusta. In Giles County, we stopped to check out this covered bridge located within a mile of Rt. 42 at Newport.

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Back roads: Historic truss bridge over Wolf Creek in Bland County

By Lynn R. Mitchell

5The road less traveled is usually the one I will take when exploring the back roads of Virginia because life happens on the back roads. That is where you will find abandoned bridges like this one in Bland County — the old Route 61 truss bridge over Wolf Creek at Rocky Gap (intersection of Rt. 61, Rt. 52, and I-77). The road is blocked by guardrail that is now graffiti-covered and the area was very overgrown on the mid-September day when we happened upon it. Wary of snakes, I didn’t go past the roadblock but if we’re back that way in winter, it would be interesting to explore the bridge since it is noted on Bridgehunter.com as open to pedestrians. It was in amazingly good shape with no rotting boards.

Bridgehunter also noted the bridge was built as a railroad bridge in 1890 and opened to vehicles in 1946 when the railroad was discontinued. It was abandoned in 1987 when the road was straightened, behind where I stood to take this photo, with a concrete bridge that allows two-way traffic. The bridge was posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 7, 2011.

6Travel route: From Blacksburg we took Rt. 460 west to the picturesque little town of Narrows in Giles County where we picked up Rt. 61, crossed the New River, and followed Wolf Creek through the mountains of Giles and Bland County on our way to Bluefield, West Virginia. This was just one of the interesting sights along the way, typical of meandering the back roads of America.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 17, 2015

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The song birds of Mountain Lake



Sitting on an outdoor patio at Mountain Lake in the mountains of Virginia’s Giles County, we were entertained by the activity at the bird feeders and the flower garden as birds, butterflies, and bees busily went about their business in the cool breezes at an elevation of 3,875 feet. I had the perfect vantage point with my camera.

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Virginia’s Mountain Lake

By Lynn R. Mitchell

6Mountain Lake in Giles County, Virginia, about 30 minutes west of Blacksburg.

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Memories: Mountain Lake still entertaining guests

Mountain Lake 1

Mountain Lake Lodge when the lake was full.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Mountain Lake Lodge sits on 2,600 acres surrounded by the Jefferson National Forest in Giles County high in the mountains, a huge, rustic stone building with an historic background (see History of Mountain Lake Lodge) that overlooks what was once a large, well, mountain lake. It has practically dried up the past few years — the mystery surrounding that is a story in itself because it has drained and refilled over the centuries (see History of rise and fall of Mountain Lake) — but the resort remains as a hideaway for those who want to spend time in the cooler mountain temps with lots of outdoor recreational activities available, except swimming and boating.

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