Recreation Economy for Rural Communities: Giles County…

Recreation Economy




Welcome! This is the registration page for the Recreation Economy for Rural Communities Virtual Workshop for Giles County, focusing on the Towns of Pembroke and Narrows, taking place October 26-29, 2020. This is a series of seven, virtual video conference sessions spaced over four days. The process is designed for interactivity. It will create a community action plan built by you, the participants. Ideally you can attend all sessions, but if you cannot commit to all, just select the first and last sessions and any others you can attend. Event video conferencing sign in links, audio call in, program information, participation instructions, and other handouts will be sent to you by email prior to the first session. Thank you for your interest and we look forward to working with you.

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Giles to Break Ground on Newest Public Boat Landing

Eggleston Boat Landing

For Immediate Release

Contact: Cora Gnegy
203 North Main Street
Pearisburg, VA 24134
540-921-2079 (office)
540-335-6314 (cell)
Date: June 21, 2018

Giles to Break Ground on Newest Public Boat Landing


Giles County, VA- Throughout the month of June there have been ongoing celebrations of the outdoors as we celebrate Great Outdoors Month. Adding to the inventory of public access points to the New River, Giles County will break ground at the newest location on June 28th at 1pm. As part of an Appalachian Regional Commission POWER grant award, in partnership with the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation, Giles will be building or improving access points along the New River. This particular ground breaking will occur at the future home of the Eggleston Boat Landing. Located near the Palisades Restaurant this boat landing will be another asset that allows river goers easy, safe, and convenient access to the New River. The future boat landing will be located by turning from Eggleston Road, onto River Road and after crossing the railroad tracks turn left to go under the bridge.


The short ceremony will highlight the cooperative efforts, improvements to tourism assets throughout the region, and New River Water Trail successes. The New River Water Trail is a cooperative effort between Giles County Administration, Giles County Tourism, New River’s Edge, New River Outdoor Company, Tangent Outfitters, local passionate citizens, small business owners, and lodging businesses in the county. The trail itself is already in place- it is the river. The continued access and success of the New River Water Trail™ will help visitors navigate the river and explore the various sections that are ready to be discovered both on and off water!




Giles County, Virginia is located in Southwest Virginia approximately 40 minutes south of Roanoke and just west of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech. With easy access to the New River, world class dining and lodging properties, and historical attractions for the entire family, Giles provides adventure in Virginia’s Mountain Playground™. Come find your playground at our Visitors Center located at 203 N Main Street, Pearisburg, VA 24134 or find us online at or by calling 540-921-2079. For interviews or onsite visits, please contact Cora Gnegy, Tourism Marketing Director. We can arrange and assist with any media needs. For more information about planning your visit to Giles County or about activities and events, please visit or contact us at

Camp, Fish, Float, Ride: Enjoy the Two Virginias!

Kairos Resort Opening July 1, 2017


Photo by Sam Dean from Kairos Wilderness Resort.

Giles County, VA – Mercer County, WV – The newest tourism destination in the two Virginias is opening to guests on July 1, 2017.


Kairos Wilderness Resort, is a 1,500 acre mountain-top property located in both Giles County, Virginia and Mercer County, West Virginia, just west of Glyn Lyn.


Kairos offers ATV/UTV/dual sport & dirt bike trails, yurt rentals, RV & primitive campgrounds, the New River Water Trail, world-class fishing, hiking trails, and scenic mountain and river views.


This July Fourth weekend, don’t miss your chance to be among the first guests to experience Kairos Resort and over 40 miles of trails on 1,515 acres in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. Bring the entire family, and don’t forget your pets; even if they have hooves. Kairos trails are open to horseback riders as well as hikers.


If you’re an ATV/UTV/dual sport or dirt bike rider, Kairos has designated trails for motorized riders as well.


Book your reservations online at or email


Included in your stay is exclusive access to the network of trails on the expansive property and camping onsite. Full hookups in the RV and camper campground area or primitive camping sites are available in addition to the bathhouse and Ed’s Place, a gathering indoor area near the campsites for socializing or to utilize for meals. Kairos has access to the New River Water Trail, so bring your kayak, canoe or paddleboard. Equipment rental and shuttle service is also available by Kairos, partnering with Tangent Outfitters.


Kairos is also available for groups, weddings, and events. To plan your special event, contact Logan Tyler at


Join us on July 1 to camp, fish, float, ride, and enjoy the two Virginias!



For more information about planning your visit to Kairos or about activities and events, please visit or contact us at


Castle Rock

Backyard Tourist Spotlight on Castle Rock Golf & Recreation

Backyard Tourist Spotlight on Castle Rock Golf & Recreation

Castle Rock Golf & Recreation is located at 900 Castle Rock Drive in Pembroke, Giles County, Virginia. They have been open since the mid 1960’s and serving the public ever since, and the operations are managed by Adam Harman.

Castle Rock Golf & Recreation strives to ensure your whole family can find enjoyment with their 18-hole golf course, Junior Olympic size swimming pool, club house, lighted tennis courts, outside picnic shelter, 15 picnic tables, and two charcoal grills. Memberships are available to enjoy all of these amenities and the golf course is welcoming to the public. The 19th Hole, the additional meeting space at Castle Rock, is available for renting for civic and corporate meetings, showers, parties, or workshop space. Contact the Office of Tourism & Marketing, at (540) 921-2079, for more information on renting the space.

Castle Rock Golf & Recreation overlooks the New River Water Trail and its’ namesake “Castle Rock”, in Giles County. The views from the course are of breathtaking vistas of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. In 2017, Castle Rock Golf course was recognized as the 2nd Best Golf Course in Southwest Virginia by Virginia Living Magazine.

They are open seven days a week from 8am to 7pm. They can be reached at 540-626-7276 or online or on Facebook.

Happy Business Appreciation Month and National Teacher Appreciation Month!

Link to website:

Link to Facebook:

Ballads - Mtn. Lake

The Crooked Road & Mountains of Music Homecoming


Mountains of Music

May 22, 2017

Contact: Jack Hinshelwood, Executive Director
The Crooked Road & Mountains of Music Homecoming
(276) 492-2402 O, (540) 239-2110 M

Karen Tessier
Mountains of Music Homecoming Public Relations
(828) 398-5250 O, (828) 231-6268 M

Scotland’s Archie Fisher Joins Crooked Road Artists in Ballad Event at Mountain Lake Lodge for Crooked Road’s 2017 Mountains of Music Homecoming


Abingdon, VA: Renowned Scottish folk and ballad singer Archie Fisher will join Kay Justice, Rich Kirby and Carol Elizabeth Jones on the Gazebo Lawn at Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke on Monday, June 12 at 7:00 PM.  This special concert is part of the 2017 Mountains of Music Homecoming.  In the event of rain the concert will move indoors to Mary’s Barn.


Archie Fisher, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, grew up in a musical family. In the 1960s and 1970s, Fisher performed regularly with his younger sister Ray on television in Scotland.  He recorded his first album in 1968, and thereafter appeared as a backing musician (on guitar) and arranger for the legenday Irish artists Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy.  In the 1970s, Fisher recorded his acclaimed albums, The Man With A Rhyme and Will Ye Gang, Love.  In 1996, Fisher’s next album, Sunsets I’ve Galloped Into, was spotlighted on National Public Radio.  Following the success of that release, Archie toured throughout North America with British guitarists John Renbourn and Bert Jansch.  Fisher has released two subsequent albums, Windward Away (2008) and A Silent Song (2015), combining performances of his own compositions with those of traditional Scottish songs.  Fisher is a consummate guitarist whose intricate playing creates the perfect backdrop for his warm, almost hypnotic baritone singing voice.


For several decades Scott County native Rich Kirby has been committed to uplifting old-time mountain music in multiple roles – as performer, researcher, radio host, record producer, and workshop leader.  During the 1970s, he performed with John McCutcheon and Tom Bledsoe as the trio known as Wry Straw, and he recorded three albums for the June Appal label, including an acclaimed album of coal mining songs recorded with folklorist Michael Kline.  In 1978, Kirby produced an album of his grandmother’s ballads, Been A Long Time Traveling, and in 2015 he produced the compilation album, The Very Day I’m Gone: The Songs of Addie Graham, featuring performances of his grandmother’s repertoire by a range of talented roots musicians, including Kirby himself.   Kirby carries on the ballad tradition with many of his grandmother’s songs as well as being an accomplished performer on banjo, guitar, and fiddle.


Kay Justice, a respected folk and old-time singer, lives in Wytheville, Virginia.  She has a rich repertoire of traditional songs and ballads. She has recorded three critically acclaimed albums as a duo with Ginny Hawker – Signs & Wonders, Come All You Tenderhearted, and Bristol: A Tribute to the Music of the Original Carter Family.  Justice has been a master artist with the Apprenticeship Program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.


The evening will be rounded out with Carol Elizabeth Jones, a songwriter and acclaimed traditional singer with many albums to her credit.  These include two as part of the folk duo Jones and Leva, two of country and bluegrass duets with Laurel Bliss, an album with Hazel Dickens and Ginny Hawker, and a solo album entitled Cataloochee.  A regular on Garrison Keillor’s, A Prairie Home Companion, she has performed with several groups and toured Africa and Southeast Asia as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. Information Agency.  Her ballad singing will be showcased on a compilation of Appalachian balladry to be released by the Great Smoky Mountains Association in 2017.


Tickets to this very special concert event are available online at and at the Giles County Visitors Center (540) 921-2079. You can also call the Chamber of Commerce at (540) 921-5000.


Attendees to this concert can also visit “From These Woods,” an exhibit of works by highly skilled Appalachian artisans at the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech, one of over 130 cultural events that are part of the Homecoming.


The Mountains of Music Homecoming is an extraordinary nine-day music and cultural showcase event that stretches across the 330 miles of The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. With 25 featured concerts and 130 cultural events, the Mountains of Music Homecoming invites travelers to follow the music through the heart of the scenic, culturally rich Crooked Road region. The theme for the 2017 Mountains of Music Homecoming is The Year We Sang.


The Crooked Road’s 76-page Official Guide to the 2017 Mountains of Music Homecoming is free and available at all Virginia Welcome Centers, at Southwest Virginia public library branches, and at Southwest Virginia branches of New Peoples Bank, the Bank of Marion, and Union Bank & Trust. In Giles County, guide books are available at the Visitors Center.


The Crooked Road is grateful for the generous support of the Virginia Department of Housing and Economic Development, David and Judie Reemsnyder, Blue Ridge Beverage, Mountain Lake Lodge, Union Bank & Trust, WDBJ-7, and Chantilly Farm for helping to make the 2017 Homecoming possible.  For tickets, schedules and more information about all Mountains of Music Homecoming concerts and cultural events, visit


For hi-res images and more info, click here.

Caution on the New River due to very high flows

Memorial Day weekend typically brings many people to Giles County to enjoy the beautiful New River.  Unfortunately, the recent heavy rains have created very high flows which are currently at more than 30,000 cubic feet per second creating a gauge reading at Glen Lyn of 9.6 feet.  While below flood stage, this volume of water can create dangerous conditions and extremely strong currents in many parts of the river.  We ask that you carefully consider skill levels, equipment, and river conditions prior to getting on the river.  Depending on the weather, improved conditions are forecast for later this weekend.  We encourage you to monitor these conditions at the National Weather Service website. which is specific to the Glen Lyn gauge or visit   which will give you access to stream gauges across the region.

ACCE April Column

ACCE April Column

Memories Made at the Muddy ACCE Race


Muddy Acce Race day
Jennifer Hockl Mar b- Sitting in a mud pit was better than falling in at the Muddy ACCE Race. The 2017 event will be just as muddy!

Giles County, VA- The weather is warming up and participants of the Muddy ACCE Race are reflecting back on the fun times at the inaugural event. Well over 300 participants made lasting memories at the 5k, obstacle course mud run, held on the banks of the New River Water Trail in Glen Lyn. Each month we bring you a story about either the ACCE, Access to Community College Education program or the Muddy ACCE Race event. As warm weather approaches we are thinking to the 2017 event and Jennifer Hockl of Pearisburg, shares some fond memories of her first time participating.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself. A: I have been a resident of Giles County all my life, 39 years and love the outdoors! I went to school in Narrows & reside now in Pearisburg where both my kids go to Giles High School.  However my oldest son is now a student at Virginia Tech after he completed 2 years at New River Community College.

Q: How did you participate in the ACCE Program? A: I was a parent, but I also ran the event with friends.

Muddy ACCE Race 2016
Jennifer Hockl MAR 2016- Jennifer and friend trudge through one of many mud pits at the 2016 event.

Q: Why did you get involved with the Muddy ACCE Race? A: A few friends of mine thought this was a good way to show our support for our kids and community.  Also a great way to see how much endurance we could put ourselves through!

Q: What is the one thing you’ll take away from the ACCE program or MAR event? A: It is definitely something to reminiscence about!! Especially our facial expressions before, during and after the race!!

Q: If you could share a sentiment to those considering the program, perhaps as a student or parent, or considering running in the 2017 event- what would you tell them? A: It is a great way to spend a day with family and friends and a very great way for our kids to get an education with the money raised! I have recruited many others to come join the fun this September!

If you are interested in learning more about the NRCC ACCE program in Giles, please visit For more information on the 2017 Muddy ACCE Race,



Natalie Warren Visits Giles County, Va.

Presentation2On the weekend of June 3rd-5th Natalie Warren, of Wild River Academy and Canoe & Kayak Magazine came and stayed with Paul and Alisa Moody at New River’s Edge. Friday evening she was welcomed by the Town of Pembroke, Giles County Administration, stakeholders, outfitters and others during her presentation on “Your Community from the Paddler’s Perspective“. Afterwards, she and Giles Chamber Members enjoyed a cookout at New River’s Edge where they all got to know each other better and discuss the New River’s significance to Giles County businesses and tourism.

IMG_5940On Saturday, Natalie paddled with a small group that included Cora Gnegy, Giles County Tourism Marketing Director, Paul and Alisa Moody, Ralph Robertson, and others from Eggleston to Pembroke to experience the New River herself. Other than a quick, heavy rain shower the kayak trip was fun, relaxing and showed off the natural beauty of the New River.

Sunday, Natalie explored the areas favorite tourist spots; Cascade Falls, Mountain Lake Hotel and Conservancy, and War Spur Trail, talking to visitors, hikers, staff and business owners along the way. She landed in the Town of Narrows where she wrapped up her visit with a paddler’s point of view on Giles County’s trail towns and how to reach out to paddler’s to bring them off the river and into town to spend money. Natalie also offered her professional observations about how Giles County can not only improve, but also better promote the New River Water Trail.

We look forward to reading about her experience with the Town of Pembroke and the New River Water Trail in her blog “The Next Best Paddling Town” on Canoe & Kayak Magazine’s website in the coming weeks.

You can read more about Natalie’s life as a professional speaker and canoeist here:
How to Make a River Town: An expedition paddler’s perspective on community development