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Alleghany Highlands


It is said that the Allegheny Mountains are endless. As visitors journey through valleys of the James, Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers, the Alleghenies indeed seem endless, with mountain vistas as far as the eyes can see. Hundreds of miles of trails crisscross the area, taking the adventurous deep into the forest for a truly memorable experience. Travel the Top Drive/North Mountain Loop, and the mountains multiply into the distant haze. Touted as the “Skyline Drive without the crowds,” this gravel road leads the wildlife watcher to high elevation forests where scarlet tanagers and rose-breasted grosbeaks abound. As the Alleghenies appear infinite, so do the opportunities for watching wildlife. Awe-inspiring views continue from the trails of Douthat State Park. Keep an eye out for local denizens such as black bear, wild turkey and numerous songbirds. Douthat Lake regularly hosts bald eagles, as does the much larger Lake Moomaw. Neighboring towns provide a variety of accommodations, making an extended stay easily feasible and well worthwhile.

This webpage was designed in partnership with the Virginia Bird and Wildlife trail program which is the first of its kind within the United States, the VBWT is our state’s list of 65 loops  and 680 sites that connect all the best wildlife viewing locations within Virginia providing a vast diversity of well maintained hiking routes through a variety of habitats to see everything from bald eagles to butterflies. As well as historical places such as the birthplaces of presidents and 12 million year old fossils. Explore our natural wonders, walk the trails and see what you can discover every site mentioned is a wonder to behold and a little piece of our state’s beauty.

Loop Map



Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce

County of Bath Tourism

Botetourt County Chamber of Commerce

Lexington-Rockbridge County