Preservation

Many of the visitor centers have information and exhibits about the area’s history, but there are also quite a few historical areas and buildings that are noted below:

Humpback Rocks

This area includes 19th-century Appalachian farm buildings that come alive during summer months with living history demonstrations. The Humpback Rocks Visitors Center has exhibits on housing, entertainment, community and transportation of the region.

The Yankee Horse Ridge Parking Area

This are displays a narrow gauge railroad track that used to be called the Irish Creek Railway as well as an exhibit on logging.

James River Visitor Center

This features an exhibit on the James River and Kanawha Canal, a formerly important commercial route. A trail takes you to a restored lock dating back to the mid-19th century.

Peaks of Otter

Several items of note here include the Johnson farm (a living history farm in the summertime), and the Polly Woods Ordinary (a lodging establishment for travelers in the early 1830s).

Roanoke Mountain

This is the location where the Great Wagon Road branched west and south into North Carolina.

The Trail Cabin

This is a 19th-century example of the isolated mountain residencies. It is nothing short of amazing.

Mabry Mill

This is a historical mill, blacksmith shop, wheelwright, even a whiskey still. Demonstrations are performed seasonally.

The Puckett Cabin

This is the 19th-century home of Mrs. Orleana.

Museums

There are also several museums that are worth visiting, some of which combine art, history and Appalachian culture. Check these out:

  • Blowing Rock Art & History Museum
  • Hickory Ridge Homestead
  • Mt. Airy Museum of Regional History
  • Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
  • P. Buckley Moss Museum
  • Taubman Museum of Art
  • Virginia Museum of Transportation
  • Wilkes Heritage Museum