Clinch River Named Virginia’s First Blueway State Park

The Clinch River has become Virginia’s first blueway state park and the Commonwealth’s 41st state park! Based around a river, the Clinch River State Park consists of 696 acres, situated across small anchor properties and connected by numerous canoe-kayak access points that run through Tazewell, Russell, Wise and Scott counties. These areas draw outdoor enthusiasts, seeking to enjoy the river and its ecological diversity, traverse a network of recreational trails and witness the beauty of what The Nature Conservancy calls “One of the Last, Great Places.”

“With the dedication of Clinch River State Park, we will both protect and showcase one of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse places in our Commonwealth. Located in the heart of Appalachia, this park will be a highlight of the robust outdoor recreation economy in Southwest Virginia and draw even more visitors to the region. The opening of our newest state park comes as we celebrate 85 years of Virginia’s state park system and the countless opportunities that our state parks provide.” – Governor Ralph Northam

Excitingly, several Advancing Virginia Main Street (AMVS) communities, as well as localities in-between, serve as anchor points, leveraging the Clinch River and their own unique assets to attract visitors to the region. As AVMS communities, the Town of St. Paul and Town of Tazewell, for example, are committed to creating high-quality places, building stronger downtowns through preservation-based economic development and celebrating the natural scenic beauty inherent to the area. Undoubtedly, their efforts will be greatly aided by the Clinch River becoming Virginia’s first blueway state park. Neighboring communities, such as the City of Norton and Big Stone Gap, that are exploring the Main Street Approach for commercial revitalization will also benefit from visitors exploring the Clinch River and what makes the region so special.

Click here to view the full press release!

Virginia State Parks are a division of the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). DCR will develop a master plan with the public input to guide any future facilities and amenities at the park. Click here to learn more!

Image Credit: Office of the Governor