25 YRS EXPERIENCE

Created by VA General Assembly in 1993, we've been helping visitors and tourism-related businesses for nearly 25 years!

OUR SERVICES

- Lodging, Dining, Shopping Info

- Outdoor Adventure Assistance

- Calendar of Regional Events

- Regional Attractions Info

-Outfitters & Guides Listings

- Travel Planning Assistance

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VISIT US

HEART of APPALACHIA VISITOR CENTER

3028 4th Avenue Market Square

PO Box 186, Saint Paul, VA 24283

© 2013-2019 Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority

Our back roads are just that, rural working roads, traveled by residents, farmers, coal transport and a variety of visitors. Use caution while traveling and check road conditions before  riding unfamiliar routes.  Enjoy your ride!
511Virginia.org offers road condition info.

BACK OF THE DRAGON

Welcome to 32 miles of the most exciting and technical road you will ever ride - The Back of the Dragon.  You'll find  unmatched beauty and riding enjoyment on Virginia's  Route 16, the two lane ribbon over the three mountain range between Marion and Tazewell, Virginia. Take this ride and earn your place amongst the  "Dragon Masters" and those who aspire to be.  For more information about The Back of the Dragon, visit the official Dragon Website.

 

What began as a passion for motorcycle riding and a love for an amazing stretch of highway has turned an idea into a trail, a business and an event! In October, 2010, a recently retired Army Master Sargent, enthusiastically marched into the Tazewell County Office of Economic Development and Tourism with an idea that he had been considering... He was carrying a large rendering of a medieval dragon in one hand and a motorcycle helmet in the other.  "Route 16 is a natural for motorcycles and sports cars", he exclaimed.  "With elevations of 3,500 feet, there are 32 miles of over 260 winding curves, some of which are 15 mile per hour curves; and once you get to the top, the views are amazing!" And that, my friends, is how the Back of the Dragon was born.  To celebrate the passion for the ride and the road, an annual Back of the Dragon - The Awakening event takes place each June. 

Approximately 32 miles or 105 with Rt 80 back to Tazewell

The entirety of Back of the Dragon runs route 16 from Tazewell, Virginia to Marion, Virginia.

To download a tank map for this route click the button below and unzip the zip file.

LODGING

Holiday Inn Express - Claypool Hill

180 Clay Drive   276-596-9880
 

Real McCoy Cabins - Pocahontas

156 Wood Smoke Way  276-945-3106
 

Trailhead ATV Resort - Boissevain

465 Miners Park Lane  276-945-3089
 

Comfort Inn - Bluefield

38769 Gov. GC Peery Hwy  276-326-3002
 

Fincastle Motor Inn - Tazewell

858 E. Fincastle Turnpike  276-988-2531
 

Super 8 Motel - Claypool Hill

12367 Gov. GC Peery Hwy  276-964-9888
 

Cuz's Cabins - Pounding Mill

15746 Gov. GC Peery Hwy  276-964-9014
 

Cavitt's Creek Park Campground - Tazewell

750 Recreation Dr    276-988-7250
 

Foxtail Orchard Cabins & Campground - Tazewell

3628 BF Buchanan Hwy   276-200-4176
 

Cottage at Crab Orchard - Tazewell

3663 Crab Orchard Rd   276-988-6755

Parsonage Guest House - Burkes Garden

7322 Burkes Garden Rd   276-970-6862

DINING

Fisher and Company Tazewell

1735 Pisgah Rd   276-385-1150

Coal Bucket Deli - Tazewell

100 Tazewell Mall   276-988-9111

Your Grate Escape - Tazewell

1133 Fincastle Turnpike  276-988-7867

Italian Village - Tazewell

817 E Fincastle Turnpike  276-988-6572

Seven Restaurant - Tazewell

203 W Main St   276-385-1100

Donut Diva - Tazewell

203 E Fincastle Turnpike  276-245-5987

Cuz's Uptown Barbeque - Pounding Mill

15746 Gov GC Peery Hwy  276-964-9014

Sugar Street Bakery - Pounding Mill

12583 Gov. GC Peery Hwy  276-345-6652

ATTRACTIONS

21. Channels State Forest Preserve

Brumley Gap Rd, Abingdon, VA

 

22. Ellenbrook Museum

Hayters Gap Rd, Lebanon, VA

24. Vincent’s Vineyard

2313 Main St, Lebanon, VA

28. Cedar Bluff Overlook

255-299 Hurt Buggy Rd, Cedar Bluff, VA
 

29. Hungry Mother State Park

2854 Park Blvd, Marion, VA
 

30. Plum Creek Winery

5418 Thompson Valley Rd, Tazewell, VA
 

31. Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park

3663 Crab Orchard Rd, Tazewell, VA
 

32. Cavitt’s Creek Lake Witten

750 Recreation Dr, North Tazewell, VA