Resting quietly in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginia, with an area of about 363 square miles and a population of around 16,000, Giles County offers a relaxed small-town atmosphere for its residents and visitors. Pearisburg, the county seat, is located at the approximate geographic center of Giles County. The county hosts 92.4 square miles of Jefferson National Forest and over 50 miles of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). 37 miles of the New River flow through the heart of Giles County as well. Whether you spend a day hiking up to Angels Rest, on Pearis Mountain, overlooking Pearisburg from the west or kayaking down the New River, Pearisburg is truly a beautiful place for outdoor recreation.
The A.T. runs through the outskirts of Pearisburg and hikers often stop in town for a day or two of rest during the summer months. Whether they choose to stay at Woods Hole Hostel, the Holy Family Hostel run by the local Catholic Church, or one of the great B&B’s in the area, most hikers decide to spend some time in this welcoming community. They also have many other great services to offer to visitors. When members of the Giles Tourism task force heard about the A.T. Community program, they quickly formed an Advisory Committee to take advantage of this great opportunity. The committee consists of many local business owners, Outdoor Club at Virginia Tech and Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club members, town officials and interested residents. This group will continue to welcome hikers into their community, provide any services they can, and share the A.T. with their community, so that others can enjoy and appreciate this asset in their backyards.
The county has supported teachers going through the Trail to Every Classroom program, and hopes to have teachers involved in this professional development opportunity every year. They’ve created a Local Hikers Guide pamphlet listing services, food and lodging in the area.
Learn more about what beautiful Giles County has to offer: http://gilescounty.org/
To learn more about Pearisburg click here.