The Spearhead Trails project was started and initially facilitated by Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Partnership Alliance Marketing division. In 2008, the Virginia General Assembly established the Southwest Regional Recreation Authority (SRRA) under Chapter 648, sections 15.2-6016 thru 15.2-6024 of the Virginia Code.
The purpose and goal of SRRA is to oversee the development and management of the Spearhead Trail System within the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, Wise and the City of Norton. Click here to find out more about trails coming soon.
The 2008 Virginia General Assembly “establishes an authority for Southwest Virginia to create a multi-purpose regional recreational area similar to, and potentially adjoining, such areas in West Virginia and Kentucky. The recreational area might consist of various trails and other amenities on private open-space lands where members of the public could, for example, hunt, fish, boat, camp, ride motorcycles or all-terrain vehicles, ride mountain bikes, or ride horses. The Southwest Regional Recreation Authority would have various powers to manage the area by raising funds, employing staff, and adopting rules punishable by civil penalties. Landowners participating in the recreation area would be afforded a limited liability for persons engaging in recreational activities on their property.” Click here to read about how it all got started.
If developed under the guidance of SRRA, the proposed recreational trail system has the potential to bring 200,000 visitors to the region. Based on similar projects in adjacent states, this study estimates that the proposed trail system could bring an additional $30 million to local economies at a time when economic growth is desperately needed.
Southwest Virginia is blessed with a multitude of existing trails. There are over 500 miles of hiking trails and numerous nonmotorized multi-use trails primarily within or in close proximity to Jefferson National Forest or other public lands.
The Spearhead Trails area is strategically located within close proximity to major populations. With rising fuel costs, travelers have a renewed emphasis for recreational opportunities close to home. There are 163,000,000 potential visitors within one day’s drive (600 mile radius) of the study area. The unique terrain that combines rolling hills, mountains and wide valleys makes it all the more appealing to others outside the region.