Nestled in the Alleghany Mountains of western Virginia, the area is rich in recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests; Gathright Wildlife Management Area; Lake Moomaw; Douthat State Park, and many clear mountain streams provide some of the best hunting, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing in the eastern United States.
The Humpback Bridge State Wayside Park is a five-acre historical showplace. Humpback is the only arched single-span covered bridge in America and is a favorite place for picnicking and pictures.
The Alleghany Highlands is a land of beauty, serenity, fun and adventure all rolled into one! Get out and enjoy fly fishing (rated #25 in the Top 100 U.S. Trout Streams), golfing, biking, boating, kayaking, swimming, bird watching, hiking, and much more. You can also take in a bit of history and sightseeing while you are here, or simply get lost in the breathtaking scenic mountain views. Experience nature at its best at these venues:
Escatawba Farm, located in the Alleghany Highlands just 30 minutes from the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, offers a secluded fishing experience on Dunlap Creek or at a one-and-a-half-acre, spring-fed lake. Enjoy the tranquil setting and abundance of Rainbow Trout. Reservations required. 540-962-6487
Jackson River Trail, a 17-mile trail in Alleghany County, runs from Covington to the Coles Point Recreation Area at Lake Moomaw. The trail was developed from an old railroad bed and provides access to many natural, historic and scenic resources. The Jackson River runs adjacent to the trail and contributes a distinct and scenic landscape feature, while providing a natural habitat for reproducing wild trout.
Roaring Run, located south of Covington on Star Route 621, is a magnificent waterfall cascading over a high cliff falling to a stream below. The natural beauty of this picnic and hiking area is breathtaking and provides a delightful outdoor adventure during any season.
Whitewater paddling on the 5.7-miles Route 661 to Dunlap Creek section of Ogle Creek in Alleghany County is a good one-day trip. The section is rated by American Whitewater as Class II-III. You can pitch a tent or park your RV at a nearby campground. The nature scenery of Virginia and the playfulness of the water are in themselves reasons enough to come here to paddle.
Alleghany Highlands Golf Courses
- Alleghany Country Club – The 9-hole “Alleghany” course at the Alleghany Country Club facility in Covington, Virginia features 3,080 yards of golf from the longest tee for a par of 35. The course rating is a 71 and it has a slope rating of 119. This course opened in 1961.
- Cliff View Golf Course – 18-hole “Cliff View” course at the Cliff View Golf Course in Covington, Virginia features 5,906 yards of golf from the longest tee for a par of 72. The course rating is a 68 and it has a slope rating of 120. This course opened in 1996. (540-962-1932)
- Cliftondale Country Club – The 9-hole “Cliftondale” course facility is located in Clifton Forge, Virginia. It features 2,760 yards of golf from the longest tee for a par of 36. The course rating is 33.4 and it has a slope rating of 113. Cliftondale golf course opened in 1928.
- Cascades Course – Located in Hot Springs, Virginia, this course offers challenging links set against the backdrop of breathtaking mountains. It features 6,659 yards of golf for a par of 70. Ranked #12 in Golfweek’s “America’s Best 100 Resort Golf Courses” in the United States and the World.
- Lower Cascades Course – The waters rushing through this course, designed in 1963, widens into a peaceful stream at the valley floor. It features 6,619 yards of golf with a par of 72. This course features long tees, rolling fairways, severe greens contouring exaggerated breaks and strategically placed bunkers for a competitive game.
- Old Course – The “Homestead’s” Old Course was completed in 1892, and enjoys the distinction of having the nation’s oldest first tee in continuous use. It features 6,211 yards of golf with a par of 72. Abundant fairway contouring gives most shots a side hill, uphill, or downhill lie to smallish greens making shots interesting.
- The Greenbrier Course – This course, redesigned by Jack Nicklaus in 1977, is the only resort course in the world to be the site of international cup matches. The course features 6,675 yards/slope 135 to 5,095 yards/slope 120 with a par of 72. This course is heavily wooded and demands forced carries onto the greens. The well-bunkered greens are terraced and require accurate iron play and talent with short irons and putter.
- The Meadows Course – This course, dramatically updated in 1999, offers an excellent variety of challenging holes and offers the best photographic opportunities with its beautiful panoramic views of the mountains. This course features 6,795 yards/slope 129 to 4,979 yards/slope 114 with a par of 71. The course hares a massive double green on the 18th hole.
- The Old White Course – The Greenbrier’s first 18-hole golf course opened in 1914 with one of the first golfers being President Woodrow Wilson. This course features 6,826 yards/slope 137 to 5,034 yards/slope 129 with a par 70. This course features generous fairways and challenging, undulating putting greens. Every hole allows for either a very challenging approach to the green, or one that has less risk, and a higher chance of success. The Old White Course was the site of the Greenbrier Classic, a PGA Tour FedEx Cup event in 2010.
Sports and Recreation
Play on a team, cheer on a team. Get out and have fun. From water sports to hiking and biking to a good workout at the YWCA, there are no excuses in the Alleghany Highlands!
- Alleghany Highlands YMCA – YMCAs reside at the heart of community life in towns and communities across America. And the Alleghany Highlands is no exception. The Y’s mission is simple yet vital to day to day operations: “To put Christian principles through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all”. The YMCA improves quality of life, which is essential to long term residents, new residents, and businesses that must attract and retain good quality people.
- Covington Lumberjacks – Casey Field in Covington is now home to the Covington Lumberjacks, a collegiate sports team that plays here each summer as part of the Valley Baseball League. Amenities here include, concession area, restroom, shower facilities, team locker rooms, press box, and seating for 2,000 spectators. This field is also open to area baseball teams.
- Douthat State Park – Located in Alleghany and Bath Counties, is one of the six original Virginia State Parks opened in 1936. This park includes trails, a dam and spillway, cabins, a lodge, a swimming beach, picnic area and more. Enjoy dinner at the Lakeview Restaurant overlooking the 50-acre trout stocked lake.
- Jackson River Sports Complex – The Jackson River Sports Complex is located in Covington and offers the following: five lighted softball fields, lighted tennis courts, soccer field, playground equipment, walking areas, picnic areas, restroom facilities, press box, concessions and a newly constructed amphitheater.
- Lake Moomaw – Lake Moomaw provides year-round boating, water sports, fishing, hunting, camping, picnicking and hiking. This 2,530 acre lake has a 43-mile shoreline and is a part of the Gathright Wildlife Management Area in Alleghany and Bath Counties.
The outdoors fun doesn’t end when the weather turns cold. Some of the Southeast’s best skiing is within an easy driving distance from the Highlands. (Listed in order of distance.)