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The Outdoors

The natural beauty of the Alleghany Highlands makes it the – well – natural choice for companies and individuals that make a living from the outdoors.

Your work could be play. The Outdoors is a growing economic sector in the Alleghany Highlands.

Located on the Jackson River and nestled in the Allegheny Mountains of western Virginia, the area is home to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests; Gathright Wildlife Management Area; Lake Moomaw; Douthat State Park, and miles and miles of clear mountain streams, biking and hiking trails. Outdoor retailers, outfitters, guides and other adventurous entrepreneurs will find the ingredients for success in the Alleghany Highlands.

Who’s Here

  • Alleghany Outdoors: Rentals of canoes, kayaks, tubes and bikes
  • Alleghany Sportsman: Retail store offering archery, fishing and hunting gear
  • Bolar Run Retreat at Douthat State Park: Log cabins near the Jackson and Bullpasture Rivers
  • Douthat State Park: One of Virginia’s 35 state parks (rated one of America’s Top 10 State Parks by Outside Family Guide), with rentals available for mountain bikes, johnboats, canoes, paddleboats, hydrobikes and funyaks
  • Escatawba Farms: Fly fishing haven with an abundance of heavy rainbow trout and brown trout
  • Guest House at Grace Hill Farm: Accommodations located minutes from Douthat State Park
  • Lake Moomaw: Pontoon boat and cone rentals at Bolar Flat Marina
  • Longdale Village: Cottages with private access to the Cowpasture River
  • Mountain View Wingshooting: Licensed shooting preserve offering guided quail. Chukar and pheasant hunts, as well as skeet shooting

Educational Advantages

Alleghany Highland Economic Development Corporation culinary

Finding a skilled, well-educated workforce is to the success of any business. Dabney S. Lancaster Community College offers a number of degrees and certificate that benefit leisure and outdoor venues, including certificates in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Hospitality Services and Massage Therapy. DSLCC also offers an associate’s degree in Culinary Arts and Management to prepare students for careers in culinary arts, food service management and related occupations.

The strength of the Alleghany Highlands’ wilderness recreation sector and the region’s abundant natural resources are factors behind the Recreational Leadership Career Studies Certificate. The program prepares students for careers in outdoor leadership in fields such as canoeing, back-packing, skiing, mountain biking, fly fishing, rock climbing, and many other disciplines.

Other Advantages

  • The region is strategically positioned midway along the eastern seaboard on Interstate-64 between Interstates-77 and -81, convenient – or enroute – to well-known resorts such as The Omni Homestead and The Greenbrier.
  • The area also is convenient major U.S. markets. More than 40 percent of the U.S. population lives within a 600 mile radius.
  • Domestic travel expenditures in the Alleghany Highlands rose 20.4 percent from 2003 to 2009, and totaled $33.8 million in 2009, according to the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
  • Boat registrations are up 1.1 percent in the region from 2006 to 2011, compared to a slight decline statewide of 2.3 percent according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Available Properties

Numerous retail properties are available in shopping centers and in the downtown business districts of Clifton Forge and Covington. For more information, contact Terri McClung of the AHEDC.

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