Gorge 25th Anniversary logo
COEBURN — Town council is expressing support for plans to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Guest River’s designation as a Virginia scenic river.
Wise County Circuit Court Clerk Jack Kennedy was the state delegate who pushed scenic river legislation through the General Assembly in 1990.
At council’s April 27 meeting, Kennedy asked the town for support of June 27 events that will commemorate the anniversary and the later development of the Guest River Gorge trail. There will be a 10K run and a one-mile kids’ run that morning, a picnic lunch and an afternoon discussion on future plans for the gorge area’s tourism and recreation opportunities, with a hike planned afterward.
Wise County is working with the Virginia Department of Transportation to get more signs directing travelers to the gorge, Kennedy noted, including exit signs off U.S. 58A and state route 72. County supervisors last week allocated $15,000 toward sign costs (see story, Page 5). Also, billboards will soon go up on those highways promoting the gorge.
Kennedy asked council to pass a resolution seeking designation of state route 72 as a national scenic byway. The road received state scenic byway status in 1995, he noted.
The draft resolution notes that route 72’s nearby attractions include the gorge, Little Stony Falls, Bark Camp Lake, Hanging Rock, hiking trails and fishing streams. It asks VDOT, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Commonwealth Transportation Board to designate the road for possible inclusion in the national scenic byway system.
Mayor Jeff Kiser thanked Kennedy for his work on promoting the gorge, and directed that the highway resolution go on council’s May 11 meeting agenda for consideration.