Creative Economy Recovery Plan


Download the Southwest Virginia Creative Economy Recovery Plan | 2020-2021

You can download the full report as a .PDF here. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or something compatible on your computer or device.

Current Grant Funded Projects Underway

Construction Projects:

  • Appalachian Trail Center – In partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, this center will provide visitors with direction and ideas for the many recreational activities and hospitality offerings in the Damascus/Mt. Rogers region. 
  • Big Stone Gap Bike Park – development of a Bike Pump Track in the Town of Big Stone Gap
  • Haysi to Breaks – a multi-use recreational trail connecting Breaks Interstate Park to the Town of Haysi in Dickenson County
  • Haysi Riverwalk – construction of a Riverwalk to connect businesses in Downtown Haysi to the Russell Fork River
  • High Knob Destination Center – This center will serve as a gateway between the City of Norton and High Knob offering maps and exhibits that highlight the recreation opportunities in the High Knob Region
  • High Knob Lake – improvements to the existing High Knob Lake which include vegetation removal and beach development
  • New River Access Points – installation of 4 access points on the New River in Giles County
  • New River Center – This center will provide visitors with recreational and hospitality information around the New River in Giles County.  
  • Pound River Access Points – installation of 2 access points on the Pound River in Wise County
  • Pound Bike Park – development of a Bike Pump Track in the Town of Pound
  • Powell River Access Points – installation of 6 access points on the Powell River in Lee County
  • Stony Creek Park – Additional parking and bathroom facilitates to accommodate visitors to the Devil’s Bathtub attraction. Complete – pending ribbon cutting. 
  • Tazewell Trails – development of recreational trails, Clinch River access points and selfie spots throughout Tazewell County


Planning Projects:

  • Bridge Builders Interstate Recovery Plan – Identify current status of creative economy in four neighbor states, identify shared assets, make recommendations for collaborations across state lines for quicker recovery in the creative economy.
  • Cumberland Plateau Regional Master Plan – This plan will develop an asset analysis and development plan for the Counties and Towns of the Cumberland Plateau Region.
  • High Knob Master Plan – A master plan for the High Knob Recreation area linking assets to local communities to drive economic development through tourism and recreational opportunities while increasing the quality of life. Complete – pending Master Plan release event. 
  • Mendota Trail Economic Impact Study and Master Plan – A long-term and comprehensive master plan for the Mendota Trail, a 12.5 mile hiking-biking recreational rail-to-trail corridor under active development that will link The City of Bristol, VA to the rural community of Mendota, VA. Years ago, a rail line linked Bristol and Mendota.
  • Mount Rogers Regional Connectivity Plan – This plan will look at the future connectivity and sustainability of all outdoor recreation products within the Mount Rogers anchor area.
  • New Markets: ‘Round the Mountain E-Commerce Development – creation of an e-commerce website to enable ‘Round the Mountain Artisans to reach larger markets 
  • Virginia Creeper Trail Economic Impact Study and Master Plan – A long-term and comprehensive master plan for the Virginia Creeper Trail, a 34.3 mile rail-to-trail, traversing through two counties from Abingdon, Virginia, through Damascus, and ending just past Whitetop Station in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, at the Virginia-North Carolina border.
Friends of Southwest Virginia is following recommendations from the Commonwealth and the World Health Organization to practice social distancing. All public meetings will be postponed until further notice.Access Regional Resources Here »