Front cover of the Outdoor Economy Plan featuring Breaks Interstate Park

PRESS RELEASE: Friends of Southwest Virginia Releases The Cumberland Plateau Outdoor Recreation Economic Analysis and Development Plan


Olivia Bailey
Director of Marketing
Friends of Southwest Virginia

ABINGDON, Va. (Tuesday, January 10, 2022) – The Friends of Southwest Virginia and regional partners announce the release of The Cumberland Plateau Outdoor Recreation Economic Analysis and Development Plan.

Project partners include the Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission, Friends of Southwest Virginia, The Thompson Charitable Foundation, Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, and Virginia Tourism Corporation.

The plan was developed under the direction of a project leadership team, project steering committee, and consultant team to identify and help support recreation, economic development, and high quality of life across the four-county area of Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, and Tazewell Counties.

The study identified several key assets and four core anchor areas, including Breaks Interstate Park, the Clinch River, and the Town of Tazewell, as well as motorized and non-motorized trails. The plan builds on the initiative to identify strategies to further support and grow the outdoor recreation economy in a way that facilitates increased economic impact and investment in surrounding communities.

This launch allows engaged stakeholders, current and potential businesses, localities, non-profits, citizens, and the public at large to access to the overall plan and three additional guides: Trail Development Guide, Outdoor Recreation Community Guide, and Outdoor Recreation Business Guide.

To view the full plan and download the guides, visit HERE.

About Friends of Southwest Virginia 
Southwest Virginia includes 19 counties and four independent cities located near the southern and western border of Virginia. The Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Commission, established in 2008 by the Virginia General Assembly, takes the lead in developing a creative economy in Southwest Virginia. In 2011, the Commission became the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation, a self-sustaining community development organization with support from the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Through a supporting non-profit, the Friends of Southwest Virginia, businesses and individuals help artists, crafts people, localities, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs mobilize and succeed. To learn more, visit