A rewarding destination for day-trip adventurers or long-distance hikers
Come for the outdoor recreation, friendly towns, and unforgettable experiences. We are “Virginia’s Mountain Playground.”
Enjoy the small-town vibe at Pearisburg, the county seat of Giles County. Tucked into the foothills of the Pearis Mountains, with the New River winding around its southern border, Pearisburg is a rewarding destination for day-trip adventurers or long-distance hikers.
Established as a village in 1808, Pearisburg is now listed as a National Registry Community. Visit and fill your day with art, history, hiking and boating. Then settle in at a locally-owned restaurant or inn and simply relax and enjoy village life!
- Enjoy a stroll through the River Sculpture Walking Trail. Pearisburg was inspired to install this public art display to promote environmental education and the revitalization of small towns. The trail consists of five sculptures, some of which were made from items salvaged from the New River and transformed into works of art.
- Hustle over to the Andrew Johnston House, history buffs! The oldest surviving brick house in Giles County is the home built by Colonel Andrew Johnston in 1829. This Georgian manor house features many of the original decorative accents and charm of 19th century Giles County.
- Play on the New River Water Trail! Enjoy 37 miles of award-winning fishing, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, paddle-boarding and swimming. This waterway connects hiking trails, wildlife viewing, local lodging and dining options. Reach out to a local guide or outfitter to enhance your river adventure.
- Pick up some perfect gifts at Pearis Mercantile including special items for home and garden, locally made products, jewelry and hiking supplies.
- Raise a glass at Giles Mountain Vineyard and Winery, a green-certified estate winery providing unique wines that reflect their dedication to community, sustainability, and the beautiful mountainous region. Open Saturdays: 1-5 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m.
- Buy locally and regionally grown produce, meet local farmers, artisans and more — all at the Pearisburg Community Market. Check out the events, demos, activities, food menu, and kids projects scheduled each week. The Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the third Thursday of the month from 4-8 p.m. May through October.
• Pembroke Stop ‘N’ Save
• Pearisburg Eye Associates
• Pearisburg Library
• Pearis Mercantile
• Stubbs DDS Inc.
These businesses support the Trail by taking part in the A.T. Community Supporter program.
Featured Local Hikes
Angels Rest Overlook Day Hike and Whitt-Riverbend Park :
A vigorous climb on the Appalachian Trail takes you to a scenic overlook with views of the New River, Pearisburg, and the mountains beyond.
Angels Rest Overlook Day Hike
- Route Type: Out and Back
- Hike Difficulty Rating: Strenuous
- Hike Length: 5.6 miles
- A vigorous climb on the Appalachian Trail takes you to a scenic overlook with views of the New River, Pearisburg, and the mountains beyond. From the trailhead parking with access to the town’s namesake’s cemetery, ascend Pearis Mountain on the white-blazed A.T. The Trail gains 1,900 feet in 2.4 miles, so factor in a little extra time to catch your breath on the way up! Starting out in a hardwood forest, the Trail passes by interesting boulders and gets rockier as you approach the crest of the ridge.
- At the top, the blue-blazed Angels Rest Trail leads 50 yards through a rhododendron grove to View Rock. An easy scramble atop the rock provides views of the New River Valley, Pearisburg, and Peters Mountain on the left; Butt Mountain at the center-right; and Bald Knob at the extreme right. For a slightly longer hike, continue south on the A.T. between towering boulders and along the crest of Pearis Mountain, 0.6 miles to a rock ledge on the left overlooking Wilburn Valley and the mountains to the east. Return to your car the same way you came up, following the A.T. north.
- Driving Directions: From Blacksburg, follow VA 460 west to VA 100 at Pearisburg. Turn right onto North Main Street (just before the Dairy Queen). At stop sign turn left onto Thomas Drive (VA 100) and follow approximately 1/2 mile to where the Appalachian Trail parking and trailhead is on your right. 37.334286, -80.756156
- Route Type: Out and Back
- Hike Difficulty Rating: Easy
- Hike Length: 1 mile
- Whitt-Riverbend Park features 28 acres on the New River. The park is open to the general public for fishing, taking leisurely walks on the paved walking trail or river bottom trail, picnicking, canoeing and camping by permit. The park trail is .71 miles long and traverses a beautiful open field along the New River. The trail surface is asphalt and has very little grade change. There are restroom facilities along the trail.
- Driving Directions: From Blacksburg, follow VA 460 west to VA Bus 460 at Pearisburg. Turn right at stop sign on VA 636. Proceed 2 miles to parking area at Ripplemead Boat Landing.
LAT: 37.32295649019821 LONG: -80.68284273147584
Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club
The members of the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, founded in 1932, are avid hikers and backpackers. We love the outdoors and we get out and hike and enjoy the trails of western Virginia as much as possible. Our club also maintains 120 miles of the Appalachian Trail as well as 16 shelters along the trail. We welcome guests to come along on our hikes. We usually have two group hikes each week. The A.T. south of Pearisburg (including Angels Rest / Pearis Mountain) is maintained by RATC.
Outdoor Club at Virginia Tech (OCVT)
The Outdoor Club at Virginia Tech is a diverse group of outdoor enthusiasts comprised of undergraduate, and graduate students and other members of the Blacksburg community. The goal of the club is to get our members outside and active both physically and socially. The A.T. north of Pearisburg (including Rice Field / Peters Mountain) is maintained by OCVT.
ATC Volunteer Program
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is always looking for dedicated volunteers to help maintain the A.T. and assist in our visitor center and headquarters. Opportunities range from greeting visitors and providing information about local hikes to joining a Trail crew for week-long maintenance trips, gaining first-hand experience in what it takes to keep the A.T. open and enjoyable for millions each year. Learn more at appalachiantrail.org/volunteer.