America's Coolest Hometown

Marion/Smyth County, Va.

Just seven miles away from the Appalachian Trail in the highlands of Southwest Virginia, Marion and Smyth County offer unlimited outdoor recreational opportunities from the Appalachian Trail itself to the Jefferson National Forest, the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, Grayson Highlands and Hungry Mother State Park wrapped around the certified Virginia Main Street community with the nationally-recognized historic downtown. Marion is proud to call itself “Your Home in the Heart of the Highlands!”

The nearby Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, one of the largest public recreation areas in the Eastern United States, encompasses 150,000 acres and is one of the most bio-diverse regions in America. It is names for Mount Rogers, the highest peak in Virginia at 5,729 feet, and boasts more than 400 miles of designated trails, 78 miles of the Appalachian Trail, a 66-mike equestrian trail, 100 miles of trout streams and over 150 species of birds. Enjoy unsurpassed for scenic drives, camping, hiking, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and cross-country skiing. The Recreation Area’s Visitor Center is less than 15 minutes from Downtown Marion!

The town is an affiliate of Virginia’s “Crooked Road,” offering live bluegrass and old time music as part of the nationally-syndicated television series “Song of the Mountains” from the stage of the 1929 historic Lincoln Theatre in the heart of downtown. Quaint shops, restaurants and bistros, a variety of lodging options – from primitive camping at the Beautiful Hungry Mother State Park, to B&B, to our historic General Francis Marion Hotel (featured on National Geographic’s Traveler magazine!), Marion has much to offer!

Marion is most famous for the invention of the soft drink Mountain Dew by our own Bill Jones in the late 1960’s, and for being the place where Nolan Ryan pitched his first professional baseball here as a member of the 1965 Marion Mets farm team! Marion’s most recent claim to fame is being home of Southwest Virginia’s first LEGAL moonshine distillery, Appalachian Mountain Spirits Distillery and Mercantile store located right in the heart of downtown!

Whether you come for a day or come for a stay, adventure, entertainment and relaxation await in this beautiful Southwest Virginia town! We’re a new Appalachian Trail community and we welcome hikers with open arms – we are indeed “your home in the heart of the highlands!”

Get Involved

Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club

The Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club maintains 59.4 miles of the Appalachian Trail from the TN/VA line north to the South Fork of the Holston bridge, Rte. 670, in Teas, VA. The club welcomes guests on Trail work trips and recreational hikes. Visit for schedule and more information.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

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