Our guest blogger this week is Curt Fleenor.
Quite often when people think of Southwest Virginia the New River Valley and the area surrounding Roanoke is what comes to mind. While that is a beautiful region, some of the most breathtaking scenery in the state lies much farther west.
There are photographic opportunities everywhere, from the sprawling peaks of Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain in Grayson and Smyth Counties to the Cumberland Gap in Lee County. Cutting deep crevasses throughout the landscape between are numerous rivers and streams dotted with countless waterfalls as the elevation drops from the highest parts of the Appalachian Mountains into the Tennessee River Valley.
Well worn trails in many of these areas make access easy and well worth the trip. The most notable of these are the Virginia Creeper and Appalachian Trails which you could devote a lifetime to photographing. The National Forests that cover much of this region offer spectacular opportunities to enjoy and photograph most any subject be it landscape, nature or wildlife.
If you are looking for night sky or astrophotography, the last remaining dark sky site in the state of Virginia is located on White Top Mountain. Cool fall and spring nights offer one of the most clear and crisp view of the stars in the southeast.
I have lived in this beautiful section of the country my entire life and every year I stumble upon some new wonder. I invite you to come discover this often forgotten region on your next photographic outing.