“the Garden Spot of the World”
Known as “Vanderbilt’s First Choice,” “God’s Thumbprint,” and the “Garden Spot of the World,” beautiful Burke’s Garden is Virginia’s highest valley and Virginia’s largest rural historic district. This bowl-shaped valley carved out of the top of a mountain offers the most breathtaking scenery this side of New Zealand, with verdant farmland, abundant wildlife, rare bird watching, peaceful biking, and adventurous hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Visit the Burke’s Garden General Store (restrooms and wireless service available) and enjoy lunch on the porch, 276-472-2222. Pick up a Burke’s Garden Homemakers’ Cookbook while you’re there and fill up your car—it’s the only gas station in the Garden. Park your car at the mill dam and bike around the “loop,” twelve miles of flat land and rolling hills. Wander through the cemetery with gravestones from the 1700’s at the Central Lutheran Church. Drive up the forest service road to the Appalachian Trail with several scenic overlooks into the Garden. Hike to the Chestnut Ridge Shelter. Take the time to slow down and really see the mountains.
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