Blue Ridge Heritage Education Center
The Gateway to the Cultural Heritage of the Blue Ridge
Ultimately foreseen as a Cultural Heritage Center and Visitor Gateway focusing on Floyd and Patrick Counties during the 20th Century, The Blue Ridge Heritage Center is planned to be an energy-efficient, multi-use interpretive center tastefully visible from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Critical to the vision is the Center’s function as a gateway to the bi-county region’s existing cultural heritage sites of interest. This envisioned, Phase Two facility is currently in the very early planning stages.
Phase One will take advantage of existing assets on the property: a residential-style building that serves as an office and small info station, and natural areas including woods and wetlands, and some meadow parking. Phase One development includes hiking trails accessing those already in place in the Rocky Knob Recreation Area, collaborations with sister nonprofits, improvement of public facilities, and outdoors educational installations.
Essential to the plan, however, is that the Phase Two facility NOT be a final stop for residents and visitors, but rather a Gateway into the two counties. Plans require the Center, in its final form, serve as the “hub of a wheel” geared to guide the audience into the local communities to discover new resources, educational opportunities, business interests, and cultural and outdoors activities. Future phases under consideration include a working demonstration farm to highlight the deeply rooted agri- “culture” of the region, and a wide system of walking, biking, and riding trails connecting various facilities and opportunities across the bi-county region.