Enjoy eight miles of maintained
trails along the Scenic Clinch River, the Sugar Hill Loop Trail and Oxbow
Lake that start at the Oxbow Dam in St. Paul, Virginia. Dozens of tree
species are identified along the trails. The Sugar Hill and Clinch River
Trails have been nominated as state birding and wildlife viewing trails
because of the wide variety of flora and fauna found along the way.
Hike, Bike, Fish
The Town of St. Paul and Wise
County offer Virginia's only publicly accessible fishing, biking and hiking
trails along the Clinch River, one of the cleanest rivers in the Eastern
Canoe the Clinch
The Clinch River offers miles
of free-flowing canoeing opportunities. A canoe launch site is available
at Oxbow Dam. This region has been called one of the "last great
places" on earth by The Nature Conservancy.
Lake Estonoa is a nationally
acclaimed student-based wetlands and outdoor educational
center in St.
Paul. A short loop trail and bridges provide access.
Scenic Clinch River
The Clinch is home to rare and
endangered freshwater mussels, some found only in Virginia. A festival
celebrating this unique river is held in St. Paul the first weekend of
June each year.
Preserving a Treasure
Our goal in offering public
access to the trails along the Clinch River is to protect this biological
treasure, while sharing it with you and your family. You can help all
watersheds by properly disposing of chemicals and petroleums, planting
trees to prevent erosion, keeping livestock fenced out of waterways, installing
and maintaining septic systems, and, of course, not littering.
St. Paul Falls
The sights and sounds of St.
Paul Falls on the Scenic Clinch River can be enjoyed at the end of the
Established by French settlers
in 1791, this area, marked by standing chimneys, was once called St. Marie
on the Clinch. Later owners farmed the land, and in the 1930s, created
a maple syrup and sugar operation known as Sugar Hill.
From Pete's Rock along the River
Trail, evidence of the Clinch region's unique geological features can
be seen. The area is part of the St. Paul Fault, a fault system that roughly
divides limestone from coal country for several miles along the Russell-Wise
From many points along the trail
like Bryce Beach, hikers and bikers get an up-close view of the Clinch
River, one of the oldest and cleanest rivers in the United States. The
river heads up in Tazewell County, Virginia from three mountain sources,
some of which flow from caves. The state has designated the Clinch as
a Scenic River from St. Paul to the mouth of another scenic river, the
Sugar Hill Loop Trail is linked
to the Guest River Gorge Trail for an intermediate 16-mile, biking or
walking experience. Bikers and motorists can travel along the Heart of
Appalachia Trail, a 128-mile bike route and scenic drive connecting Burkes
Garden and St. Paul. For a detailed map of the Heart of Appalachia route,
call 1-888-SWVAFUN (888-798-2386) or log onto www.heartofappalachia.com.