- Virginia Coal Heritage Trail
Virginia Coal Heritage Trail
Designated as a State byway in 2007
"The 325 mile route meanders through the heart of Virginia's coalfield region including: Buchanan County, Dickenson County, Lee County, City of Norton, Russell County, Scott County and Wise County"
Dickenson County's portion of the Virginia Coal Heritage Trail begins at the Breaks Interstate Park, where the Buchanan County portion ends.
Several stopping points/sites along the trail are: the Breaks Park Visitor's Center where a large collection of coal mining information is displayed, at the Park entrance, turn off route 80 onto Route 702 an go 1.1 miles to the Clinchfield Overlook which is on your left. From the overlook, you can see the former Clinchfield Railroad, now a part of CSX and the site of the old Domus Mine. On Route . 80 from the Breaks Park to Haysi, notice the breathtaking scenery on your right! Go 4 miles and just past Cherokee Lane, you can see portions of an operating shaft mine. Continue to Haysi and go straight on Route 63 through the center of town and keep straight again for 1.2 miles. The entrance to the Old Splashdam Mine is in the edge of the road on your right. An explosion in 1932 killed ten men. The Splashdam coal seam can be seen at road level above and below the mine entry. After leaving Haysi, turn right on Route 83 and go toward Clinchco. Just in front of Clinchco post office, you will see the Dickenson County Coal Miners Memorial which lists the names of 309 people who lost their lives in mine related accidents. From Clinchco, travel on 83 toward Fremont. At Fremont, you will pass the old Train Depot, now Dickenson County PSA office. At Fremont, turn left on Route 63(Dante Mountain Road). You will pass through the town of McClure, which looks like a coal camp, but was actually a lumber camp built by the W.M. Ritter Lumber Company. About a mile up Caney Creek from McClure is located the McClure 1 Mine. An explosion in this mine in 1983 took the lives of seven, and included the first woman miner killed in the state of Virginia. This mine is not visible from a public highway. Continue on route 63 for 9.4 miles to Trammel. Just before entering Trammel, notice the remains of some houses on both sides of the road. This was Haytertown, a small 10 man coal operation run by Charlie Hayter in the 1920's. The Town of Trammel was built by the Virginia Banner Coal Corporation is the most intact coal camp still standing in Dickenson County though in a sad state of repair. The old company store, superintendent's house, and boarding house are on your right with miners homes on both sides of the road. Continue on Route 63 for 2.9 miles to the top of Dante Mountain (the Dickenson –Russell County line) and continue on the Virginia Coal Heritage Trail into Russell County.