group of people outside with promotional ground breaking equipment
May 01 2023

Giles County Trail Center at Mountain Lake Lodge Celebrates Construction Kick Off With A Groundbreaking Ceremony

Friends of Southwest Virginia & regional partners break ground on the Giles County Trail Center at Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia


(PEMBROKE, Va. – Friday, April 28, 2023) – Friends of Southwest Virginia, Giles County, and Mountain Lake Lodge held a celebratory groundbreaking Friday to commemorate the construction of the Giles County Trail Center at Mountain Lake Lodge. The visitor center is being built on the property of Mountain Lake Lodge and will connect visitors and residents to natural and cultural assets throughout the New River region.


“The Trail Center and new four-mile loop trail to Bald Knob will make the highest point in the New River Valley readily accessible to hikers of all skill levels,” Giles County Administrator Chris McKlarney said. “Through a partnership with Mountain Lake Lodge, this will also give the public access to more than 20 miles of other trails on Mountain Lake property, a place to obtain information about other amenities in the region, increased parking, and restrooms/changing rooms so that people can hike and then enjoy a great evening out at one of the many great restaurants in Giles County.”


The Giles County Trail Center is a $1.2 million project funded through a 2016 Appalachian Regional Commission POWER grant with funding administered by the Giles County, Friends of Southwest Virginia, Giles County Industrial Development Authority (IDA), Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Eastern Federal Lands – Highway Division, and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).


The land and building provided for the project is part of a partnership between Giles County and Mountain Lake Lodge and the property’s owner, the Mary Moody Northen Endowment.


“This is great news for our resort and the community as we continue to grow as a hub for exceptional outdoor activities and experiences,” said Heidi Stone, president and CEO of Mountain Lake Lodge. “The new Trail Center will be a centerpiece for the miles of gorgeous hiking trails, scenery and activity-filled days that adventure-lovers come here to explore and enjoy.”


Conveniently located on the grounds of historic Mountain Lake Lodge and close by to other popular attractions, the 2,983 square foot center offers visitors restrooms and changing rooms for a comfortable post-adventure reset. The center will also help guests discover the many attractions and activities available throughout the region through brochures, trail maps, and itineraries.


“We want visitors to enjoy a seamless experience of exploring the area’s natural beauty and then going out for a nice dinner,” said Kim Davis, Executive Director of Friends of Southwest Virginia. “We’re excited to welcome guests and showcase all that Southwest Virginia has to offer.”


The project is expected to be completed in late 2023.

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