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New Outdoor Fest will showcase High Knob region

Amy Millhorn Leonard • Aug 13, 2018 at 4:30 PM

NORTON, Virginia — Looking for outdoor adventures? A new festival is coming!

On Saturday, August 18, downtown Norton will be the site of the all-new High Knob Outdoor Fest! The City of Norton and Wise County Cooperative Extension Office will host the event, which promises to be the first of many to come.

“We’re inviting folks to come out and learn more about the multitude of outdoor recreation opportunities available in the High Knob region, and we hope this event will help inspire more folks to get outside and get active,” says festival coordinator Katie Dunn.

From 2 to 7 p.m., festival goers will enjoy live music and delicious fare from food trucks including The Shack, The Smoke Shack BBQ, The Summer Shack, Lincoln Road Cold Brew Coffee and Sugar Hill Brewing Company. Sugar Hill Brewing will also have craft beers at the beer garden. The festival site will be near the Norton Friends and Farmers Market building, located at 815 Park Avenue SW, in downtown Norton.

Live music includes Will Casell at 3:45 p.m., 49 Winchester at 5 p.m., and Hello October at 6:15 p.m.

High Knob Outdoor Fest is a joint effort by businesses, organizations and communities in the High Knob region, which includes Wise, Scott and Lee counties, to promote the area’s outdoor recreation opportunities.

Around 30 vendors will be on hand including: Appalachian Voices, Breaks Interstate Park, the City of Norton, the Nature Conservancy, Pathfinders Outdoor Adventures, the Town of Pennington Gap, Clinch River Valley Initiative, Appalachian Woodcarving, Bruno Wood Bikes, Central Appalachian Climbers Coalition, The Clinch Coalition, High Knob Hellbender 10K, Lenowisco Health District, Scott County Tourism, local artisan Simply Gourdgeous, the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, UVa-Wise Environmental Club, the U.S. Forest Service - Clinch Ranger District, Virginia Master Naturalist - High Knob Chapter, the Virginia National Guard, Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority, the Town of Dungannon, Pine Mountain Trail Conference, the Town of St. Paul, Natural Tunnel State Park, Woodbooger Geocaching Crew and Festival, and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, along with the Virginia Cooperative Extension - Wise County.

Leading up to the downtown festival, several outdoor activities and excursions are planned starting at 8:30 a.m. on festival day. Pre-registration for the excursions is strongly suggested.

They include:

8:30 a.m. - High Knob Hellbender 10K Training Program: Runners of all paces will meet at the municipal parking lot at 725 Park Avenue, NW for this run, climbing 1,000 feet up to Flag Rock Recreation Area. Shuttles will return runners to their vehicles.

9 a.m. - Guided Mountain Bike Ride at the Flag Rock Recreation Area trails led by Brad Salyer. Beginner and intermediate riders for this 4- to 5-mile ride will meet at the Norton Reservoir parking lot, past Flag Rock’s entrance on the left of State Route 619.

10 a.m. - Outdoor Yoga at Flag Rock Recreation Area.

10 a.m. - Guided Hike to High Knob’s Chimney Rock: Led by The Clinch Coalition, this 3/4-mile hike will lead to Chimney Rock, a rock feature that rises 360 feet from the Chimney Rock Fork of Big Stoney Creek in Jefferson National Forest, Scott County. Hikers with sturdy close-toed hiking shoes will meet at the High Knob Observation Tower and ride together to the trail head. Hike is limited to 12 hikers.

10 a.m. – Guided 3-Mile Hike on Lost Creek Trail, sponsored and led by Stone Mountain Adventures, LLC. Hikers will meet at Stone Mountain Adventures at 1253 12th Street SE in Norton. Hikers over age 6 must wear sturdy non-open-toed hiking shoes and hike is limited to 14 hikers and is $10 per person.

TBD – Butterfly Walk by Virginia Master Naturalist - High Knob Chapter.

For more information and to register, contact Katie Dunn at (276) 679-1160 or email her at katied@nortonva.org. For a complete schedule of events or more information about the festival, to register or find driving direcitons, visit the website at www.highknoboutdoorfest.wix.com/highknoboutdoorfest or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/highknoboutdoorfest/.

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