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Woolly Mammoths, Salt & Bears - Oh my

Saltville Virginia

Nestled in the mountains of southwest Virginia is the little town of Saltville. What this town lacks in booming entertainment, it makes up for with heart and history of mammoth proportion, literally.

I knew very little about Saltville and the fact I knew so little was actually one of the major inspirations for me starting this website. I had never heard anyone talking about this little town and it's very unique history. My discovery of Saltville was actually quite random. I just happen to be exploring locations in Lebanon, Virginia, when my phone prompted me to a location I might be interested in. It was the Museum of the Middle Appalachians, which claimed to have woolly mammoth remains. I was so ridiculously excited.


At the recommendation of friends, we ate lunch at Pat's Kountry Diner in Lebanon, Virginia. The food was freaking amazing, I highly recommend it.

Address: 1764 Main St, Lebanon, VA 24266

Now onward, with our bellies full, we were ready to set out for this adventure. It was a beautiful drive with rolling green pastures filled with horses and cattle living their lives in the shadow of the mountains. If you enjoy scenic drives, take the back roads on this one.

As we came into Saltville, I had no information on what to expect or where things were located. We were just exploring blindly (which I tend to enjoy). So, when we came around the corner and I spotted this guy sitting on the amphitheater grounds, I was so excited I about wrecked. OMG MAMMOOOOOOOOTH!

I loved that they made Woolly a Covid mask.

The Museum is directly across the street from this guy. You can't miss it.

Museum information:

Address: 123 Palmer Ave, Saltville, VA 24370

Phone: (276) 496-3633

Hours of operation 10am - 4pm everyday except Sunday

Sunday hours : 1pm - 4pm

About The Museum

I've had the pleasure of visiting many small town museums in my day, truly more than I care to count. I have to say the Museum of the Middle Appalachians is by far the best one I've ever seen. In fact, I believe listing it in the category of small town museums is a bit of a disservice. It's a good museum! The staff are super friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful in every possible way regarding town history. Upon arrival, they take you to a miniature town replica and give you an abundance of town history and information. They also mention key points to check out once you leave the museum. Inside the museum, the exhibits are well placed, well kept, and beautifully made. They have a small sit down theater where you can watch several mini films on the Civil War Battle of Saltville.

As they say so well in their own words, they cover the Ice Age to the Space Age. There is so much history here, the little town can hardly hold it all. I don't want to tell you too much, because I'd like for you to go there and discover this town's incredible past on your own. Yet, I must say, I was so completely blown away by the artifacts that have been dug up locally, some of which are displayed in the museum, and the rest can be found at the Hands on Museum in Gray, Tennessee.

Civil War Battle Overlook

The title speaks for itself. The only telling signs that left us concluding we were in the right area was the bare flag pole, and small pavilion which looked like it once housed a plaque. It is possible that some items are removed during the winter season or we just caught it at a weird moment. If you happen upon it and aren't sure, I can assure you this is the location.

Palmer Grist Mill

This is a replica water power mill. On a hot summer day, this area is much cooler with fresh, cool water running just adjacent to the property. This is a very beautiful spot.

The Helen Williams Barbrow Interpretive Trail

There are multiple lakes in Saltville, and this trail provides a wonderful view of one of them. This trail is an easy stroll, but if you prefer a good bench with a view, there are some along the path. The view here is beautiful in the fall.

You can gain access to this trail by a parking area on the left hand side of Food Country or on the end of the trail just off Lake Drive. Also, just off Lake Drive, you have access to Wellfields Recreation park. I have seen lots of folks fishing and picnicking here, so don't forget your fishing poles and a bite of grub.

My husband and I topped off our adventure by having a fantastic meal at the Lily Pad, which I'd recommend. The Lily Pad is not even a 100 yard walk from the Museum.

Address: 105 W Main St, Saltville, VA 24370

Other Mentions:

Hardy Roberts Memorial Wave Pool

King-Stuart Cabin

Salt Trail - 8.5 Miles long

Steam Locomotive, located on your right just down the road from the Museum (within walking distance)


The Golf Course

As always, keep it safe, keep it cool, and stay curious.

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