Discover the Mountain Spirit Trail

The quiet hills and hollers of Southwest Virginia were once home to hundreds of moonshine stills. Moonshining was once a vital part of the area’s economy, especially during times of hardship. Families took to creating the illegal drink when money got tight and resources stretched thin. The ingredients needed were readily available and the byproducts could be sold as animal feed. The isolation and lack of infrastructure helped moonshiners hide their stills and delivery sites. Today, remnants of this era can be found all over the region. In April 2024, Patrick County, in partnership with Floyd and Franklin Counties, announced plans for the Mountain Spirit Trail. The trail will take visitors through historic sites, parks, scenic backroads, and distilleries. Below are some of the sites in Patrick County that will be included on the trail.

Fairy Stone State Park

Fairy Stone State Park is the perfect destination for outdoor lovers and families. With miles of trails to explore and easy access to Fairy Stone Lake, the park has become a favorite among locals and travelers alike. Fairy Stone offers a variety of educational events and guided hikes for kids and adults. Along with the fun outdoor activities, visitors can learn about the park’s unique history. Buried beneath Fairy Stone Lake is the town of Fayerdale, a once thriving “boom-town” built around the mining and logging industries. Visitors can learn more about the park’s history through ranger-led activities. We recommend the Moonshine Hollow Hike, Moonshine Murders, Fayerdale: The Forgotten Town, and Corn ‘Squeezins’.

I.C. Dehart Park

I.C. Dehart Park is a beautiful, multi-acre park located on a reclaimed wetland site. Visitors enjoy the extensive trail system and natural beauty. The park is a popular destination for mountain bikers, who enjoy the miles of piedmont-style trails. I.C. Dehart Park was once home to the F. DeHart Distillery, which operated legally in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The Reynolds Homestead

The Reynolds Homestead is one of the most iconic historic sites in Patrick County. The homestead was donated by Nancy Reynolds to Virginia Tech. The Reynolds House and other historic buildings have been preserved. Looming past the house is No Business Mountain, which housed numerous moonshining operations. The mountain earned its name from the locals stating that no one had any business on that mountain except moonshiners and rattlesnakes. The property is open daily from dawn to dusk. Historic house tours are offered on Sundays.

The Patrick County Historical Museum

The Patrick County Historical Museum is a small museum connected to the Blue Ridge Regional Library. The museum houses a moonshine still and other historic artifacts. Exhibits highlight over two hundred years of history of Patrick County. The museum displays hundreds of items relating to the history of Patrick County Virginia.

The Virginia Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame

The Virginia Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame is a must-stop for race fans. This little museum packs a big punch. See how moonshine was made and hear the fascinating story of how this business led directly to the birth of NASCAR racing. The motorsports museum is open weekly.

The Wood Brothers Racing Museum

The Wood Brothers Racing Museum is a must-stop for NASCAR fans! Wood Brothers Racing was founded in the 1950s by Patrick County native Glen Wood. They are one of the oldest NASCAR teams in the sport. The museum houses the team’s retired cars and other artifacts from the team’s decades of racing.