Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


Big Bend Picnic Area, Big Walker Mountain, Wytheville, Va.

Updated: I had a plant mislabeled. See below

We’ve visited the Big Bend Picnic Area twice in the past couple of months. Though it’s a picnic site, we didn’t take a lunch with us. We were there to explore the Big Walker Mountain area.

A turk’s cap lily.
A mondara, or bee balm. A friend corrected me and said this is a “wild bergamot.” Oops!

Chris has lamented the lack of butterflies this year. He’s almost convinced they’re all hiding out here on the mountain. There are many butterflies and other insects along the dirt road by the picnic area.

The last time we visited, Chris was able to get a few good photos of butterflies, including the rare Diana fritillary.

This is a male Diana fritillary. The female is brown with blue. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.)

Other areas to check out while you’re on Big Walker includes the country store and Monster Rock Trail, which has a trail head located behind the store.

There’s also Seven Sisters Trail and the Stony Fork Campground, which are both located at the foot of the mountain. The Seven Sisters Trail winds 4.8 miles up the mountain to the campground.


Big Survey Wildlife Management Area, Wytheville, Va.

A few weeks ago, we checked out Big Survey Wildlife Management Area, which is a fairly new addition to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ land. It’s located of Interstates 77/81 near Wytheville, Va.

We parked at the trail head of High Rocks Trail and hiked about 1.5 miles to the top of a hill, which overlooks Wytheville.

The trail has a fairly moderate incline. I was proud of myself, as a person with asthma, for making it up the trail without having to pause for breath.

The top of the trail had an awesome view.

Beware, though, the trail is covered with big rocks, so it is easy to lose your footing. It reminded me of walking in the middle of a intermittent spring. Luckily, it had not rained recently so the moss and rocks were not wet.

Though the rocks didn’t get me on the way up, I did fall on the way down!

So, if you’ve got little ones, I’d think twice about taking them on this trail. There was a man with a little boy (maybe 8-years-old) on the trail when we were there, but the kid was well-behaved and didn’t attempt to run ahead. They took their time picking among the rocks and made it to the top in time to enjoy a nice picnic lunch around noon.

Here’s some photos from the trip:

A blueberry bush.
A bench to rest on at the end of the trail.