When Brian Brian, the YouTube Influencer from Brian Farming Videos, came into town to do a video for Unseen Pass, I provided him a blog post to highlight all the cool places he could visit and trips he could take: Reference Guide to Brian Brown’s Visit to West Jefferson, NC (I removed the GPS coordinates and took out a few things so the public wouldn’t poach them lol; also, West Jefferson is the main town in Ashe County, NC).
I put everything in a blog post vs something like a handout so Brian could easily reference it on his iPhone. He could also share it with his family to get their take on what they would like to do on their visit. From what I understand, it served as a helpful resource for his trip.
I want to provide you with the same type of treatment.
I’m also taking it a step farther by laying your trip out in the Garmin GPS, to cut down on the guesswork. The routes will be in order. Click. Drive. Boom.
I know you’ll be camping and doing a honeymoon trip, essentially, so again I’m doing this to help you guys understand how you can make the best of the trip with little thought.
Hope you like it and it’s helpful!
Day #1 | Camp at Pond Mountain
My best friend, Kyle Durham (the other Kyle) and myself will be picking you up in his white Ram TRX at the airport in Charlotte, NC (truck to the far left lol).
You won’t be able to miss it. It’s no Ford Raptor hahaha.
From the airport, we will shoot straight up to my shop.
421 E 2nd St., West Jefferson, NC 28694
You guys can pick up Roxor and load up the gear.
I’ll have the Roxor decked out with a ton of new parts and accessories from Diesel Freak, including a Garmin zūmo® XT GPS with custom routes. Special thanks to Wade LaLone, the owner, for making this happen! Wheel Pros has supplied the new tires and wheels for the Roxor.
Big thanks to my buddies for also making this happen.
From Unseen Pass.. Normally, you guys could eat Breakfast Sweet Louis’s Cafe at People’s Drugstore which is right beside my shop, but they’re closed on Sunday. If you guys want to eat breakfast, you guys can go to Hillbilly Grill.
Not sure if you plan on eating at a snack bar or etc. Just throwing out options…
Okay… So, getting back to the actual route for the day, you’ll be hitting the following main areas:
- Todd, NC
- Blue Ridge Parkway
- Whipper Wheel
- Pond Mountain Game Land, NC
- Green Cove, VA
- Pond Mountain Game Land, NC
Again, this entire route is in the Garmin Zumo XT GPS. I also have a back up route on REVER, the motorcycle app, if you’d like to also try it out alongside the Garmin.
Rever Link: https://a.rever.co/rides/2587862
Driving through Todd isn’t too exciting – but it’s peaceful, scenic, popular and a great way to get to know the Roxor. There are several places to stop and you’ll most likely see a lot of people tubing down the river the farther you go towards Boone, NC.
Scroll over to see more of Todd. The New River runs through there, nearly 10+/- miles beside the road, and it’s pretty neat. I take my girls swimming down there often.
Blue Ridge Parkway
From Todd, NC – I’ll route you over to the Blue Ridge Parkway and route you back to Whipper Wheel. The Parkway again is one of the most scenic drives in the Appalachian Mountains.
You have to jump on the Blue Ridge Parkway too to get to Whipper Wheel. The Parkway is like the main tourist attraction road for the Appalachian Mountains – so you may want to get some shots or explore for a few more mins than I have on the road. You can get a shot on it, but I don’t want too much focus here.
My friends and I will be riding dirt bikes at Whipper Wheel on Sunday around lunch. It’s private land that isn’t posted. Folks have been riding down there for 20+ years. It’s some pretty intense off-road if you get off the beaten path.
I don’t allow folks to take my Roxors off-road in this aspect. I give them an off-road experience somewhat with my routes, but nothing like Whipper Wheel.
With that said, I’ve had mine down in there:
Whipper Wheel would allow for sick shots for the YouTube.
I want to paint the Roxor as you’ll see as being cool and just as fun as most SXS/UTVs. Whipper Wheel isn’t a designated driving area for renters. If anything, don’t say the Whipper Wheel and say you have to stay on DOT roads -or- designated riding areas.
Just be careful when driving through Whipper Wheel if you end up going down there lol. It is a rental unit and I only have three to rent out, so it would hit me hard if the Roxor went down 🙂
We can get some hill climbs in the background if you want and I have a friend with an H1 who can bring it down there for background video shots. This is totally optional, as I don’t want it negatively impacting the video.
Whipper Wheel (Instagram Post above) is located on the other side of the county from where you’ll be spending your time. It actually goes into Wilks County, south east of Ashe County.
After Whipper Wheel, head to Pond Mountain. I will take you a solid hour from Whipper Wheel to get to Pond Mountain. The first 30 mins are kind of boring/okay, but then the sights and scenes get good.
Pond Mountain Game Land
From West Jefferson, the route will take you right to Pond Mountain Game Lands (emphasis, Game Lands if you ever had to GPS), so you guys can scope it out. As I mentioned, I’ll have a new route loaded in the GPS for you guys so it will be easy to find and navigate. I’ll also upload them to REVER as well.
Green Cove and Damascus
From Pond Mountain, head to Green Cove Train Station.
This is an old abandoned train station, along with the tracks, which is now know as the Virginia Creeper Trail and where it runs through. The Creeper Trail is very popular for people who ride bicycles and there are 5-6 bike rental companies who make their living off this trail.
The pic above highlights a bridge that’s on the trail.
From Green Cove, you guys can go down a creek and through a pretty cool rock pass, then jump onto HWY 58 towards Damascus.
You’ll pass the Appalachian Trial on the way.
Make sure you make it to Damascus by 5:45 at the latest so you guys can eat at the Wicked Chicken. They close at 7:00 and I’d hate for you guys to miss it.
Here are a few pics:
They’ll sometimes have a band earlier on Sunday.
It’s a good place for chicken and waffles, and beer lol. They have a cool outdoor sitting area where you can see all the bicycles ride by on the Creeper Trail.
From Damascus, work your way back to Pond Mountain. I’ll have it plugged into the GPS, but any way you go, it will be a nice drive!
Camping spot in early spring:
Day #2 | Camp at WhiteTop
Rever Link: https://a.rever.co/rides/2588009 (Again, this is in Garmin, but Rever is a backup).
Make sure you pack your lunch for the day, as on Monday’s most restaurants are closed..
Big Horse Creek
From Pond Mountain, go to the Wilburn Water’s Memorial on Big Horse Creek (link to the article).
Keep your eye out for the pull off. It hasn’t been used in some time, as most people don’t know about it (only a select few locals).
After Wilburn Waters, drive down to Lansing, NC.
Feel free to visit The Lansing General Store (your wife would like that).
Lansing is also a weekend town. Since it’s Monday, Pie on the Mountain and another really cool place, Molly Chomper won’t be open :-/
It’s still a neat place and across from the General Store is the Lansing Creeper Trail Park.
Next, drive to Helton Creek. At Helton Creek, there are 10+ swimming holes.
Look for pull offs and little trails running down to the creek.
The better swimming holes are on either side of Helton Creek Campground, which is a super tiny campground. If you blink, you’ll miss it.
The New River
From Helton Creek, you can run the Unseen Pass’ River Route, which I combined into the Garmin Zumo XT GPS. I just made a new route for you which I mentioned, so it will have sections of the river route pulled into it. There are a lot of places, like Garvey Bridge, the converge, and etc.
There are tons of dirt roads to explore and great spots to shoot video clips.
The New River down in Crumpler and Grassy Creek, NC won’t disappoint.
Check out these Instagrams:
Mouth of Wilson
From the river route, I’ll be taking you through the Mouth of Wilson.
You’ll see the New River here too. It’s really wide, as both the north and south forks converge towards the top of the NC line.
Mouth of Wilson is just north of Ashe County, NC and is a hidden gem.
It’s pure and hasn’t see the population Ashe County has started to see. It isn’t tainted even at the slightest. If you can, don’t mention Mouth of Wilson in the video (if you forget, no biggie). I don’t want everyone leaving Ashe to go over there lol.
You almost feel like you you’ve gone back in time when you drive through the Mouth of Wilson. To me, this is how a lot of the county used to feel like in North Carolina in the early 90’s when I was a child before it became over populated.
It’s best to see the Mouth of Wilson in the late evening, but keep in mind it gets dark around 8:00, so make sure you guys are back at WhiteTop around 7ish.
Once you wrap up the mouth of Wilson, drive down HWY58 back to WhiteTop. This is about a 35-40 minute drive along a beautiful road.
WhiteTop Mountain is called WhiteTop because that’s the one place you can sure to find snow mid into late Winter. If it snows 2 inches in West Jefferson, it snows 8 inches at WhiteTop and doesn’t melt. It’s an ecologic island that was left after the glaciers retreated at the end of the ice age.
That’s me and Kyle Durham, the guy who will be picking up you guys in the TRX.
I’ve been coming to Ashe County nearly my entire life, mainly staying around the cabin as a kid, and this Instagram Post highlights the first I came across WhiteTop, VA (a few miles over the NC line).
You’ll see people camping up there, but you’ll be able to find a spot with ease. A lot more people camp at WhiteTop over Pond Mountain throughout the year.
In my opinion, WhiteTop and Pond Mountain are the best views in a 100 mile radius. At each, make sure you keep the Roxor on the main paths, as you could get a ticket.
WhiteTop looks like it doesn’t belong in the NC/VA Mountains. It’s very unique.
Day #4 | Fly Out
You’ll probably need to drive straight to my shop from WhiteTop, depending on what time your flight is. If it’s late, here’s another cool spot:
This is 12-15 minutes from WhiteTop; however, it’s a rough, rocky trail to the top! It’s on the backside of Grayson Highlands Park in VA.
Meet me at my shop.
We can grab breakfast at Sweet Louise’s Care at People’s Drug Store (flight dependant), then hit the road.
I’ll take you guys to the airport in the Power Wagon.
Looking forward to seeing you brother!