The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail is a driving trail through Southwest Virginia that traverses one of the U.S.’s most scenic and musically significant areas for bluegrass and traditional mountain music. The trail itself is more than 300 miles, including 60 cultural music venues across 19 counties, four independent cities and more than 50 towns.
While many of the venues and institutions have been in existence for years or even decades, The Crooked Road launched in 2003 to connect these unique places, helping music lovers find a variety of activities from shopping to outdoor recreation, to cultural or historic attractions.
Experience the trail firsthand at the following locations, and look for The Crooked Road signs to guide you along the way.
- Explore the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace, the gateway to Southwest Virginia’s craft, music, food and local culture. Shop local artisans and discover a complete collection of Crooked Road old time, bluegrass and gospel music. Meet artisans and musicians at live events and via interactive exhibits.
- Enjoy live music at the Lincoln Theatre, home of the nationally syndicated “Song of the Mountains” bluegrass television series and one of only three remaining Mayan Revival theatres in America. This Virginia Historic Landmark is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, its history harkening back to the grand movie palaces of the “Roarin’ Twenties.”
- Join a Jam at the Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts, named for the world-renowned guitar instrumentalist and luthier from nearby Rugby, Virginia, who’s become an international ambassador for the music, heritage and culture of the Southern Appalachian region. Check out the “Henderson Happenings” for special events, including Monday Night Jams with local musicians, pickers and listeners alike!
- Tour the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, a state-of-the-art museum celebrating the influence of the 1927 Bristol Sessions on today’s music. Featuring two floors of exhibits, including traveling exhibits from the Smithsonian, history comes to life in the performance auditorium, radio station and interactive multimedia experiences.
- Catch a show at the Carter Family Fold. The Carter Family was discovered in 1927 by Victor Recording Studio in Bristol and recorded 300 songs between 1927 and 1942. Playing traditional Appalachian music, the family is often credited as forerunners of modern-day country music. Today, A.P. Carter’s old general store acts as a museum, while the Carter Fold offers traditional music every Saturday night. Recent additions include the newly moved and reconstructed original A.P. Carter Homeplace.
- Visit the Blue Ridge Music Center, a state-of-the-art performing arts facility in Galax built to preserve and promote the historic music of Virginia and the Blue Ridge. Also visit the historic Rex Theater, which hosts a live radio show every Friday evening featuring stage performers of bluegrass and old-time bands.
- Don’t miss live music at Floyd Country Store, an authentic country store with popular Friday Night Jamboree and Sunday gospel sessions.
– Derived from “Your Itinerary to the Crooked Road” at https://blog.virginia.org/2017/05/itinerary-crooked-road