Wise County

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About Wise County

Wise County is the cultural crossroads of the Virginia Coalfields. There are festivals, music events and a wide range of outdoor and adventure based recreational activities that provide something interesting, and fun, for just about everyone. The county has produced world class authors, actors, and musicians including Adriania Trigiani, John Fox Jr., George C. Scott, Jim and Jessee McReynolds, and Dock Boggs. You can explore the ‘Round the Mountain’s Lonesome Pine Artisan Trail, The Crooked Road; Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail as well as the Coal Heritage Trail. Proudly, Wise County is home to Spearhead Trail’s MountainView ATV trail system in St. Paul, Virginia, the first motorized public access trail system in Virginia.

Wise County, nestled in the Southwestern Virginia Mountain range, was chartered in 1856 and named after then governor Henry A. Wise. Early exploration of the region began with Dr. Thomas Walker, Christopher Gist and Daniel Boone, as well as many unknown “long hunters,” trappers and land speculators. Each made their mark along trails long used by the Cherokee, Shawnee and other Indian tribes. A visit to Wise County offers a taste of that first “Old West” in a mountain setting of natural beauty, history, music and mountain splendor.

Location Provides Access:
Wise County is in the southwestern portion of Virginia where US Route 23 and US Route 58 – major four-lane arterial highways – intersect and provide easy access to nearby interstates (I-26, I-81, I-75, I-77). The county is also within 30 miles of the Tri-Cities MSA (500,000 population). With the proximity to interstates and a north-south arterial highway system, business and industry can enjoy easy access to the entire eastern seaboard and Midwest markets. Norfolk Southern and CSX Railways provide rail access in the region.

Workforce and Training:
A trainable labor force is key to the success of any company choosing a business location. Virginia is the northern-most right-to-work state and is known for its aggressive training programs. Wise County stands ready to assist prospective industries to access these resources. Other quality career and technical education programs are available through the Center for Workforce Development at Mountain Empire Community College, at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, the Wise County Career and Technical Education Center and the Wise Skills Center

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, the only branch of the esteemed University of Virginia, offers baccalaureate degrees in 24 liberal arts and professional programs of study at its 400- acre campus in Wise and is ranked as one of the top ten public liberal arts colleges in the nation by US News and World Report’s annual college guide.

Mountain Empire Community College offers degrees with certificates in high-demand career and technical education and provides opportunities for internships, apprenticeships and job placement. The Center for Workforce Development at the college provides customized training programs and services for business and industry. The Small Business Development Center, also located on the community college campus, provides one-on-one counseling; business education opportunities and resources to help small business owners and managers improve their businesses. The sole objective is to help Southwest Virginia businesses prosper and to increase job opportunities.

Lonesome Pine Regional Business & Technology Park
In addition to three industrial parks, Wise County has developed a 225 acre campus that offers technology-based businesses the latest in fiber-optic connectivity in multi-tenant facilities. More than 75,000 square feet of space is available. The campus is located adjacent to the Lonesome Pine Airport and less than one mile from The University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

With a great quality of life, responsive government, beautiful scenery, many cultural and recreational activities, low crime-rate, and a mountain people’s respect, Wise County is a great place to live, work, play and stay.


All Wise County Resources

Accelerating Appalachia

Appalachian Spring

Business Plan Resources and Templates

Clinch River Valley Initiative

Coal Heritage Trail

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Hatch Business Accelerator

Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority

Human Resources


Marketing Plan


Oxbow Center



Small Business & Supplier Diversity

Small Business Development Center


Spearhead Trails

Upcoming Events

Latest News

UVA Wise is Open for Business

Do you have an idea for a business or want to expand an existing one? UVA Wise is offering a new program to help. The CO.STARTERS Core program, powered by the Hatch Business Accelerator, is a 10-week cohort that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights,...

Recent UVA Wise Graduate Opens New Gift Shop in Norton

UVA Wise alumna Annie Jordan, who graduated with an elementary education degree this December, planned to teach for her first few years out of college. Instead, she took a big risk, used her own savings and doubled down on her entrepreneurial spirit to choose a...