Beartown Wilderness is a steep, remote and rugged area, particularly at the heads of its drainages. It ranges in elevation from 2,400 to 4,480 feet. The principal streams are Roaring Fork, Barkcamp Branch, and Cove Branch. Roaring Fork contains a population of native trout. The vegetation is diverse, featuring Appalachian hardwoods, northern spruce-fir, northern hardwoods, hemlock, and a sphagnum bog.
There are about two miles of trail within the wilderness. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T., FT #1) is adjacent to the southern boundary for about four miles. Trail information is available on National Geographic-Trails Illustrated Map # 787 (Blacksburg-New River Valley).
Beartown Wilderness is located in Tazewell County in southwest Virginia. It is managed by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Eastern Divide Ranger District of the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Beartown Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.