Professionals are Discovering What it Means to Live Uniquely in the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia

The Alleghany Highlands of Virginia is blessed with exceptional mountain scenery. Its small town charm, zest for the arts and bustling entrepreneurial spirit, however, are the result of a tight-knit community committed to retaining a high quality of life for generations to come. It’s no wonder that people of all ages are choosing to make the Alleghany Highlands their home.

The beautiful mountain backdrop, active outdoor lifestyle and low cost of living have always appealed to retirees, but something different is happening now. Professionals of all ages who are able to work remotely are discovering the Alleghany Highlands. And they love what they’re seeing. Settling down in the region is both idealistic and practical.

Instead of spending hours commuting in the traffic of big cities, it’s possible to go from conducting business online to mountain biking a scenic trail in a matter of minutes. More than 50% of Alleghany County is national forest, which means there are plenty of trails with easy access. A morning trail run, a leisurely walk with the family and an invigorating bike ride can happen on the same day on different trails. One particularly popular option that has been garnering the attention of trail lovers all across the mid-Atlantic is the Jackson River Scenic Trail. As the name suggests, it runs more or less parallel to the Jackson River. In addition to offering views of the river, the scenes of farmland and mountains are breathtaking. The trail follows a former rail bed, which means it’s relatively flat. Visitors come from all over to walk, ride and run the trail. It’s also the scene of a popular marathon and half marathon each June.

Trails aren’t the only options for outdoor recreation in the Alleghany Highlands. Two rivers and two lakes form the Alleghany Highlands Blueway. It is easy to access the rivers and lakes so you can enjoy a peaceful paddle around a quiet cove or run some mild rapids on the Jackson River. Paddling is great exercise and a wonderful way to view wildlife. Another popular way to commune with nature is to cast a line in the cool waters and reel in a trophy fish. Anglers pull largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish and more from these waters. Fly Fishermen love the Jackson River and many of the smaller streams and tributaries for a chance at brook trout, rainbow trout and more.

Access to outdoor recreation is just one of the benefits of being in the Alleghany Highlands. The cost of living, especially the cost of housing, is well below the national and state average. Home prices can be as much as 40% less than sky-high markets like Northern Virginia. Renting or purchasing is affordable even though the mountain views are priceless.

Small town life is filled with charm — and a few surprises. In the Alleghany Highlands, the Town of Clifton Forge and the City of Covington both have welcoming downtown districts. They each have distinct personalities but both are historic, pedestrian-friendly and filled with local shops and restaurants. Downtowns are great gathering points for locals and visitors. It’s where people enjoy music, movies, craft beer, great food and socializing with friends and neighbors. Just don’t think that small town means sleepy. Both downtowns host fun festivals throughout the year. They both have craft breweries that occasionally feature live music. Clifton Forge is home to the Historic Masonic Theatre where concerts, stage shows and other events are held.

The list of county-wide amenities is long, and growing; with high-speed fiber optic internet at the top of the list. This blazing fast service now reaches about 95% of the county. Excellent local schools and healthcare also contribute to the region’s quality of life. In addition to Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, at least eight other universities are within a two-hour drive, which is an important consideration for young professionals finishing advanced degrees or families with children who want to take college level classes.

Working remotely isn’t for everyone. For those professionals whose career path allows them to work anywhere, it makes sense to choose a place that is affordable, safe, scenic and offers a fun and healthy lifestyle. Visitors come to the Alleghany Highlands to see the many things that we consider “Uniquely Alleghany.” Professionals should check out what it’s like to “Work Remotely, Live Uniquely.”


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