Sites on this loop:
Historically, Tazewell County was better known for its coal than its wildlife, but the area’s rich history and remote scenic beauty are changing that perception and are well worth a visit! Crossing Walker Mountain, visitors feel a growing sense of remoteness as the sound of rushing cars along the interstate fades from memory. Several scenic byways crisscross the county, bringing the visitor into intimate contact with the area’s wildlife. White-tailed deer and wild turkey are ubiquitous, while area reservoirs hold winter waterfowl and transient bald eagles. Enhancing the area’s striking scenic beauty is the magical Burke’s Garden, an incredible sunken valley from Appalachia’s distant limestone and marine past. At one time, a huge limestone mountain stood here; as the ocean receded, the water dissolved the underlying limestone, and the mountain collapsed into the current bowl-shape. Even today, Burke’s Garden continues to deepen with the passing of time and water. The rolling fields and lakes of Burke’s Garden provide a striking contrast to the wooded mountains encasing the garden on all sides. A drive along this loop can be rounded out with a visit to the Historic Crab Orchard Museum, offering the visitor a sense of the long cultural history and “mountain heritage” of the region.
Tazewell Area Chamber of Commerce