Virginia’s oldest privately owned attraction is keeping mountain music alive in Wytheville

Ready to celebrate 75 years of mountain top memories at Big Walker Lookout?

Who doesn't love live music? (Provided by Heather Kime)

As many people are well aware, Big Walker Lookout has something to offer for everyone: An observation tower, scenic views, hiking trails, a cafe and craft shop.

You can sometimes find book signings by local authors, artisan demonstrations and even live music on the porch.

“Authenticity has always been a staple at Big Walker Lookout, and 75 years later, that tradition continues,” said Heather Kime, marketing director of Big Walker Lookout.

Big Walker Lookout (Provided by Heather Kime)

Kime spoke about the country store, which offers handmade items from regional artisans, craftsmen and authors, alongside old-fashioned fudge, jams and apple butter made annually on site. The hand-dipped ice cream is a requirement on each visit, Kime said, but the biggest draw continues to be the Mountain Top Music series, hosted every weekend from May through October.

Musicians flock to the mountain top to perform traditional old time, bluegrass and gospel music every Saturday and Sunday. These performances are completely admission free and are coupled with a local artisan demonstrating his or her artform, and a regional author presenting his or her latest works.

“People don’t have to plan ahead and buy a ticket,” Kime said. “If they get a notion on a Saturday afternoon that they want to do something, they’ll ride up the mountain and listen to music.”

Since the spring of 1947, the Kime family has been welcoming visitors to the top of Big Walker Mountain, where they can enjoy an array of memorable experiences.

Inside the store. (Provided by Heather Kime)

What began as a gas station and gift shop, as the vision of Stuart and Abigail Kime, expanded to add a 100-foot observation tower one year later.

Throughout the years, a restaurant was added, as well as a chairlift and a snake pit.

After most of that was destroyed by a fire in 2003, the country store was built across the parking lot from the old structure, but the original tower remains today -- still offering incredible panoramic views “where only the birds see more,” Kime said.

What a pretty sight. (Provided by Heather Kime)

The Kime family has no intentions of slowing down, only handing down to the next generation of Kimes the heritage of Mountain Top Music for folks to enjoy for another 75 years.

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