The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Bell Spur - Backroads Tour

By Bob Heafner © 1984-2012

Issue: May, 1984

This month’s tour requires less than two hours and it’s only 21.4 miles from start to finish. We will start at the intersection of US 58 Business and the Blue Ridge Parkway at Meadows of Dan, Virginia.

BACKROADS tours always make a complete loop back to the point where we started. The underlined numbers at the beginning of each paragraph indicate the total number of miles we've traveled from our point of beginning. The numbers in parenthesis ( ) indicate the distance from the last point of interest that we passed.

This month’s tour passes through an especially beautiful section of Carroll and Patrick Counties in Virginia. Enjoy!

00.0 (0.0) Starting on US Highway 58 Business at the Blue Ridge Parkway overpass in Meadows of Dan, Virginia we will head west on US Highway 58 Business towards Hillsville, Virginia.

01.7 (1.7) The mountain to our right is Turnip Patch Ridge.

02.4 (0.7) Here we enter Floyd County and leave Patrick.

04.1 (1.7) Here we enter Carroll County and leave Floyd.

04.3 (0.2) We will turn left here onto state road 610. The old building on the corner was once Terry’s Mill.

04.7 (0.4) Here we turn right onto state road 634 (gravel) towards Little Mountain Archery Club. This is the old Laurel Fork Road. It was one of the main roads from Mayberry to Laurel Fork in days gone by.

05.4 (0.7) The old Silver Valley School once stood here to our right.

05.5 (0.1) The ridge to our left is Big Stone Mountain.

05.9 (0.4) At this stop sign, we turn left onto state road 618.

06.3 (0.4) Stone Mountain creek is in the meadow to our left. It has been known to harbor native trout.

06.5 (0.2) This beautiful farm is the Stanley family dairy.

07.2 (0.7) We turn left at this stop sign onto state road 638.

07.4 (0.2) This beautiful golf course on our right is the Olde Mill Golf Course. It is rated among the best by many golfers and it is certainly picturesque.

09.0 (1.6) The old Pine Knot School is on our right at this point.

09.1 (0.1) The country store on our left is owned and operated by the Kimble family. They are a well known and talented musical family.

10.0 (0.9) The Dry Ridge Restaurant is on our right.

10.2 (0.2) This small old building on our left is the old Culler’s Store.

10.3 (0.1) Here we pass under the Blue Ridge Parkway.

10.4 (0.1) Here we enter Patrick County, leave Carroll County.

11.1 (0.7) Turn right at this point onto state road 608.

11.3 (0.2) Here we cross the headwaters of the Ararat River. On the right is a heart shaped pool that has been used for many years as the Bell Spur Church baptizing pool.

11.4 (0.1) The old Bell Spur School once stood up in the field to our right. 84 year old Coy O. Yeatts remembers voting here for the very first time in “1920 or 21.” It was the first election after he turned 21 years old.

12.0 (0.6) There is a beautiful old homeplace on our right.

12.3 (0.3) The farm on the left belongs to the Painter family. A little later on in the season they usually offer cabbage, pumpkins and other produce for sale here.

12.5 (0.2) We will turn right, towards the Blue Ridge Parkway just past the small cemetery on the right.

12.6 (0.1) Turn right onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. We will be heading north. At this point we will be between Parkway milepost 186 and 187.

18.6 (6.0) Mayberry Trading Post is on our right.

18.9 (0.3) Mayberry Presbyterian Church is on our right. There is one lone grave at this church. It is the final resting place of Samuel Cephas Scott. He donated the land for the church and was the first to be buried in the cemetery. Mr. Scott died on August 17, 1926. At one time, he owned and operated Mayberry Trading Post. The church was about halfway between his home and the store. When the Blue Ridge Parkway was being built, permission was asked to move his grave out of the Parkway right of way. The family refused. Mr. Scott’s daughter, Mrs. Prentis Reynolds of Martinsville, Virginia recalls walking home with her father from the store on summer evenings. Taking her by the hand, he would walk through the woods where his grave and the Blue Ridge Parkway is now. It was out of the way but he loved to hear the whippoorwills calling along the woods path at sundown. The decision was made that he would remain in the place that he loved, destined to be the only grave ever at Mayberry Church.

19.8 (0.9) After crossing Round Meadow (Creek) Bridge, there is parking space on the left. A beautiful trail winds down to Round Meadow Creek from this pull over. It is a well marked Park Service trail and well worth the 30 minutes it requires.

21.4 (1.6) Here we turn right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway onto the exit ramp leading to US 58 Business and Meadows of Dan, Virginia. We are back to our point of beginning.

We hope you have time to bring along a picnic lunch or dangle your toes in Mayberry or Round Meadow Creek. This is a wonderful place to settle back, relax and enjoy the mountains.