Located in southwest Virginia, the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area manages 200,000 acres of National Forest land near Mount Rogers. The area features four Congressionally designated wilderness areas; the Virginia Creeper Trail; the Mount Rogers Scenic Byway which traverses over 50 miles offering views of the National Recreation Area and open rural countryside; the 5,000 acre Crest Zone featuring elevations over 4,000 feet, large rock formations, and a mixture of mountain bands and spruce-forests; a herd of wild, free-ranging ponies; and the highest elevated road in the state of Virginia leading to the summit of Whitetop Mountain.
Many activities are available in the area including camping, picnicking, sight-seeing, bird watching, trout fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and swimming. The U.S. Forest Service has 3 rental cabins and 11 campgrounds in the Mount Rogers NRA, four of which are set up for horseback riders. There are over 500 miles of trails in the area, including 60 miles of the Appalachian Trail, 18 miles of the Virginia Creeper Trail, and 67 miles of the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail. Over one million visitors come to Mount Rogers every year.
The Mount Rogers NRA was officially established and designated a National Recreation Area by Congress in 1966. The Mountain and National Recreation Area are named after William Barton Rogers, the first Virginian state geologist and founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).