What to do in Breaks Interstate Park

Breaks Interstate Park is often called the Grand Canyon of the South due to its 5 mile long and 1/4 mile deep gorge formed by the raging Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River. Over 300,000 people visit this remote park each year.

Daniel Boone is credited with discovering this area in the late 1700s while exploring routes to the Midwest. Pioneers referred to these mountain passages as "breaks" and even today just a handful of these passages exist along the rugged Pine Mountain. This beautiful 4,600-acre park is shared by both Virginia and Kentucky and offers views into Tennessee. Elevations range from 870 feet at Russell Fork in the canyon to nearly 2,000 feet at Clinchfield Overlook. More than 60 species of trees may be identified here. Breaks Interstate offers cabins and camping with full hookups, deep cool fishing ponds, Class IV, V and VI rapids for kayaking and rafting, trout fishing, an Olympic size swimming pool, a motor lodge, miles of hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails with panoramic overlooks, stables and horse rentals, and a visitors center featuring the historic coal mining and agricultural industry of the area. Rt. 80 leading into the park has been designated as Transamerican Bike Route 76.

Primitive camping is allowed off road and in the back country by permit only. George Washington & Jefferson National Forests is on the south side of Break Interstate Park and John W. Flannagan Dam and Reservoir is just a few minutes drive south.

Breaks Interstate Park is 7 miles east of Elkhorn City, Kentucky and 8 miles north of Haysi, Virginia on Rt. 80.

Virginia generally has mild winters and warm humid summers. The mountainous Blue Ridge area has cold winter months with temperatures ranging from 36 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) and dropping below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celsius). The state's summer temperatures have little variation. The summer mountainous Blue Ridge temperatures range from below 74 degrees Fahrenheit (23 Celsius) to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (26 Celsius).

P.O. Box 100
Breaks, VA 24607-0100

Phone: 540-865-4413

Email: pco@dcr.state.va.us
  • Breaks Interstate Park Travel Q&A