A call to reach out to hikers and bikers in Marion | Smyth County News & Messenger – Virginia News

A call to reach out to hikers and bikers in Marion | Smyth County News & Messenger –  Virginia News

Mike Edwards wants the world to know about the wonders of the Great Outdoors in Smyth County – the fishing, the hiking, the beauty to be taken in on the back of a motorcycle. He hopes some of those who come to experience the community’s natural wonders will book a room in his B&B. The downtown Marion businessman isn’t shy about asking the town council to invest more in tourism as he strives to invest more in his business.

Earlier this year, Edwards traveled to Doswell to represent the town and his B&B at the two-day Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival. He gave out brochures and made sure folks knew about fly-fishing in the southwest region of the state. His work paid off. He told the Marion Town Council last week that several couples stayed in Marion while they spent two back-to-back days fishing in the county.

Recently, he said, multiple hikers have also stayed in Marion.

During this peak season for Appalachian Trail hikers to pass through Smyth County and the town, Edwards will pick them up at the trail heads if they book a night in his establishment and give them a return ride.

He spoke to the town council about the potential economic boost of doing more for AT hikers. He shared an article highlighting the town of Pearisburg’s efforts to welcome the internationally celebrated trail’s hikers. The article noted that the Giles County town has a population of about 2,700 but welcomes 5,000 to 6,000 hikers each year. Pearisburg hosts a special AT festival and…

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