SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA COALFIELDS

POCAHONTAS COALFIELD TAZEWELL COUNTY

CLINCH RIVER COALFIELD TAZEWELL AND RUSSELL COUNTIES

BUCHANAN COALFIELD BUCHANAN COUNTY

BIG STONE GAP COALFIELD DICKENSON, WISE, AND LEE COUNTIES

VALLEY COALFIELD PULASKI AND MONTGOMERY COUNTIES

NOT IN APPALACHIA: RICHMOND COALFIELD, FARMVILLE COALFIELD, DAN RIVER COALFIELD, TAYLORSVILLE COALFIELD

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If you would like to visit these mining towns, keep in mind a few things:

1. STAY OFF OF THE PROPERTY OF THE FEW REMAINING ACTIVE MINES. THEY ALL HAVE GUARDS WHO WILL RUN YOU OFF. ALSO, IT'S DANGEROUS, SEEING AS HOW YOU PROBABLY WON'T BE WEARING A HARDHAT AND METATARSALS.

2. BE CAREFUL OF TRESPASSING. JUST BECAUSE A MINE IS CLOSED DOESN'T MEAN NO ONE OWNS IT.

3. THE RESIDENTS OF THESE MINING SETTLEMENTS MAY NOT APPRECIATE YOUR "INTRUSION." IF SOMEONE ASKS WHAT YOU ARE DOING, TELL THEM.

4. THERE AREN'T MANY RESTAURANTS IN COAL TOWNS. EAT AND GAS UP BEFORE YOU GO.

5. SOME ROADS ARE UNSUITABLE FOR LUXURY AUTOMOBILES. A FEW ARE UNSUITABLE FOR ANY AUTOMOBILE.

6. I WOULD STRONGLY DISCOURAGE ANYONE FROM ENTERING AN ABANDONED DEEP MINE. THE TIMBERS ARE PROBABLY ROTTEN AND THE ROOF WILL PROBABLY FALL ON YOU. IF YOU SURVIVE YOU WILL PROBABLY BE HANDICAPPED FOR LIFE. THIS HAPPENED TO THE BROTHER OF A GUY WHO WORKED WITH MY DAD. HE WENT IN WITH A WHEELBARROW TO GET SOME COAL. BESIDES BEING DANGEROUS, THERE'S PROBABLY NOTHING INTERSETING DOWN THERE.

NOTE: I'VE NEVER HAD ANY OF THESE PROBLEMS (EXCEPT MAYBE THE BAD ROADS). I'M JUST MENTIONING POSSIBLE PITFALLS.