Craig County - Virginia's Least Populated County
Just north of Roanoke lies Craig County, the least populated county in Virginia, with only about 5000 citizens. Much of the county is covered by a National FOrest, in which housing and commercial real estate develoment is restricted. To get to Craig County, take Route 311 north from Interstate 81. Along the way, you will cross the Appalachian Trail and be able to experience some great views as the road goes up and over the mountains. New Castle, the county seat, is a tiny town that is only a few blocks long. Further north on Route 311, you will come to the even tinier town of Paint Bank, which features a good restaurant and bed & breakfast, as well as a nearby buffalo farm.
Another scenic drive in Craig County is Route 42, which runs from the northeast to the southwest, parallel to the mountain ridges. At one point, Route 42 crosses the Eastern Divide, a lesser-known continental divide, which divides the watersheds of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi River.