Eagle Rock, Virginia

U.S. Route 220 Going Under Eagle Rock.

The small unincorporated town of Eagle Rock is in the western part of the U.S. state of Virginia that is situated off U.S. Route 220 between the railroad meccas of Roanoke and Clifton Forge.  It is situated on the Jackson River, the same James River, and it was a canal town on the James River and Kanawha Canal.  What is the town’s claim to fame?  It was the home to a lime kiln.  Limestone was mined from quarries in the region and brought here to be refined in the kiln.

Ruins of the Lime Kiln

How was the lime shipped from eagle rock?

The Ruins of an Oven.

In the beginning, it was shipped on barges through the canal.  When the canal system went under, the railroad played a major role in the shipment of the lime.  The Richmond and Alleghany Railroad converged at Eagle Rock and carried the lime to other parts of the country.

The Main Line

Today, the lime kiln is in ruins.  The main railroad line still passes through the town and is now operated by CSX.  The old train station also remains and it a short walk from the kiln ruins, but it across the tracks and is not open to the public.  As you walk around the ruins, you can see the old rail lines in the ground when the hoppers were loaded.  You can see what remains of the ovens and chimneys.  Although the grounds are accessible all day, you will need to watch your footing as the grounds are uneven, and it will be difficult for those in wheelchairs to traverse the grounds.  There is also a steep hill to drive down to access the parking area which may be difficult for larger vehicles.  The parking area is small, but there is plenty of nearby street parking.  If you are fortunate enough, CSX may reward your visit with a passing freight train.  Please note that there are no facilities (restroom) on site.

Old Service Rail Line in the Ruins

Eagle Rock, Virginia is located off U.S. Route 220 by way of Virginia Route 43.  It is thirty-two miles north of Roanoke (Interstate 81 and U.S. Routes 11, 221 and 460) and fifteen miles south of Clifton Forge (Interstate 64 and U.S. Route 60).


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