Up on the Laurel
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About Up on the Laurel

We are Jacob and Shiera. We like to walk the Appalachian Trail (and other trails) and mountain peaks around Dongola Cabin. When we aren't out walking or enjoying the outdoors, we enjoy the cabin as a peaceful writing and reading space. We are keen to share this space with others who have similar interests.

Our Dongola Cabin is a secluded, compact 384 square foot cabin designed to be a place for recreating, writing, and relaxing. It sits on the south side of Iron Mountain in the Jefferson National Forest’s Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and takes in the scenic views of Whitetop Mountain and Mount Rogers. Nearby, several trailheads intersect, including the well-known Appalachian and Virginia Creeper Trails (others include the Iron Mountain Trail, the Skulls Gap Trail, the Buzzard Rock Trail, the Bear Tree Gap Trail, the Straight Mountain Trail, the Straight Branch Trail, and the Pine Mountain Trail). Hundreds of wild blueberry bushes yield end-of-summer fruit on Whitetop and Pine Mountains. Steep mountain valleys and hollows display the colors of Spring and Autumn foliage. The Whitetop Laurel Creek, a notable wild trout stream, stretches for twelve miles down the valley floor and provides year-round fishing as well as five miles of fully accessible recreation facilities with wildlife viewing platforms in the Creek Junction area. 

Scenic and historic routes surround Dongola Cabin, including the famous Route 58 (“The Crooked Road”), the Grayson Highlands State Park and Parkway, the balds at Elk Garden, and the highest elevated road in Virginia towards the peak of Whitetop Mountain. From Dongola Cabin, outdoor enthusiasts can rent bicycles and lazily (or not) ride 15 miles down the Virginia Creeper Trail to the town of Damascus, take a daylong horseback riding trip into Pine Mountain and Mount Rogers, or just take in the vista from Dongola Cabin’s spacious front porch and vintage gliding swing. 

Dongola Cabin is ten miles south of Interstate-81 and the town of Chilhowie, Virginia. Atlanta, Charlotte, Roanoke, Richmond, Knoxville, and Washington, DC are each between two to six hours drive away. Accommodation includes high speed Internet, Internet streaming television, and full kitchen and laundry facilities. The cabin is outfitted with the aim of offering a space for various kinds of recreation from outdoor pursuits like hiking and to indoor pursuits like writing and relaxation.