Pulaski County was created from portions of Montgomery & Wythe Counties on March 30, 1839. It became the 87th county of the commonwealth of Virginia. Pulaski was named in honor of Count Casimir Pulaski, an exiled Polish nobleman who came to America and joined George Washington’s army in 1777 and was mortally wounded in October of 1779.
Pulaski County is located west of the eastern continental divide and nestled on top of the plateau through which the New River flows.
Claytor Lake is considered to be a defining feature of Pulaski County. This lake was created in 1939 by Appalachian Power Company after the construction of Clayor Dam. Today, the dam generates 75,000 kW of renewable electricity while holding back 4,475 acres of water. There is over 100 miles of shoreline. Two of Virginia’s most visited state parks are located on the shores of Claytor Lake. These parks offer great recreational opportunities including camping, hiking, boating, horseback riding, swimming, fishing and bicycling.
Approx 30 miles of the New River flow through Pulaski County and serves as a habitat for bald eagles, otters and more. The challenging fishing along the New River in Pulaski County offers the possibility of great return and serves as the site of a state record bass. A 57 mile state park trail, New River Trail, runs along the New River between Pulaski and Galax for hiking, biking, or horseback riding.
The 2nd largest Boy Scout reservation in the nation with 16,000 acres is located in Pulaski. It is comprised of three facilities (Camp Powatan, Camp Ottari, and a new Aquatic Center) and serves approx. 10,000 scouts yearly.
There are four golf courses throughout the county including a beginners 9-hole par 3 Lock Lowman course in Fairlawn, Draper Valley Golf Course, Pulaski Country Club and the Virginia Tech Pete Dye River Course which wraps around 2.5 miles of the river and was named as one of the best new public access courses in the United States by Golf Magazine.
In addition to those great locations Pulaski also serves as home for Motor Mile Speedway and Dragstrip, Gatewood Lake (a lake
that offers fishing and camping), Wysor Observatory located at Dublin Elementary boasts a 16 inch telescope and huge celestial database, Calfee Park, home of the minor league Pulaski Yankees baseball team & one of the oldest minor league ballparks in America, Wilderness Road Regional Museum, Raymond Ratcliffe Museum, restored Pulaski Train Station and more.
Year round recreation can be enjoyed at Randolph Park which includes swimming, picnicking, walking, basketball, sand volleyball, tennis, soccer and softball/baseball. Randolph Park draws over 50,000 visitors per summer at its Alexander Water Park.
Pulaski hosts many great events and festivals including the New River Valley Fair, two annual flea markets, county wide 4th of July events, Claytor Lake Festival, Count Pulaski Festival, and more.
The Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley features art work of local and regional artist, has a gift shop, hosts summer concerts and art & dance classes.
The school system of Pulaski County offers five fully accredited schools and provides opportunities in wining sports programs, state champion theater program, and nationally competitive vocational programs. Southwest Virginia Governor’s School for Math and Science makes Pulaski its home.
New River Community College provides many great higher educational opportunities including offering dual enrollment courses with local high schools, a variety of two-year programs, and serves as a Teletechnet site for Old Dominion University allowing students the ability to pursue bachelor, master and doctoral level degrees.
With three of Virginia’s Enterprise Zones, federal designation as a HUB Zone, and an activated Foreign Trade Zone, business incentives are readily available. Those wishing to go into business for themselves can get a head start at the New River Valley Competitiveness Center. Interstate 81 and the New River Valley Airport allows for easy access to meet transportation needs.
Vision, Pride and Excellence are the centerpiece of the Pulaski County Seal and define the past, present and future of its community.