All About Norton, Virginia

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Breit Cantor Grana Buckner: Kevin Biniazan, Esq. Virginia Beach, VA Abuse Guardian

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This article is brought to you by the child abuse lawyers of Norton. We hope you enjoy learning about the City of Norton as much as we have.

History of Norton

Norton is an independent city located within the boundaries of Wise County. Part of the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is the least populous city in the state. The area was initially settled as "Prince's Flats,"  after William Prince, who built a home there in 1787. However, during a bid to convince the Louisville and Nashville Railroad to build a depot in the settlement in 1890, they renamed it Norton in honor of Eckstein Norton, the head of the railroad. The addition of railroads connected the settlement to the industrialized East Coast.

By 1891, freight and passenger trains and mining and industrial development had moved into the area. It expanded Norton's population, commerce and industry, making it an urban settlement. On February 15, 1894, the Town of Norton was incorporated. On April 6, 1954, it was granted a city charter by the Virginia General Assembly. The City of Norton is the only city in Wise County and is the first city in southwestern Virginia. Today, Norton has a total area of 7.5 square miles. It is the professional and commercial center for the area and a focal point of Southwest Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population for the city was 3,958 people.

You can also learn about the Town of Blackstone, Virginia.


Although in Wise County, the city of Norton does not share the same schools district. Families with children living in Norton are served by the Norton City Public Schools System. Schools operating in this system are:

  • Norton Elementary School
  • Norton Middle School
  • John I. Burton High School

Flag Rock Recreation Area

Also known as "Norton's Mountain Masterpiece," Flag Rock Recreation Area was named after German immigrant Karl Matuszyczyk, who inserted an American Flag into the large outcropping rock in the 1920s. Located three miles north of downtown Norton, it is a 1000-acre park that includes 25 developed acres and various outdoor activities. Some of the outdoor recreational activities include:

  • Mountain Biking
  • Hiking and Trail Running
  • Fishing
  • Paddling
  • Climbing
  • Camping and Picnicking

The Flag Rock Area Trails (FRAT) System is open to mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, and men's best friends. The 10-mile track offers many trails with different difficulty levels to take advantage of. Hikers can also utilize the 1.1-mile Legion Park Trail at the adjacent Legion Park to climb into the Flag Rock Recreation Area.

The city's Upper Reservoir is located three-tenths of a mile above the entrance of the recreation area. As a state-stocked trout water, fishing is permitted at the reservoir. However, it is a catch-and-release fishing area, unless they're trouts or catfish. The reservoir also features a boat launch. It is open to electric motor boats, kayaking and canoeing.

Included in the park's many features is an 18-site campground. Available on a first-come, first-serve basis, campsites are $20 per night. Two picnic shelters can also be rented for $50 per day. It includes large grilling areas, electricity, water and fireplaces. Also situated in the campground are a playground, recreational field, and five small picnic areas that are free to utilize on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Woodbooger Sanctuary

If you ever want to catch a glimpse of Bigfoot, Flag Rock Recreation Area is where to go. Our giant stature of the Bigfoot-like creature our city call the "Woodbooger" is hard to miss as you walk the gravel path toward the Flag Rock Overlook. The statue and city's annual Woodbooger Festival was inspired by the 2011 visit from Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot TV show. In October 2014, Norton City Council passed a memorandum designated Flag Rock Recreation Area as a "Woodbooger Sanctuary."

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