Montgomery County is the education, recreation, and commercial hub of the beautiful New River Valley. The county covers almost 400 square miles of gently rolling hills in the midst of the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains. Nearly 90,000 people live in the county, and the total population of the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is 150,000.
Christiansburg is the county seat and retail hub of the New River Valley. Blacksburg is home to Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Virginia Tech). The county also has several smaller towns, such as Riner, located south of I-81, and known for excellent schools and fine rural living.
Life in Montgomery County
Montgomery County is a university community, composed of Virginia Tech, Radford University, and New River Community College. Local residents are accustomed to newcomers, and it takes little time to feel at home here. Many young couples stay in the area to raise their families. Retirees follow their children here, finding the New River Valley an excellent place to live and help out with the grandchildren. Another trend is for retirement age alumni to re-discover the area.
Progressive features of the county include greenways, aquatic centers, and modern bus service. The Huckleberry Trail links Christiansburg and Blacksburg, from the Christiansburg Recreation Center past Blacksburg Public Library, and on toward Jefferson National Forest, with access from neighborhoods along the way.
You´ll find traditions of the past, such as the Starlite Drive-in Theatre, mingling with modern innovations. The Chamber of Commerce has comprehensive information about living and doing business in the county, as well as an excellent relocation guide.
Montgomery County has in-town, suburban, rural, and gated community living options. Spacious family homes, one-level patio homes for retirees, townhouses, historic homes, and modern architectural gems are all available. Horse ownership on mini-farms is common in rural Montgomery County. Entrepreneurs will find downtown properties with convenient upstairs living quarters. Some of the newer developments have homes with in-law apartments, attractive to multi-generation households.
Children thrive here!
You´ll find that your children feel at home here quickly. Montgomery County Public Schools are located in the communities of Belview, Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Elliston, Riner, and Shawsville. To the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities are educated with children who are not disabled. The aim of full inclusion is to help all students to become responsible and contributing members of society.
Private education in the county includes Christian schools, a Catholic school, Montessori, and the Blacksburg New School. Home schooling is popular here as well, due to the abundance of educational, recreational, and social activities.
Young people have traditional activities such as scouts and 4-H and as well as cultural opportunities like the Performing Arts Institute or the SEED program, which develops civic responsibility and accountability.
Multicultural awareness is fostered through in-school and after-school language classes taught by members of the academic community. Upward Bound at Virginia Tech helps good high school students of limited means become the first in their family to attend college.
A service-learning project in the public schools familiarizes students with the science and ethics of caring for our three watersheds, perched on the Eastern Continental Divide.
Recreation and Lifelong Learning
City and county governments offer organized sports, exercise classes, hobby instruction, and informal recreational opportunities through Montgomery County Parks and Recreation Department, Blacksburg Parks and Recreation, and Christiansburg Parks and Recreation.
The range of activities is incredible: rock climbing, stained glass, lacrosse, oil painting, jazzercize, etc. Although special opportunities and excursions are available for those over 50, many residents prefer to take classes and workshops with varied age groups.
Services of the YMCA include community gardens, hikes, and classes in over 50 subjects, including yoga, quilting, old time banjo, and Italian language.
The New River United Soccer Association has programs for children and adults, including traveling teams. The emphasis is on individual player development.
Local businesses also offer recreational activities, including dance classes, kayaking, sky diving, horsemanship, golf lessons, tennis, gymnastics, etc.
Jefferson National Forest provides campgrounds, hiking and biking trails, and places to go fishing, ride horses, picnic, and watch birds. Pandapas Pond and the Cascades are two favorite National Forest destinations.
Montgomery County has certain advantages for industry due to its location, infrastructure, low cost of doing business, and highly developed workforce. Industries thriving here include information technology; plastics and polymers; biotechnology; and transportation.
Existing corporate and industrial parks provide convenience and infrastructure for companies locating in Montgomery County. One of these, the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, includes over 140 companies employing 2,000 people.
Montgomery County´s largest employers are Virginia Tech, Montgomery County school system, the Tech Research Center, Alliant Tech, Ecostar, Moog, and Carilion NRV Medical Center. Over 70 companies have relocated to the area and/or announced expansion plans in recent years.
Montgomery County has two hospitals:
Carilion New River Valley Medical Center is at I-81 Exit 109. The 150-bed facility offers more than 25 specialties including a family-centered maternity care program, psychiatric services, and a heart and vascular center. It also has a 24-hour Level III Trauma Center with Life-Guard medical air transport.
Montgomery Regional Hospital, located on Route 460 between Blacksburg and Christiansburg, is an accredited, 146-bed general acute-care facility providing medical, surgical, obstetric, pediatric, emergency, orthopedic, and outpatient services.
Over 100 physicians, 50 dentists, and many other traditional and alternative healthcare providers serve in Montgomery County. Additional specialists are available less than an hour away in Roanoke.
Exploring Montgomery County
Route 460 bisects the county from the Jefferson National Forest on the western edge to I-81 on the east side. Business Route 460 follows Main Street in Blacksburg and Christiansburg, and provides access to downtown offices and stores, as well shopping centers, restaurants, recreation facilities, and government offices. In Christiansburg, Routes 11 and 460 merge and run north, parallel with I-81, to the Roanoke area.
A road atlas of Montgomery County is available for download. Print copies are also available from the county mapping office. A detailed map showing schools, businesses, etc. is also available.
Contact me for information on real estate in Montgomery County.