Panorama of the Big House

Map & Directions

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The Big House is located in the mountains of Southwestern Virginia, about 90 miles southwest of Roanoke, just 10 miles from I-81. The address is 284 White Rock Furnace Rd, Rural Retreat, VA 24368.

Map with major Virginia roads

Enlarged insert from Virginia Map

Driving Directions

Online mapping services and GPS systems are not all that reliable for rural areas -- I recommend you copy and paste the directions below.

Coming from the South on I-81, from Bristol/Abingdon/Marion, take the Rural Retreat exit (exit 60). Turn right at the bottom of the exit ramp. Continue with directions below*.

Coming from the North on 1-81, from Staunton/Roanoke/Wytheville, take the Rural Retreat exit (exit 60). Turn left at the bottom of the exit ramp. Continue with directions below.

*Take the Rural Retreat exit (exit 60) off I-81. Turn onto Route 90 East (head toward the gas station and McDonalds). Continue on Route 90/Black Lick Rd. Cross Route 11/Lee Highway at the traffic light**. Continue straight on this road through the town of Rural Retreat. The road name changes from Black Lick Rd/Route 90 to Main St/Route 749, but you will continue to follow the same road through town, across the railroad tracks and up the hill past the orange water towers. As you leave town the road name changes to Cedar Springs Rd/Route 749. Continue to follow Cedar Springs Rd/Route 749 headed south until you get to the community of Cedar Springs. (You might notice the Cedar Springs signpost on the right, but it is a small sign and easy to miss.)

BEAR RIGHT in Cedar Springs, onto Route 614/Cedar Springs Rd, toward the town of Sugar Grove. Go 1/2 mile.

**Note: this turn is 6.0 miles from the traffic light at Route 11. Don't be confused by the fact that both roads are named "Cedar Springs"!

TURN RIGHT at the sign for A.R.E. Camp, onto White Rock Furnace Rd/Route 705. As you continue on this gravel road for another 1/2 mile, you'll be able to see the Big House off to your left and partway up the hill in the middle distance. Continue across the cattle guard and through the farmyard, past the small gray house on the left.

TURN LEFT at the gravel drive between the wooden fences and drive up the hill to the house. Feel free to drive close to the house to unload your car, then park facing the row of bushes at the edge of the yard in front of the house.

Arrival/Departure Info For Henry & Janis Reed WEEKEND programs: Participants should plan to arrive after 4 pm on the Friday start-date of your program and depart after lunch on the Sunday or Monday end-date of your program. Please let John & Sandy know in advance if you need to be picked up at the bus station or airport.

Arrival/Departure Info For Henry & Janis Reed FULL WEEK-LONG: Participants should plan to arrive after 4 pm on the Sunday start-date of your program and depart after breakfast on the Saturday end-date of your program. Please let John & Sandy know in advance if you need to be picked up at the bus station or airport.

Arrival/Departure Info For ARE Camp programs: You will receive a packet of info from the A.R.E. once you have registered, including an Arrival/Departure form. Please notify the A.R.E. if you need to be picked up at the airport or bus station. If your arrival or departure plans change at the last minute, call the Big House to speak to your program leaders.

Public Transportation

Henry & Janis Reed Attendees - Arriving/Departing by Plane

Flight reservations can be made to/from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), which is just over 2½ hours drive from the Big House, or to/from Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA), which is just over 1½ hours drive from the Big House.

For those attending a WEEKEND Henry Reed program, we recommend a weekend rental car from the airport as your most economical and flexible choice for how to travel between the airport and the Big House.

For those attending a FULL WEEK-LONG Henry Reed program, or if renting a car is not an option, John & Sandy can provide shuttle transport to/from Roanoke-Blacksburg airport only. Shuttle fee to/from Roanoke is $85 per person. We do not provide shuttle service to/from Charlotte/Douglas.

We realize that flight schedules are limited, but if you are utilizing our shuttle service to/from Roanoke, please schedule your arrival flight for as close to noon as possible on Friday, and your departure flight for late Sunday afternoon or evening.

A.R.E. Camp Attendees - Arriving/Departing by Plane

The A.R.E. will make arrangements for pick-up and drop-off at the airport. They do charge a fee for airport shuttle service. If plane arrival/departure times change at the last minute, please call the Big House to speak to the program leaders.

The Big House phone number is: 276-686-5878

Arriving/Departing by Bus

Bus transportation is possible, but not recommended, as arrival/departure times are extremely limited. The nearest Greyhound bus stations are in Marion, Virginia and Wytheville, Virginia (pronounced "with-ville"). The Megabus comes only as close as Christiansburg, VA (about an hour’s drive) and schedules are limited; but the Megabus is very inexpensive, so worth looking into.

Henry & Janis Reed sessions arriving/departing by bus: Please contact John and Sandy at the Big House so they can make arrangements to pick you up from the bus station. There is no fee for Greyhound bus pick-ups and deliveries. There will be a shuttle fee of $45 for pick-up from the Megabus.

ARE Camp programs arriving/departing by bus: The A.R.E. will make arrangements to pick you up from the bus station. If your arrival/departure plans change at the last minute, call the Big House to speak to your program leaders.