Natural Tunnel

State Park - Virginia

Natural Tunnel State Park is centered on the Natural Tunnel, a massive naturally formed cave that is so large it is used as a railroad tunnel. It is located in the Appalachian Mountains near Duffield in Scott County, Virginia. The Natural tunnel, which is up to 200 feet (61 m) wide and 80 feet (24 m) high, began to form more than a million years ago when groundwater bearing carbonic acid percolated through crevices and slowly dissolved limestone and dolomite bedrock. A small river, which is now called Stock Creek, was diverted underground and it continued to erode the tunnel over many millennia. The walls of the tunnel show evidence of prehistoric life. Many fossils have been found in the creek bed and in the tunnel walls.

maps

Visitor Map of Natural Tunnel State Park (SP) in Virginia. Published by Virginia State Parks.Natural Tunnel - Visitor Map

Visitor Map of Natural Tunnel State Park (SP) in Virginia. Published by Virginia State Parks.

brochures

Trail Guide for Natural Tunnel State Park (SP) in Virginia. Published by Virginia State Parks.Natural Tunnel - Trails

Trail Guide for Natural Tunnel State Park (SP) in Virginia. Published by Virginia State Parks.

Travel Guide for Heart of Appalachia in Southwest Virginia. Published by Virginia Tourism.Virginia State - Southwest Virginia - Heart of Appalachia

Travel Guide for Heart of Appalachia in Southwest Virginia. Published by Virginia Tourism.

Brochure of Virginia State Parks. Published by Virginia State Parks.Virginia State - Virginia State Parks

Brochure of Virginia State Parks. Published by Virginia State Parks.

Features & Stories of the Travel Guide for Virginia. Published by Virginia Tourism.Virginia State - Virginia Travel Guide

Features & Stories of the Travel Guide for Virginia. Published by Virginia Tourism.

Natural Tunnel SP https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/natural-tunnel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_Tunnel_State_Park Natural Tunnel State Park is centered on the Natural Tunnel, a massive naturally formed cave that is so large it is used as a railroad tunnel. It is located in the Appalachian Mountains near Duffield in Scott County, Virginia. The Natural tunnel, which is up to 200 feet (61 m) wide and 80 feet (24 m) high, began to form more than a million years ago when groundwater bearing carbonic acid percolated through crevices and slowly dissolved limestone and dolomite bedrock. A small river, which is now called Stock Creek, was diverted underground and it continued to erode the tunnel over many millennia. The walls of the tunnel show evidence of prehistoric life. Many fossils have been found in the creek bed and in the tunnel walls.
WELCOME TO NATURAL TUNNEL STATE PARK. To make your visit safe and more pleasant, we ask that you observe the following: Take only pictures, leave only footprints. Park in designated areas only. Please note there is a parking fee charged year-round at all Virginia State Parks. Self-pay parking information is available at the contact station. QUIET HOURS - Quiet hours are between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The use of generators is prohibited at all times. CHECK-IN AND CHECK-OUT POLICY Camping: Check-in 4 p.m. Check-out 1 p.m. Cabins: Check-in 4 p.m. Check-out 10 a.m. PRESERVE – Help preserve your park. Please don’t cut or mar any plants or trees. Collecting animal or plant life is allowed only for scientific purposes by permit from the Richmond headquarters. Don’t feed any wild animals. ALCOHOL - State law permits alcohol use only in private areas (inside your cabin or camping unit) or in areas designated on permits issued by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. PETS - Pets are permitted in enclosed areas or on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Please clean up after your pet. Pets must be attended at all times. DRONES AND OTHER AIRCRAFT - Drones, other unmanned aerial vehicles, including remote control aircraft, and aircraft in general may not be flown in state parks pursuant to 4VAC5-30-400. LITTER - Please help us keep the park clean by plac- ing litter and recyclables in the proper receptacles and recycle centers or carrying out your trash. The releasing of balloons is not allowed. Decorative balloons must be deflated and disposed of as trash. FIRE - Help prevent wildfires. Fires must be confined to grills, camp stoves or designated fire rings. Fires must be attended at all times and extinguished when left. Firewood is generally available for purchase at the park. Campers and guests may collect only downed and dead firewood. We enforce all seasonal and emergency bans on open fires. POLLUTION - Help reduce pollution. Dump stations, laundry sinks and slop sinks, where available, are for the proper disposal of wastewater. Please, no boat, RV or car washing. SWIMMING - Pool swimming is generally available for a fee during scheduled hours between the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. The weather and other issues beyond our control may reduce the availability of swimming. Swimming anywhere else in the park at any time is prohibited. FISHING - A Virginia freshwater fishing license is required. GUESTS - Your guests are our guests. For everyone’s safety and security, please register all visitors with the park office or camp store. Visitors will not be admitted to camping and cabin areas unless so identified. Visitors are permitted only between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. EMERGENCY - Emergency phone numbers are posted at contact stations and other places in the park. For more information, visit www.virginiastateparks.gov or contact the park office. INFORMATION - For more information on Virginia State Parks or to make a cabin or campsite reservation, call 800-933-PARK or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov. The Customer Service Center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on all state holidays. In many cases, campers may be accommodated prior to the official check-in. Please remember that only those 18 or older may register. The registrant is responsible for all occupants of the campsite or cabin. Feel free to arrive early and enjoy park amenities prior to check-in. PARK CONTACTS Overnight guests are encouraged to be familiar with the early departure policy since it impacts any refund due. The policy and frequently asked questions are here: www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/faq. TRAIL INFORMATION CAMPING - Camping is allowed only in designated campgrounds and only after following the proper checkin procedure described in the Reservation and Fees Guide available at the park office. Campsite occupancy is a maximum of six people or the number of people in a single household. Two camping units are allowed per campsite; only one axled camper is allowed per site. All camping units, equipment and vehicles must be placed within the perimeter of the designated campsite without infringing on adjoining campsites or vegetation. Where high-impact areas are designated, all camping units, equipment and vehicles must be within the area’s defined borders. Park in designated areas only. PARKING - Only two motor vehicles, as well as the camping unit, are permitted on a campsite without incurring additional fees. Cabin guests are allowed two vehicles for a one or two-bedroom cabin, three vehicles for a three-bedroom cabin and six vehicles for a sixbedroom cabin per day without an additional parking fee charge. Those with additional vehicles must pay a parking fee for each day the vehicle is in the park. The number of vehicles allowed to park at the cabin varies according to site design and other factors. All vehicles must be parked in designated areas, either at the cabin
CRUISE PADDLE Hop on your motorcycle or roll the windows down for a drive through the Heart of Appalachia. With over a dozen scenic Appalachian Backroads to ride, you won’t find this kind of beauty anywhere else. Become a “Dragon Master” on the Back of the Dragon route, offering 32 miles of the most exciting and technical road you’ll ever drive. Or try Bootlegger’s Run, named for the bootlegging trade of the 1920s, with 145 miles of curvy backroads that will make you feel like a part of its history. Don’t miss a chance to spot Big Foot himself along the Woodbooger Drive near Norton! A five-mile gorge plunging to 1,650 feet makes Breaks Interstate Park the “Grand Canyon of the South.” With seven gorgeous overlooks, all visitors – no matter their mode of transportation, be it by bike, horseback or on the water – will find themselves exploring just like those who came before them, from indigenous tribes and farmers to lumberjacks and moonshiners. Get a bird’s eye by hopping aboard the Canyon Rim Zipline to careen across the mountaintops for this one-of-akind experience. Whitewater rafting, rock climbing, geocaching and more adventures await. The vibrant communities along the Clinch River can’t wait to show off their stunning beauty and small town hospitality. Start at Tazewell to explore historic architecture and mountain heritage before moving on to Cedar Bluff and its restored gristmill. Get a look at late 19th-century architecture in former coal boom town Richlands, now a cultural hub. Honaker, listed on the Virginia Register of Historic Places, allows you to pause for a home-style meal before heading back on the water. Cleveland offers a quiet space filled with natural treasures like waterfalls and rare plant species. Continue your river path to St. Paul, where you can pause your tubing trip to check out hiking trails, a riverside disc golf course or visit Bluebell Island. Finish off your journey in Dungannon, where you can slow things down while floating beneath sunny skies. LISTEN ZOOM No road trip is complete without the ultimate Southwest Virginia playlist. Relive music history at the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, where you’ll have a newfound appreciation for this historical family and their traditional mountain and folk music. Family-friendly Saturday night performances honor the first family of country music, where every instrument is acoustic and all guests are encouraged to dance the night away. Or, experience the Ralph Stanley Museum, where you’ll rediscover one of the most authentic voices of country music that ever lived. You’ll see memorabilia, including his beloved banjo and even a Grammy, and have an interactive experience that’ll take you back in time – and possibly have you singing the entire way home. Get your heart rate up on Spearhead Trails, with over 550 miles of trails on six systems that offer something for everyone no matter your travel preference or skill level. Looking for more adventure? Whether hiking, biking or kayaking, ATV riding, horseback riding or white-water rafting, you can get your adrenaline fix thanks to the region's state parks, one-of-a-kind natural wonders like Devils Bathtub and Burkes Garden, and breath-taking views from High Knob Tower. HEART OF APPALACHIA Breaks Interstate Park—Breaks 162 B I L LY BOW L I N G Nestled in the southwest corner of the state, the HEART OF APPALACHIA region is known for the rugged beauty of its landscapes, as well as its vibrant culture and people. Adventure abounds among roaring rivers and stunning vistas, while picturesque mountain towns draw you in with the sights, sounds and tastes of Appalachia. B R E A K S I N T E R S TAT E PA R K ( B R E A K S ) : C AT H Y A N D E R S O N / S P E A R H E A D T R A I L S ( S A I N T PA U L ) : S A M D E A N ZIP Spearhead Trails—Saint Paul VIRGINIA .ORG HEART OF APPALACHIA Little Stony Falls—Dungannon 16 3 q u O F F E R S A C C E S S F O R P E O P L E W H O A R E B L I N D O R H AV E L O W V I S I O N b c BUSES/GROUP S WELCOME $ P E T - F R I E N D LY FA C I L I T Y ADMISSION REQUIRED I Grundy 460 Clintwood Cedar Bluff 23 Jonesville 421 Ewing 58 Heart of Appalachia Visitor Information Center 3028 4th Avenue Market Sq., 276-762-0011; heartofappalachia.com. VA Visitors Information Center offering brochures, attractions and event information. bjI Jewell Valley Multi-Use Family Trail Whitewood Community, 276-244-1542; buchanancountyatvtrails.com. 30-miles ATV and mountain bike trail with breathtaking scenery and trailhead parking. Virginia’s Coal Heritage Trail/ Virginia Scenic Byway 3029 4th Avenue Market Sq., 276-762-0011; virginiacoaltrail.com. 325mile byway winding through mountains and valleys through coal camps. b APPALACHIA Appalachia Cultural Arts Center 402 West Main St., 276-565-3900; facebook.com/ appalachiaculturalartscenter. Community arts activity center in restored early 1900s building. Derby Coal Camp Derby Rd., 276-523-1322; swvamuseum.org
Environmental Education Virginia State Parks are premier environmental education sites. Schools, scouts, groups and individuals are encouraged to come learn more about their world. Backyard Classroom programs, incorporating Virginia’s Standards of Learning, promote lifelong learning. They also help young people enjoy, appreciate and understand the outdoors. Programs & Festivals Master new outdoor cooking recipes. Pan for gold or tour a cave. Learn or improve outdoor skills. Enjoy a rangerled hike, eagle tour or owl prowl. Workshops and events are as diverse as the parks. VIRGINIA Discounts Virginia State Parks are affordable every day, but annual passes can save you money on parking, boat launching and swimming. The Customer Loyalty Program lets you earn points that can be redeemed for free or discounted overnight stays. STATE PARKS You can also receive a 25 percent discount on weekend cabins if you make a reservation on Thursday or Friday, based on availability. Just ask for the discount on the phone when you make the reservation. Park Accessibility Virginia State Parks strive to make each park as barrier-free as possible. Contact the Customer Service Center or individual parks for more information before your trip. Pets Pets are welcome but must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet or in an enclosed area at all times. Cabin guests are charged $10 plus tax per night per pet. No pet fee is charged for camping. There’s plenty of history, too. Immerse yourself in Colonial times, the Civil War or the Underground Railroad. When it comes to festivals, you’ll find music, arts and crafts, local food and beverage, classic cars and more. Up-to-theminute, comprehensive information is available at www.virginiastateparks.gov. Nature & History All parks have trails, many with signs explaining the environment. Wander trails at First Landing through cypress swamps or hike Caledon’s trails along ridges and ravines through rare oldgrowth forest. Overlooks at Hungry Mother, Grayson Highlands and Natural Tunnel offer a glimpse of powerful geological forces that shaped the land. See how rivers shaped some parks, such as Belle Isle, James River, Natural Bridge, Powhatan and Westmoreland. www.virginiastateparks.gov | 800-933-PARK (7275) www.virginiastateparks.gov Shenandoah River Seven Bends Sky Meadows 540-622-6840 540-622-6840 540-592-3556 CT • CT • Douthat 540-862-8100 T Natural Bridge 540-291-1326 Smith Mountain Lake 540-297-6066 • 540-854-5503 703-730-8205 703-339-2385 540-288-1400 • B/E/H • B/H • B/E/H/U VIRGINIA MOUNTAINS • • FP • • • • B/E/H H • FP • • B/H • • • B/E/H/U • H/U NORTHERN VIRGINIA Lake Anna Leesylvania Mason Neck Widewater • • • FP CT • • • • B/H/U • • • UD CT CHESAPEAKE BAY Belle Isle Caledon Machicomoco Westmoreland 804-462-5030 540-663-3861 804-642-2419 804-493-8821 • • • B/E/H/U • • B/H • CT • • FP • B/H • FP • P B/H/U COASTAL Chippokes Plantation False Cape­­­­ First Landing York River 757-294-3728 757-426-7128 757-412-2300 757-566-3036 • • P B/E/H/U • • B/H/U • • • B/H • • • FP • • B/E/H/U EASTERN SHORE Photo courtesy Jackie Jamison Kiptopeke CENTRAL VIRGINIA Bear Creek Lake­ High Bridge Trail Holliday Lake James River Pocahontas Powhatan Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Twin Lakes (Cedar Crest Conference Center) Boa t La unc h Boa t Re nta ls Fish in g Day Use O nl y Play grou nds Swi mm in g Trai ls BLUE RIDGE HIGHLANDS SHENANDOAH VALLEY 757-331-2267 • • • FP • • H/U/B 804-492-4410 434-315-0457 434-248-6308 434-933-4355 804-796-4255 804-598-7148 804-561-7510 434-392-3435 434-767-2398 T • • • • B/E/H T • • • • • • • • T • • • • • CT • • 540-643-2500 276-579-7092 276-781-7400 276-781-7425 276-699-6778 276-699-6778 • • • FP • • • T • • • CT • • • • B/H/U B/E/H • B/H/U B/E/H/U • SOUTHERN VIRGINIA Fairy Stone Occoneechee Staunton River Battlefield Staunton River 276-930-2424 434-374-2210 434-454-4312 434-572-4623 T • • • 276-865-4413 276-254-5487 276-940-2674 276-940-2696 276-523-1322 276-445-3065 T • • • • • • • B/E/H • B/H/U • • P B/E/H • • P B/E/H HEART OF APPALACHIA Breaks Interstate Clinch River Natural Tunnel (Cove Ridge Conference Center) Southwest Virginia Museum Wilderness Road CT • • • • B/H • P B/H/U H/U • B/E/H TABLE LEGEND­­­: B Biking CT Car-top Boat Launch E Equestrian FP Fishing Pier H Hiking P Pool Swimming T Electric Motors Only U Universally Accessible UD Under Development B/E/H B/E/H/U P • B/E/H/U B/E/H H • • Many parks offer overnight facilities suitable for reunions, weddings and special events. Some parks even have equestrian campsites. B/E/H/U B/E/H/U • T Claytor Lake Grayson Highlands Hungry Mother (Hemlock Haven Conference Center) New River Trail Shot Tower With lodges, cabins, yurts and campsites, the fun doesn’t end at sundown. Many cabins are available year-round, and most campgrounds ar
Hotel Weyanoke—Farmville Small Towns, Local charm, cozy curios and open arms make these small towns in Virginia worth exploring. Character WRITTEN BY MARY & BILL BURNHAM T KYLE LAFERRIERE 10 he phrase “small town” evokes nostalgia, authenticity and heartfeltwarmth in many of us. What’s not to love? They are authentic, accessible, friendly and stocked with locally-owned businesses. These are communities where you can get off the crowded highway, park the car and walk, ride a bike or even kayak through downtown. Small, family-run businesses offer one-of- a-kind handmade items, from jewelry and art to craft beers and wine. Farmers markets offer locally-grown produce and seafood spring through fall. With almost 200 incorporated towns, dozens more villages and hamlets, plus nearly 30 designated Virginia Main Street Communities, the hard part is deciding which Virginia towns to visit. VIRGINIA .ORG 11 Here are some of our favorites, d ending starting in southwest Virginia, an metown with a shameless plug for our ho on the Eastern Shore. High Bridge Trail State Park—Farmville Harrisonburg Big Stone Gap 12 Farmville HIGH BRIDGE TRAIL STATE PARK (FARMVILLE): ALI ZAMAN / SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA MUSEUM (BIG STONE GAP): JASON BARNETTE June Tolliver House and Art Folk Center—Big Stone Gap Southwest Virginia Museum—Big Stone Gap JUNE TOLLIVER HOUSE (BIG STONE GAP): TIM COX Southwest Virginia’s coal-mining history comes to life in the “Trail of the Lonesome Pine,” Virginia’s longest-running outdoor drama, performed Thursday through Saturday nights, late June through August. Before you go, be sure to read the Big Stone Gap novels by Adriana Trigiani, or watch the Hollywood film by the same name starring Ashley Judd and Whoopi Goldberg. Upon arrival, you can visit places featured in the film, such as Mutual Pharmacy, the Book Mobile, the Farmers Market, as well as the outdoor drama. Fine, well-preserved period homes house The John Fox Jr. Museum, the Southwest Virginia Museum and the June Tolliver House. Cozy B&Bs, cafes and a variety of antique and curio shops round out this small town gem. Fun Festival: 100th annual Tri State Singing Convention, June This formerly industrial town has been reinvented for recreation, craft beverage and shopping lovers. The Appomattox River that once carried tobacco barges is now a designated Scenic River carrying paddlers in search of whitewater or the calmer four-mile Farmville Blueway. The railroad that once carried coal now carries hikers, bikers and equestrians on the 30-mile-long High Bridge Trail State Park. Repurposed tobacco packing houses and lumber warehouses are reincarnated to house Appomattox River Company, Green Front Furniture and the Third Street Brewing Company, serving up local beer, live music, games for the kids and a pet-friendly beer garden. Together with the Virginia Tasting Cellar and the soon-to-open second location of James River Brewing, Farmville is fast becoming a destination for craft beverage lovers. Fun Festival: Heart of Virginia Festival, May Set amidst the vast playground of the idyllic Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg has been called “one of the best mountain bike towns in America” by National Geographic. Forward-thinking entrepreneurs and artisans have blended the past with the present to create a lively melting pot that is distinctive to this college town. Named Virginia’s first Culinary District in 2014, Harrisonburg’s cultural diversity serves up fare from around the world, while taking advantage of locallysourced farm-to-table ingredients. Food. Bar.Food features “global comfort food,” while a mother-daughter team creates soulsoothing pastries at Heritage Bakery & Café. The arts scene is equally diverse, epitomized by the Agora Downtown Market, a community of small businesses under one roof in an historic building. Named for James Madison, fourth president and the “Father of the Constitution,” are the stunning Hotel Madison and James Madison University (JMU), where nearly 20,000 students lend a youthful vitality to this historic town. Fun Festival: Harrisonburg International Festival, September VIRGINIA .ORG 13 Within Virginia’s larger cities, find pockets of uniqueness that make you feel like you’re in a small town! ROANOKE’S HISTORIC GRANDIN VILLAGE This walkable urban village is eclectic and family-friendly at the same time. Spend Saturday morning at the Community Market, dine on an outdoor patio, shop independentlyowned boutiques and take in a first-run or classic film at the 1930s Grandin Theatre. RICHMOND’S SCOTT’S ADDITION One of the hottest, newly revitalized neighborhoods in the state capital. Warehouses converted to breweries, cideries and distilleries, bold street murals, a cinema and a retro bowling alley make this a happening night scene. Immerse yourself in Virginia’s Lake Country at Virginia’s only lakeside town. Buggs Island Lake, also known as Kerr Reservoir, draws anglers to dozens of fishing tournaments yearl

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