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Happenings at Natural Tunnel State Park

July 15th, 2013 11:30 am by Staff Report

Happenings at Natural Tunnel State Park

Happenings at Natural Tunnel

Natural Tunnel State Park

1420 Natural Tunnel Parkway 

Duffield, VA 24244 

July 2013

“Stock Creek Passage” Wednesday, July 17, 2013 departing from the Visitor Center parking lot at 10 a.m. See Natural Tunnel from the inside! Participants will enter the Natural Tunnel by hiking from the Stock Creek Interpretive Center to the North Portal of Natural Tunnel, then wading Stock Creek to the center of the Tunnel, following the path of early visitors who traversed the Tunnel prior to construction of the railroad. This walk can be strenuous. Wading attire, a flashlight and a wading staff are highly recommended. NO sandals, flip-flops, or crocs. Cost: $5 per person. Trip length: 2-4 hours. Minimum age: 8 years. Pre-registration is required by calling the Stock Creek Interpreter Center at (276) 940-1643.

“Canoe the Clinch: Shawnee Run” Thursday, July 18, 2013 departing from the Visitor Center parking lot at 9 a.m. Beginning at historic Fort Blackmore, this 7-mile float takes guests past Pendleton Island, Slant, and Starnes Bend before take-out at Hill Station. Rapid water at the start and finish frame a series of still pools that provide opportunity to observe wildlife and to practice paddling skills. A stop approximately ½ way through the trip gives participants a chance to stretch legs and have a snack. Trip length: approximately 3-4 hours. Cost: $15 per person; $12 per person for groups of 10 or more. No flip-flops, sandals, or crocs. Pre-registration is required by calling the Stock Creek Interpreter Center at (276) 940-1643.

“Wild Cave Tour: Natural Tunnel Cave” Thursday, July 18, 2013 departing from the Visitor Center parking lot at 2 p. m. Experience the underground world of caves on a guided tour.  View firsthand the unique formations and historical remains found in the parks cave. This tour will allow guests to see evidence of earlier cave explorers and inhabitants.  This tour involves more effort and ability due to the crawls and small passages found within the cave. Pre-registration is required by calling the Stock Creek Interpreter Center at (276) 940-1643. Cost is $10 per person or $7 per person for a group of 8 or more.

“CSI: Critter Scene Investigation” Thursday, July 18, 2013 starting at 2 p.m. departing location to be determined. Take a walk on the wild side viewing animals that live within Natural Tunnel State Park. Each Thursday a different critter is selected to talk about and to go see. This is a free program. Get outdoors and get plugged into nature. No flip-flops, sandals, or crocs please. 

“Kayak the Clinch: Longhunters Run” Friday, July 19, 2013 departing at 9 a.m. from the Visitor Center parking lot. Experience the countryside of Scott County from a view of a kayak. This 9 mile float will take guests along the slower moving stretch of the river. Several water fowl and aquatic life can be seen along this trip. Guides will point out some great fishing holes. Half way through the trip the group will stop for a short period of time to stretch and eat a quick snack. Towards the end of the trip, during low water levels, there is a class 2 rapid. Minimum age 13 years. Trip length approximately 5 hours. Cost: $25 per person. Pre-registration is required by calling the Stock Creek Interpreter Center at (276) 940-1643.

“Outdoor Skills 101” Friday, July 19, 2013 starting at 2 p.m. location to be determined. Each week the park will feature a new outdoor survival skill focusing on the basics of outdoor survival. This program is for all ages and families. Free program. Park flyers will provide a list of skills the program will focus on.

“Canoe the Clinch: Cherokee Run” Saturday, July 20, 2013 departing from the Visitor Center parking lot at 9 a.m.Our traditional run, 5.5 miles in length, begins at Hill Station and passes through a succession of riffles before entering a series of slower-moving pools. Herons, ducks, and kingfishers are just some of the birds usually encountered, along with occasional sightings of deer, muskrat, otters and other river inhabitants. Enjoy a snack, or take a refreshing dip in the river at our ½ way point. Although geared to the novice, more experienced canoeists without the time for one of the longer trips will find this run an excellent way to experience the Clinch River. No children younger than five. Cost is $15 per person or for a group of 10 or more it is $12 per person. Pre-registration is required by calling the Stock Creek Interpreter Center at (276) 940-1643.

“Wild Cave Tour: Natural Tunnel Cave” Saturday, July 20, 2013 departing from the Visitor Center parking lot at 2 p. m. Experience the underground world of caves on a guided tour.  View firsthand the unique formations and historical remains found in the parks cave. This tour will allow guests to see evidence of earlier cave explorers and inhabitants.  This tour involves more effort and ability due to the crawls and small passages found within the cave. Pre-registration is required by calling the Stock Creek Interpreter Center at (276) 940-1643. Cost is $10 per person or $7 per person for a group of 8 or more.

“Fincastle Hayride” Saturday, July 20, 2013 departing from the Blockhouse parking lot at 6:30 p.m. Take a step back in time as we travel along the historic Fincastle Turnpike Road. Here you will see the wonderful splendor of some of Rye Cove’s countryside with its rolling hills, grasslands, abundance of wildlife, and even some cactus. Enjoy an evening listening about some of the structures that remain standing from 100’s of years ago. Some of these structures include The Masonic Lodge, Brick Church, and much more. Trip length: 1 hour and 30 minutes or 7 miles long. Dress for the weather. Bring a sweater because it may become breezy. Feel free to bring a camera to capture some of the beautiful sunsets across the mountains. Pre-registration is required by calling the Stock Creek Interpreter Center at (276) 940-1643.

“Kayak the Clinch: Longhunters Run” Sunday, July 21, 2013 departing at 9:30 a.m. from the Visitor Center parking lot. Experience the countryside of Scott County from a view of a kayak. This 9 mile float will take guests along the slower moving stretch of the river. Several water fowl and aquatic life can be seen along this trip. Guides will point out some great fishing holes. Half way through the trip the group will stop for a short period of time to stretch and eat a quick snack. Towards the end of the trip, during low water levels, there is a class 2 rapid. Minimum age 13 years. Trip length approximately 5 hours. Cost: $25 per person. Pre-registration is required by calling the Stock Creek Interpreter Center at (276) 940-1643.

“Canoe the Clinch: Cherokee Run” Sunday, July 21, 2013 departing from the Visitor Center parking lot at 2:30 p.m.Our traditional run, 5.5 miles in length, begins at Hill Station and passes through a succession of riffles before entering a series of slower-moving pools. Herons, ducks, and kingfishers are just some of the birds usually encountered, along with occasional sightings of deer, muskrat, otters and other river inhabitants. Enjoy a snack, or take a refreshing dip in the river at our ½ way point. Although geared to the novice, more experienced canoeists without the time for one of the longer trips will find this run an excellent way to experience the Clinch River. No children younger than five. Cost is $15 per person or for a group of 10 or more it is $12 per person. Pre-registration is required by calling the Stock Creek Interpreter Center at (276) 940-1643.

“Stock Creek Passage” Wednesday, July 24, 2013 departing from the Visitor Center parking lot at 10 a.m. See Natural Tunnel from the inside! Participants will enter the Natural Tunnel by hiking from the Stock Creek Interpretive Center to the North Portal of Natural Tunnel, then wading Stock Creek to the center of the Tunnel, following the path of early visitors who traversed the Tunnel prior to construction of the railroad. This walk can be strenuous. Wading attire, a flashlight and a wading staff are highly recommended. NO sandals, flip-flops, or crocs. Cost: $5 per person. Trip length: 2-4 hours. Minimum age: 8 years. Pre-registration is required by calling the Stock Creek Interpreter Center at (276) 940-1643.

“Travel Through Time: Along the Wilderness Trail” July 24-25, 8 a.m – 4:30 p.m departing from Natural Tunnel State Park from shelter 4. Join members of the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association and park staff as they take you on a two day tour focusing on the Wilderness Trail. The workshop will focus on history and geology of the area. Day one the group will tour Netherland Inn, stop by the original site of the Anderson Blockhouse, tour the Blockhouse at Natural Tunnel and have lunch. Day two will be a tour of Wilderness Road State Park, and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. For teachers taking this workshop you will receive re-certification credit. Cost is $30 per person and that will cover lunch and supplies. Pre-registration is required by calling (276) 940-1643 or e-mail Megan France at megan.france@dcr.virginia.gov. This program is sponsored by the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trial Association and Stafford Custom Graphics.

“CSI: Critter Scene Investigation” Thursday, July 25, 2013 starting at 2 p.m. departing location to be determined. Take a walk on the wild side viewing animals that live within Natural Tunnel State Park. Each Thursday a different critter is selected to talk about and to go see. This is a free program. Get outdoors and get plugged into nature. No flip-flops, sandals, or crocs please. 

All hiking trails are open from 8 a.m. - dusk.

Cabins, campgrounds, pool, and shelters are open.

To make reservations for the campgrounds, cabins, or picnic shelters for the 2013 year call 1-800-933-PARK or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.


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