Natural Tunnel State Park

Duffield, Virginia

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Natural Tunnel State Park offers glimpses into both historic and prehistoric periods. The tunnel itself formed as the result of groundwater containing carbonic acid seeping through and dissolving massive limestone deposits to create a cave that grew to 850 feet in length and 100 feet in height with the assistance of some blasting. Fossils can be seen along the bed of Stock Creek, which traverses the tunnel, as well as on the tunnel walls. Former Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan called Natural Tunnel the Eighth Wonder of the World, and visitors have been flocking here for more than 100 years. Because of its location in the shadow of the Cumberland Gap, through which the country’s earliest settlers crossed on their westward passage, it should come as little surprise that Daniel Boone is thought to have been one of the first Europeans to view this natural wonder. But it was not written about until Col. Stephen Long did so in the March 1832 Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science. Final blasting was done to open both ends of the tunnel to allow for the South Atlantic and Ohio Railroad to lay down tracks and pass through, and coal trains continue to do so.
Best Tent Camping: Virginia

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Best Tent Camping: Virginia

by Randy Porter (Menasha Ridge Press)

Natural Tunnel State Park offers glimpses into both historic and prehistoric periods. The tunnel itself formed as the result of groundwater containing carbonic acid seeping through and dissolving massive limestone deposits to create a cave that grew to 850 feet in length and 100 feet in height with the assistance of some blasting.

Fossils can be seen along the bed of Stock Creek, which traverses the tunnel, as well as on the tunnel walls. Former Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan called Natural Tunnel the Eighth Wonder of the World, and visitors have been flocking here for more than 100 years. Because of its location in the shadow of the Cumberland Gap, through which the country’s earliest settlers crossed on their westward passage, it should come as little surprise that Daniel Boone is thought to have been one of the first Europeans to view this natural wonder. But it was not written about until Col. Stephen Long did so in the March 1832 Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science. Final blasting was done to open both ends of the tunnel to allow for the South Atlantic and Ohio Railroad to lay down tracks and pass through, and coal trains continue to do so.

©  Randy Porter/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Campgrounds
Nearby City: Duffield
Season: March 1–early December
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Driving Directions: Directions to Natural Tunnel State Park

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Apr 2018