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USA Parks
Virginia
Southwestern Region
Natural Tunnel State Park
NATURAL TUNNEL STATE PARK
NATURAL TUNNEL STATE PARK
1420 Natural Tunnel Parkway
Duffield, Virginia   24244

Phone: 276-940-2674
Toll Free: 800-933-7275
Reservations: 276-940-2674
Email:
Natural Tunnel State Park

Natural Tunnel State Park

Natural Tunnel State Park

Natural Tunnel State Park

The Commonwealth of Virginia acquired the tunnel and 100 surrounding acres in 1967 from the Natural Tunnel Chasm and Caverns Corp. to establish Natural Tunnel State Park. Approximately 750 additional acres were later acquired and the park opened in 1971.

Natural Tunnel, called the "Eighth Wonder of the World" by William Jennings Bryan, has been attracting sightseers to the mountains of southwestern Virginia for more than 100 years. Today it is the focal point of Natural Tunnel State Park, a park which offers visitors not only spectacular sights but also swimming, camping, picnicking, hiking, a visitor center, an amphitheater and interpretive programs.

The creation of Natural Tunnel began more than a million years ago in the early glacial period when groundwater bearing carbonic acid percolated through crevices and slowly dissolved surrounding limestone and dolomite bedrock. Then, what is now Stock Creek was probably diverted underground to continue carving the tunnel slowly over many centuries. The walls of the tunnel show evidence of prehistoric life, and many fossils can be found in the creek bed and on tunnel walls.
History of the Area
Daniel Boone was probably the first white man to see the tunnel. However, no one wrote of it until Lt. Col. Stephen H. Long explored the site in 1831 and published an article in a geology journal in 1832. The areas near the tunnel were mined for saltpeter during the Civil War. In 1890 the South Atlantic and Ohio Railroad arrived and, making use of the natural formation, laid tracks through the tunnel. In 1906 Southern Railway acquired the tracks and created a passenger line, the Natural Tunnel Line, that went through the tunnel. Large coal deposits were discovered in the area shortly thereafter, and although they no longer carry passengers, trains continue to this day to carry coal through Natural Tunnel.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Day-UseFishingyes
 Hiking Trailyes
 Picnickingyes
 Swimming Beachyes
CampingPrimativeyes
 Water/Electric Sitesyes
Accommodation Availability Calendars
Swimming
Complex includes a 5,400-square-foot pool, a large bathhouse, and a snack bar in the concession building. The pool opens daily Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. on weekends. In the summer, swimming is free for overnight guests in campsites, however it cannot be guaranteed should circumstances beyond the park's control require that swimming be closed. We do not give refunds for swimming to overnight guests under any circumstances.
Boats and RVs
Griffin Island Campground - Sevierville, TNBoat Rentals
Looking for something different Griffin Island is a family owned and family friendly 32 acre property that includes rental campers, full hook-up sites, and tent sites for rent on Douglas Lake. Griffin Island is your getaway from the mainstream but close enough to all the attraction of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.brPhone 866-461-4561
68.2 miles from park*


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Picnicking
Natural Tunnel State Park has five picnic shelters - three small and two large - for rent. They can be rented from 8 a.m. - dusk (all day). The shelters are available from March 1 - Nov. 30. Parking and swimming fees are not included in shelter rental (see above for details). Click here for park fees.

Cancellation policy: No refund within 14 days before reserved date. Before then, there's a cancellation fee.

Shelter 1 (small): This shelter accommodates up to 40. It's about 225 feet from the parking area and 500 feet from the nearest restroom and is not well suited for handicapped customers. It includes eight 6-foot tables, a 36 by 36-inch grill, a water fountain and an electrical outlet.

Shelter 2 (small): This shelter accommodates up to 40 and is well suited for kids as it's just over 300 feet away from the playground. It's about 150 feet from the parking area and 275 feet from the nearest restroom. It includes eight 6-foot tables, a 36 by 36-inch grill, a water fountain and an electrical outlet.

Shelter 3 (large - 30 by 40 feet): This shelter, which overlooks the valley, accommodates up to 100. It features horseshoe pits, swings nearby, portable toilet units, a water fountain-spigot, electrical outlets, 16 six-foot picnic tables, a deck with another six tables and a 36 by 36-inch grill. People and supplies can be ferried to and from the parking lot, which is about 150 feet away, however cars must afterwards return to the parking lot.

Shelter 4 (small): This shelter, well suited for the handicapped and built by the Manville Ruritan Club, comfortably accommodates up to 30. It features fixed tables designed for wheelchair accessibility. It's about 160 feet from the playground, 50 feet from the parking lot and 20 feet from the restroom. It includes a 36 by 36-inch grill.

Shelter 5 (large - 30 by 60 feet): This shelter, the park's largest, was built by the Duffield Lions Club and accommodates up to 150. There are 20 six-foot picnic tables, two "Texas style" grills, horseshoe pits, a water fountain, electrical outlets, a sand volleyball court and a 230-foot paved walkway, easing accessibility. It's 280 feet from the parking area, 230 feet from the volleyball court, 180 feet from the restroom and 390 feet from the playground. Caterers may use the shelter's back entrance but must arrange for such access with park staff beforehand.
Trails
Natural Tunnel State Park offers seven walking trails, the longest one being 1.1 miles long. These trails lead to the unique features of the park: the tunnel floor, Lover's Leap, Tunnel Hill and Gorge Ridge. A 500-foot boardwalk and observation deck provide accessibility to guests with disabilities. Most trails are open to mountain bikes with bike rentals available at the campground host campsite.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
March 5 Wonderful! by Carrie
My daughter and I had a girls weekend out and visited here on a whim. It was so beautiful. My daughter is 10 so she is not an experienced hiker and the trails were not to hard for her. The tunnel itself was breath taking. Cant wait to take the rest of the family here soon!
October 14 Our favorite Virginia State Park by shypussekat
My husband and I camp hosted at several VA state parks and Natural Tunnel became our favirute. We love the atmosphere and the people working at Natural Tunnel. We enjoyed the special events, hiking the trails and the beauty of the surrounding area. The rangers there are truly some of the best, especially Ishmael Richardson. Since my husband has been sick for several years, we have not been able to go camping and we do miss all those friends we made there.


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Griffin Island Campground - Sevierville, TNCampgrounds
Looking for something different Griffin Island is a family owned and family friendly 32 acre property that includes rental campers, full hook-up sites, and tent sites for rent on Douglas Lake. Griffin Island is your getaway from the mainstream but close enough to all the attraction of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.brPhone 866-461-4561
Web Site: griffinisland.net
68.2 miles from park*
Nolichuckey Bluffs Bed and Breakfast Cabins - Greeneville, NCCottages and Cabins
Nestled in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains near historic Greeneville, Tennessee, Nolichuckey Bluffs offers a relaxing escape with East Tennessee hospitality.
Web Site: tennessee-cabins.com
42.3 miles from park*
Area Resources
Virginia Wilder Real Estate, LLC - Rose Hill, VARealtor
Virginia Wilder Real Estate, LLC has been voted The Best Real Estate Agency in the Tri-State area. Virginia Wilder Real Estate, LLC offers the latest technology, uses the resources the real estate industry has to offer and is ready to serve YOU Give Tina Jirava a call toll free 877-237-8208 ext 1.
Web Site: vwilderrealestate.com/
34.8 miles from park*
Nolichuckey Bluffs Bed and Breakfast Cabins - Greeneville, NCWedding Facilities
Nestled in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains near historic Greeneville, Tennessee, Nolichuckey Bluffs offers a relaxing escape with East Tennessee hospitality.
Web Site: tennessee-cabins.com
42.3 miles from park*
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Directions
Natural Tunnel State Park is in Scott County, approximately 13 miles north of Gate City and 20 miles north of Kingsport, Tenn.. To get there, from I-81, take U.S. 23 North to Gate City (approximately 20 miles). Take State Route 871 and go one mile east to park entrance.

USA Parks
Virginia
Southwestern Region
Natural Tunnel State Park
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