One of the most amazing natural wonders in Southwest VA has to be the tunnel at Natural Tunnel State Park, Duffield, VA. The first time I saw the tunnel, I was left speechless (not an easy accomplishment, I might add).
The park wants everyone to be able to experience that feeling of awe. So, they created the Tunnel Trail which leads to the tunnel from the Visitor Center in the park. The gravel trail is .3 miles long. But don’t let the length fool you, the trail is considered difficult because of the slope.
The park also realized that everyone was not going to be able to walk such a trail, so they put in a chair lift. The chair lift runs between the trail head at the Visitor Center to the tunnel some 350 ft. below. If you want to hike one way and ride the other, that is fine too. There is a small fee for the chair lift but the experience is more than worth it. The chair lift will be open on weekends in May until Memorial Day. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the chair lift will be open 7 days a week until Labor Day. After Labor Day until the end of October, it will go back to only being open on weekends.
If you want to get away for the weekend, Natural Tunnel State Park has 2 campgrounds and 10 cabins available for rent. If a day trip is more for you, the park has five picnic shelters available to rent. They are perfect for family or class reunions too.
Natural Tunnel State Park, 1420 Natural Tunnel Parkway. Duffield, VA 24244-9361; Phone: (276) 940-2674; email: naturaltunnel. Learn more about park offerings by calling 1-800-933-PARK or email resvs. Be sure to specify the park of interest.