Shot Tower Historical State Park makes a great educational day trip from many of the SW Virginia State Parks. We almost didn't stop, but realized it was on the road heading out of New River Trail State Park (and is managed by this state park).
Shot Tower Historical State Park is fun to visit for an afternoon or picnic
Overlooking the New River, Shot Tower was built more than 150 years ago to make ammunition for the firearms of the early settlers. Lead from the nearby Austinville Mines was melted in a kettle atop the 75-foot tower and poured through a sieve, falling through the tower and an additional 75-foot shaft beneath the tower into a kettle of water. For a small fee, guests may ascend the tower which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Interpretive signs provide details on the tower.
Grounds are open from dawn until dusk. The parking lot is open year-round. The tower is open occasionally on weekends in the summer. Group tours are also available. Call the office for details (276) 699-6778.
Learn more about Shot Tower Historical State Park here.
This park is quite unique, and played a roll in history
The Shot Tower is perched high above the New River
Plan a visit to Shot Tower and bring a picnic lunch, there tables and restrooms available
This small state park has 10 acres for the kids to run around and kick a ball, or fly a kite
LOCATION: From I-77, take exit 24 and go north on Route 52 for two miles.
DRIVE TIME: Northern Virginia, six and a half hours; Richmond, five hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach: seven and a half hours; Roanoke, one and a half hours.
Drive time from other Virginia State Parks: New River Trail State Park is just a few minutes, Claytor Lake State Park 30 minutes, Hungry Mother State Park 53 minutes, Grayson Highlands State Park 1.5 hours, Fairy Stone State Park 1.5 hours. Click here for a map.
For a Google map click here.
CAMPING: Primitive camping is available about .2 miles along New River Trail. Call 800-933-7275 to make reservations.
TRAILS: Hiking at New River Trail State Park.