Sunday, June 30, 2024

Natural Tunnel State Park June 23-29, 2024


Day 1, Sunday, June 23, 2024


Travel Day! We traveled from Danville VA to Duffield VA by taking 
58W to I77 North and then I81 South. 
Take exit 74B toward Kingsport/I-81-ALT S onto US-11W S (Highway 11 W). 
Take ramp onto N John B Dennis Hwy (TN-93 N) toward Hospital.
Continue on Wadlow Gap Hwy
Turn right onto US Highway 23 N (US-23 N).
Natural Tunnel is on the right.

After setting up the site we had our Sunday evening camp sandwich.


We had purchased one load of firewood and I split it and started a fire.

Day 2, Monday, June 24, 2024


We started the day off with a good breakfast of eggs, sausage, blueberry muffins and apple.

We drove to Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing Va. 

We learned a lot about the Wilderness Road and how settlers used it to travel west through the Cumberland Gap. Here at Wilderness Road there was a settlement called Martin's Fort that was a safe refuge for those traveling the road.

After hiking around the settlement, we took to the Wilderness Trail and walked for a couple miles. We also observed the buffalo that graze in the field nearby.

After we left Wilderness Road State Park, we drove to Cumberland Gap. We went to the visitor center and watched a video and went through the museum before driving up to the Pinnacle Overlook.



We hiked around the overlook and were just amazed at the wonders of God's creation.

After leaving the park, we went to the small town of Cumberland Gap. We visited an Antique Store and then had a break at the Gap Creek Coffee House and Cafe.

After getting back to camp, we just sat around and I wrote in my journal. We had Cracker Barrel meatloaf and mac-n-cheese for dinner.

Another picture of our site.

We decided to make popcorn this evening instead of making smores.

Day 3, Tuesday, June 25, 2024

For breakfast this day we had scrambled eggs, bacon, protein waffles and fruit.


The house is full of artifacts and history about the town of Big Stone Gap and how coal played such a role in the towns' history. 

Here are some pictures of just a few of the items in the museum.





After the museum, we went to the Big Stone Gap Visitors Center. The folks there were very helpful and had plenty of information about things to do in the area. We rented two electric bikes and rode the trail around the town.

Upon returning to camp, we ate supper. We had Sunday Fried Chicken from Cracker Barrel.

I worked on my crossword puzzle, and we just relaxed around the fire.

Day 4, Wednesday, June 26, 2024

We started the day with breakfast burritos and a nap before heading out to Clinch River State Park.

We arrived at the park and started our hike along the Sugar Run Trail. 

We stopped for a rest at a shelter built as an Eagle Scout project. This was by the ruins of a cabin that was the first built in this part of Virginia.

We also saw a lot of wildlife along this trail. A deer, a milk snake and a box turtle to name a few.

After hiking the trail we visited the nearby town of St. Paul Va. Our first stop was the Coffee Station

Our next stop was the Clinch Life Outfitters, where we met Daniel. He is a wealth of information about the area and is happy to share it. We had to go pick up some groceries and the local spot was Food Country in Duffield VA. 

For dinner, we had NY Strip steak and a tossed salad.

Some fun around the camp site tonight.

Day 5, Thursday, June 27, 2024

Today started with a breakfast of egg, kielbasa sausage, cinnamon rolls and fruit. 

We left for Breaks Interstate State Park, the one furthest from our camp. After a visit to the Visitor Center we started our tour with the Tunnel Overlook. 

Our next stop is the Stateline Overlook and we were able to see three states from this overlook.

Our second stop was the Geological and Ridge Trail. We started the Geological Trail and we were both amazed at the rock formations and the wonder of God's creation.

There was climbing and fun.


More Fun.

The Ridge Trail was a nice hike after the Geological Trail.



Next stop was the Towers overlook. Pictures just does not do this place justice.

On the drive back we stopped in Big Stone Gap and at supper at Curklins and finished the meal with chocolate cake. 

We then made our way to the live outdoor drama, The Tale of the Lonesome Pine. If you are ever in the area, do not miss this show.

Day 6, Friday, June 28, 2024

Started this day with a breakfast bowl of eggs, bacon, sausage and veggie tots.

Our first stop was the Daniel Boone Interpretive Museum.

We spent the rest of the day in our home park, Natural Tunnel State Park
We started with a hike down to the tunnel.

The chasm that the train tunnel is in was awesome. 

Here is a video of the coal train going into the tunnel.

We decided to ride the chairlift back to the top of the tunnel, but we ended up riding it several more times this day.

We decided to take the Lover Leap trail to the overlook. 

After this walk, we went back down to the tunnel, then the creek. 

For dinner, we had chicken tenders, broccoli and tater tots.  Afterward, we went to the campground welcome fire meet and greet.