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Natural Tunnel August Events

As the summer months quickly pass by us, we find ourselves in August already. As the sounds of cicadas and katydids serenades us in the humid Southwest Virginia heat, you may be surprised that August is the most colorful summer month. While springtime has its infamous wildflowers, often times the late summer blooms are forgotten about. Between the vibrant red of the Cardinal flowers to the deep purple hues of Ironweed, the trails at Natural Tunnel are effervescent with nature’s color palette. Each Saturday in August, guided Wildflower walks will be offered. Beginning at 10 a.m. at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center, discover all of the late summer blooms found throughout the park and maybe in your very own backyard.

 

With late summer wildflowers blooming comes the chance to see more and more butterfly activity. Master Naturalist Chris Allyger, will lead a Butterflies of Southwest Virginia walk on Friday, August 10 at 9:30 a.m. Chris has had a passion for insects since his childhood which has led to his vast knowledge nowadays that he’d like to share with you. Meet at the Cove Ridge Center for a short talk on butterflies and then have the opportunity to go out in the field with Chris to view these fascinating pollinators up close.

 

Tri-Venture the Tunnel Challenge

Natural Tunnel is home to a variety of adventure programs. You can canoe or kayak on the Clinch River, explore two different caves within the park on a wild cave tour, and even hike into the north portal of the Tunnel on the Stock Creek Passage. To complete the challenge, you’ll have cross a river trip, cave trip, and Stock Creek Passage off your list. Once you’ve completed all three, you have officially Tri-Ventured the Tunnel and will receive a challenge sticker as a keepsake of your adventures at the park.

 

Touring the Galaxy

Due to the park’s unique location, the view of the night sky is truly remarkable. The park will host a night sky viewing party with volunteer, Ray O’Connor. Join us the second Saturday of each month June through August to get a tour of the galaxy. Meet at the Blockhouse parking lot at 8 p.m. for a shuttle service to the Gazebo.

 

Activities for All

Natural Tunnel is a hidden gem and we want everyone to enjoy the park. The park offers daily programming seven days a week ranging from paddling the Clinch River, going underground on a cave tour, to Welcome Campfires and night hikes. Try something new this summer or maybe even carry on a summer tradition. Make your summer a memorable one at Natural Tunnel State Park – we hope to see you there! For additional information or details about events and programs, contact the park office at 276-940-2674.

 

 July 30-August 12

 Monday

 10 a.m. – Jr. Naturalist  Kids come and discover all about  Natural Tunnel. Themes and activities change weekly. Wear clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting dirty or wet. Meet at Shelter 3.  Free  **August 6 only**

2 pm. – Poolside Science  Stop by the Interpreter’s table at the pool to discover something cool about Natural Tunnel State Park. Free

Tuesday

10 a.m. – Canorkel  Combine a canoe trip with snorkeling and you can say you have officially “canorkeled”  At a few points along the river, guests will have the opportunity to snorkel. Look for freshwater mussels, darters and other aquatic river life. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

2 p.m. – Critter Crawl  What’s under that rock? We’ll search the creek for underwater creatures and explain their roles in the environment. Wear closed-toed shoes and expect to get wet. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center. Free

Wednesday

10 a.m. – Jr. Naturalist  Kids come and discover all about  Natural Tunnel. Themes and activities change weekly. Wear clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting dirty or wet. Meet at Shelter 3. Free  **August 8 only**

2 p.m. – A Gawk in the Woods Join the interpreter on a scavenger hunt to find all of the colors, shapes and sizes that are found in nature. How many will you find? Meet at the Visitor Center. Free

Thursday

10 a.m. – Stock Creek Passage  View the tunnel from the inside out. This strenuous walk will include crossing boulders and rocks, just like the early adventurers. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

11 a.m. – Bird Beak Buffet  Just as we use different tools to eat different things, birds use their beaks in different ways based on what they eat too. Discover some unique bird adaptations. Meet at the Camp Store. Free

2 p.m. – Wild Cave Tour: Bolling Cave  Explore the underground world of caves in their true form. Crawl through crevasses and waddle through tunnels. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

Friday

9 a.m. – Hike This Way  Join park staff as they lead you on a hike pointing out things sometimes missed while hiking on your own. Meet at the Visitor Center. Free **August 3 only**

9:30 a.m. – Butterflies of Southwest Virginia. Join Master Naturalist Chris Allgyer for a talk on the variety of butterflies found in the area. Afterwards, enjoy a short walk in search of these fascinating insects. Meet at the Cove Ridge Center. Free **August 10 only**

 11 a.m. – Outdoor Skills  Start your morning learning how to survive in the outdoors using ordinary objects found around your home or in your camper. Meet at the Chairlift Area. Free

 1:00 p.m. – Tunnel Talk  As you enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the mouth of the tunnel, discover why this geologic phenomena is so unique. Meet at the Visitor Center. Free

 8:00 p.m. – Welcome Campfire  Spend time sharing stories by the glow of the fire. Enjoy fun games, singing songs and roasting a marshmallow as you hear the crackling of the fire. Meet at the Campground Fire Ring. Free

 Saturday

 8:30 a.m. – Cherokee Canoe Trip  Spend time floating 5.5 miles down the Clinch River. This section of water is designated less than a class I rapid. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

10 a.m. – Wild about Wildflowers  Enjoy a casual walk in the woods to discover the various wildflowers in bloom during the late summer season. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center. Free

2 p.m. – Stock Creek Passage  View the tunnel from the inside out. This strenuous walk will include crossing boulders and rocks, just like the early adventurers. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

2-4 p.m. Wilderness Road Blockhouse  The Blockhouse was built in the spring of 1775 on the North Fork of the Holston River by John Anderson. Tour a replica of the Anderson Blockhouse as members of the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association provide information about the history of the building and area. Free

6:30 p.m. – Fincastle Hayride  Take a step back in time as we travel along the historic Fincastle Turnpike. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Blockhouse Parking Lot.

8:00 p.m. – Touring the Galaxy  View the stars, from the gazebo, as they begin to illuminate the night sky.  Only flashlights with a red filter are permitted. Meet at the Blockhouse Parking Lot. Free  **August 11 only**

Sunday

8:30 a.m. – Boones Kayak Trip  Float in the path of early Native Americans and settlers as you travel down the Clinch River. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

10:00 a.m. – Crafting with Nature  Learn how Mother Nature can both inspire and help you create your next masterpiece. This program is geared for beginners but all ages are welcome. Meet at the Camp Store. Free

 2 p.m. – Poolside Science  Stop by the Interpreter’s table at the Pool to discover something cool about Natural Tunnel State Park.. Free

2-4 p.m. Wilderness Road Blockhouse  The Blockhouse was built in the spring of 1775 on the North Fork of the Holston River by John Anderson. Tour a replica of the Anderson Blockhouse as members of the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association provide information about the history of the building and area. Free

August 13-August 30

Monday

2 p.m. – Crafting with Nature  Learn how Mother Nature can both inspire and help you create your next masterpiece. This program is geared for beginners but all ages are welcome. Meet at the Camp Store. Free

 Tuesday

2 p.m. – Critter Crawl  What’s under that rock? We’ll search the creek for underwater creatures and explain their roles in the environment. Wear closed-toed shoes and expect to get wet. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center. Free

Wednesday

10 a.m. – Moth Madness  As the sun goes down, moths emerge for the night. Get an up close and look at the many different species of moths that call Natural Tunnel home. View their unusual colors and patterns that aid them to survive in nature. Meet at the Visitor Center.

 2 p.m. – A Gawk in the Woods Join the interpreter on a scavenger hunt to find all of the colors, shapes and sizes that are found in nature. How many will you find? Meet at the Visitor Center. Free

Thursday

10 a.m. – Stock Creek Passage  View the tunnel from the inside out. This strenuous walk will include crossing boulders and rocks, just like the early adventurers. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

2 p.m. – Wild Cave Tour: Bolling Cave  Explore the underground world of caves in their true form. Crawl through crevasses and waddle through tunnels. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

Friday

 11 a.m. – Outdoor Skills  Start your morning learning how to survive in the outdoors using ordinary objects found around your home or in your camper. Meet at the Chairlift Area. Free

1:00 p.m. – Tunnel Talk  As you enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the mouth of the tunnel, discover why this geologic phenomena is so unique. Meet at the Visitor Center. Free

8:00 p.m. – Welcome Campfire  Spend time sharing stories by the glow of the fire. Enjoy fun games, singing songs and roasting a marshmallow as you hear the crackling of the fire. Meet at the Campground Fire Ring. Free

Saturday

 8:30 a.m. – Cherokee Canoe Trip  Spend time floating 5.5 miles down the Clinch River. This section of water is designated less than a class I rapid. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

Saturday (continued)

10 a.m. – Wild about Wildflowers  Enjoy a casual walk in the woods to discover the various wildflowers in bloom during the late summer season. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center. Free

2 p.m. – Stock Creek Passage  View the tunnel from the inside out. This strenuous walk will include crossing boulders and rocks, just like the early adventurers. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

2-4 p.m. Wilderness Road Blockhouse  The Blockhouse was built in the spring of 1775 on the North Fork of the Holston River by John Anderson. Tour a replica of the Anderson Blockhouse as members of the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association provide information about the history of the building and area. Free

6:30 p.m. – Fincastle Hayride  Take a step back in time as we travel along the historic Fincastle Turnpike. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Blockhouse Parking Lot. **August 18 only**

7 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Lighting of the Tunnel  Take a lantern lit chairlift ride down to the naturally made tunnel at night. See flyer for details. Join the interpreters at 7 p.m. for a hike to Lover’s Leap before you head down to the Tunnel. Meet at the Visitor Center. **August 25 only**

Sunday

8:30 a.m. – Boones Kayak Trip  Float in the path of early Native Americans and settlers as you travel down the Clinch River. Pre-registration is required. For more information on age requirements and prices, contact the park office at 276-940-2674. Meet at the Stock Creek Interpretive Center.

10 a.m. – Crafting with Nature  Learn how Mother Nature can both inspire and help you create your next masterpiece. This program is geared for beginners but all ages are welcome. Meet at the Camp Store. Free

2 p.m. – Poolside Science  Stop by the Interpreter’s table at the pool to discover something cool about Natural Tunnel State Park. Free

 2-4 p.m. Wilderness Road Blockhouse  The Blockhouse was built in the spring of 1775 on the North Fork of the Holston River by John Anderson. Tour a replica of the Anderson Blockhouse as members of the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association provide information about the history of the building and area. Free

8p.m. – Full Moon Hike  Enjoy a guided hike to the Gazebo and be a part of a unique experience here at Natural Tunnel. This 1.2 mile hike will take place along a semi-moderate trail. Sturdy hiking shoes and a flashlight are recommended. Meet at the Blockhouse Parking Lot. **August 26 only** Free