Natural Tunnel State Park RV & Campground Guide

Virginia

Historians know that Daniel Boone was the first American settler to explore the southwest Virginia area and believe he came across this fantastic tunnel though he did not document it. Today, the tunnel is the centerpiece of Natural Tunnel State Park, a 909-acre site owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia and operated by the Norfolk-Southern Railway. The 850 feet long and 80 feet high tunnel runs beneath Purchase Ridge in the Allegheny Mountains close to Duffield, VA. The tunnel, created by the action of natural acids on limestone and the flow of Stock Creek when it drilled through the stone for thousands of years, is now a pathway for coal-laden railroad cars. Along with the tunnel, the park offers several trails ranging from easy to difficult. Many local visitors from Kingsport, TN, only 23 miles southeast, and Dryden, VA, 23 miles northwest, call the park their haven for picnics, fishing, hiking, and other fun activities.

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Weather
Spring 35-75 F
Summer 60-85 F
Fall 35-78 F
Winter 26-48 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Natural Tunnel State Park

There are several campgrounds around Natural Tunnel State Park in which RVs are welcome. Taking a vacation in an RV allows you the freedom of the road, the ability to move quickly, and the highest comfort level you can enjoy. After hiking, biking, fishing, or hunting, your RV is a respite where you relax completely. RV rentals near Natural Tunnel State Park are available now--check them out at RVshare.

Natural Tunnel State Park Campground

Natural Tunnel State Park Campground offers 34 RV campsites, divided between two campgrounds—Cove View and Lover’s Leap. Firewood and ice are available at the campground host site. A junior-sized Olympic pool and a 100-foot water slide are available to all campers. A volleyball net and horseshoe pits are available for some extra exercise. These campgrounds accommodate RVs up to 50 feet in length.

  • Water Hookup: Yes
  • Electric Hookup: 20/30/50 amps
  • Sewer Hookup: No
  • Wi-Fi Available: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, warm showers, dump station
  • Fee: $35 to $40 per night

Clinch River Family Campground

Clinch River Family Campground is a privately owned facility that rents out 45 RV campsites. Of these campsites, 25 provide full hookups, while 20 only offer electricity and water access. Situated on the Clinch River's shores, this campground has a boat launch for easy water access. To serve inexperienced anglers, the campground provides a fully stocked fishing pond. The campsites accommodate RVs up to 45 feet in length. A playground is available for children. The roads and site pads are graveled. Hiking trails run throughout the campground and surrounding area, but none of the trails are designated for biking. The main activities that draw visitors to this campground are fishing, swimming, kayaking, boating, and canoeing.

  • Water Hookup: Yes
  • Electric Hookup: 30/50 amp
  • Sewer Hookup: No
  • Wi-Fi Available: Yes
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, warm showers, fire rings, picnic tables, dump station
  • Fee: $30 to $40 per night

Jesse Lea RV Park

Jesse Lea RV Park is a small, family-owned campground set on the shores of the Powell River in Big Stone Gap, VA. The campground offers 35 RV campsites, seven of which are pull-throughs. Every campsite provides a full hookup. Jesse Lea RV Park prides itself on the extra effort they make to provide ADA accessibility to all its facilities. People visit this park for its solitude. In the evening, guests enjoy their favorite TV programs with cable piped into each site.

  • Water Hookup: Yes
  • Electric Hookup: 30/50
  • Sewer Hookup: Yes
  • Wi-Fi Available: Yes
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, warm showers, fire rings, picnic tables, dump station
  • Fee: $21 to $40 per night

RV Rentals Near Natural Tunnel State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Natural Tunnel State Park

Inside Natural Tunnel State Park

Walking through the tunnel is the beginning of a fascinating visit with the natural wonders that the Allegheny's provide. Natural Tunnel State Park includes a deep valley with a wandering stream called Stock Creek. The creek offers some fantastic fishing for native trout. On each side of the stream, hills rise steeply to become ridges—the signature nature of the Alleghenys. Hiking is one of the activities that draw locals to this park. There are seven trails inside the park.

Outside Natural Tunnel State Park

Many small communities surround Natural Tunnel State Park, which is technically in Virginia but is just north of Tennessee and just west of Kentucky. Restaurants and shops seem to spring up in hamlets like Duffield, VA. Shopping malls are more distant in larger cities like Kingsport, TN, where the population supports larger retail centers. Museums, long-distance trails, and state parks dot the countryside.

Restaurants

Curklin’s

Curklin’s provides an American menu for diners who prefer to eat in a family-friendly environment. Try their red pepper gouda for an intriguing taste that will please your palate.

Type: American

Location: 314 Wood Avenue, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219

Fusion

If you want to try out a Tex-Mex restaurant, drive 22 miles south of the park to visit the Fusion. Enjoy the taste of Texan cooking with a Mexican flair. Try the have-it-your-way burger for a meal that will energize you for hours.

Type: Tex-Mex

Location: 1704 East Stone Drive, Suite 110, Kingsport, TN 37660

Riverfront Seafood Company

For a great seafood experience, try eating at the Riverfront Seafood Company. Their fish and crustaceans are always cooked to perfection. Try the Captain's Platter to get a sample of all their wares; it will bring you back for more.

Type: Seafood

Location: 1777 Netherland Inn Road, Kingsport, TN 37660

Shopping

Fort Henry Mall

Fort Henry Mall houses 27 businesses, some local and others national franchises. Recognizable national brands, including Claire's and American Eagle Outfitters, are available in this mall.

Location: 2102 Fort Henry Drive, Kingsport, TN 37664

Walmart Supercenter

When you have a list of items to purchase and not much time, visit the Walmart Supercenter in Kingsport, TN. These stores satisfy nearly all the needs of family campers, including toys for the kids, medicines, and groceries.

Location: 3200 Fort Henry Drive, Kingsport, TN 37664

Sightseeing

Devil’s Bathtub and Waterfall

The Devil’s Bathtub and Waterfall is a scenic wonder. To get to the Bathtub and stunning waterfall, you must hike along the Devil's Fork Loop. Many make this hike to see a serene lake under a calm rock cliff, even when the wind is brewing.

Location: 1565 FS Begley, Fort Blackmore, VA 24250

Southwest Virginia Museum

The Southwest Virginia Museum houses over 60,000 artifacts, displays, and documents related to the history of southwest Virginia. Visiting this museum informs you of American explorers' early adventures in the area and the great "boom and bust" of the late 1800s when mining was king.

Location: 10 West First Street North, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219

Harry W. Meador, Jr. Coal Museum

To gain an understanding of the influence coal mining has on southwest Virginia, visit the Harry W. Meador, Jr. Coal Museum. Here, you see equipment used by coal miners, the health effects employment in the mines creates, and the environment in which miners work.

Location: The intersection of East Third Street North and Shawnee Avenue East, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219

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How to Get to
Natural Tunnel State Park

Many visitors to Natural Tunnel State Park come from the north and Lexington, KY, through Dryden, VA. To approach the park from Dryden via the swiftest route, head west on Dryden Loop for 0.9 miles. Turn right onto United States Highway 58 ALT-West (US-58 ALT-W). Drive for 3.7 miles and then turn left onto United States Highway 421 South (US-421 S). Go for 5.2 miles, and turn left to get on United States Highway 59 East (US-58 E). Take US-58 E for 10.6 miles before turning right onto United States Highway 23 South (US-23 S). Drive for 3.4 miles until you reach a junction just outside Clinchport, VA. Turn left onto State Route 871 at the intersection and travel for 1.3 miles until you see the Chairlift Loop sign. Turn right onto Chairlift Loop. The entrance to the park is 0.2 miles ahead.

Entering Natural Tunnel State Park

Natural Tunnel State Park is a day-use area that is open year-round from 8:00 a.m. until dusk.

Entry fee per vehicle : $5

You'll make memories that last a lifetime when you take an RV adventure to Natural Tunnel State Park. If you don't have an RV of your own, rent one with RVshare! If you share your trip photos on social media, be sure to tag us, or send them to [email protected] for a chance to be featured on our blog.