Parks are only for summer hikes, picnics and swims, right? This is not true anymore. Virginia State Parks are open all year and provide a great way to celebrate the holidays!
If you are like my family, we are always looking for a way to merge old traditions with new ones. A trip to southwest Virginia may be your answer. Three of the parks located in the far southwest region of the Commonwealth, Wilderness Road, are located close together. The weekend of November 30 – December 1, 2012 is full of Christmas excitement.
This park is located inDuffield, Virginia andwould make a perfect “base camp” for your weekend. The park has 10 cabins that are both beautiful and convenient. The cabins range from two bedrooms sleeping six up to a six bedroom lodge sleeping 16. All the cabins have a full kitchen, bathrooms and a gas log fireplace. Linens, cookware, and utensils are all included. A two night minimum is required. Cabin reservations can be made online.
Cabin 11 at Natural Tunnel State Park
Our smallest state park is located in Big Stone Gap, Virginia andis just 30 minutes from Natural Tunnel. It offers several opportunities for celebration. From November 11 – December 31, 2012 the park is hosting the annual Festival of Trees. The Museum is lined with over 80 trees decorated by local civic groups and organizations. On December 1, a special night lighting of the Christmas trees will also be available.
Saturday, December 1, 2012 the day will begin with Breakfast with the Grinch. Come out and find The Grinch and Cindy Lou-Who will join visitors as they feast on green eggs and ham while reading the story of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Seating is limited for this event and pre-registration is required.Click herefor more reservation and pricing information.
That same evening, the Museum will also host the monthly Community Coffee House. The event features local talent in song, poetry, and storytelling. This event is free, for more information,click here.
The Festival of Trees at the Southwest Virginia Museum
This park is located in Ewing, Virginia and is about an hour and 30 minutes from Natural Tunnel. This park is known for its living history events, and they will be having a Frontier Christmas. The event will include music, dance and caroling. A candle lit tour of the Martins Station Fort will also be available. This is a chance to see how Christmas was celebrated in the 1770’s! Click here for more information.
A Frontier Christmas at Wilderness Road State Park
Back at Natural Tunnel State Park on Decemeber 1, 2012 is the Lighting of the Tunnel. Twinkling lights and local music will welcome guests as they ride the chairlift to the mouth of the tunnel. Follow the lit trial to the platform to find it all including a cozy fire and hot chocolate.
The Lighting of the Tunnel at Natural Tunnel State Park
To find more information about these Christmas events or the events in a park close to you, click here.
The award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
For more information about Virginia State Park activities and amenities or to make reservations in one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.