One of my favorite things about my job is that I get to visit our beautiful state parks from time to time. I am half way through a marathon of meetings in southwest Virginia (ten days) and arrived this afternoon at cabin 11 at Natural Tunnel State Park. I'm here for the Virginia State Parks Managers' Meeting having just finished being part of the Virginia Association for Parks meeting.
Cabin 11 is a two bedroom accessible cabin in the "new style" of cabins we built thanks to the 2002 State Park and Natural Area General Obligation Bond.
I always feel just a little guilty when I stay at one of the ten Natural Tunnel cabins because they are the only park that has actually decorated the cabins. We had planned to decorate all of the others but I won't bore you with the excuses as to why it has yet to be done. But, the Park Manager Craig Seaver and his staff took matters in their own hands.
Our new two and three bedroom cabins feature a great room with a living area and kitchen. All of the cabins at Natural Tunnel have gas logs (at our other parks with new cabins only the family lodges have gas logs).
One bedroom features a queen sized bed and the other unique aspect of the Natural Tunnel State Park cabins – a Tempur-Pedic(R) mattress. Thanks to a partnership with the Tempur-Pedic factory in Duffield, Virginia, all of our queen and twin beds in the park feature the Tempur-Pedic mattress line. The second bedroom has two sets of bunk beds. Alas, Tempur-Pedic does not make a bunk bed mattress.
The cabin's porch runs along two sides of the cabin and features a lovely mountain view, particularly on this sunny fall afternoon. Rocking chairs make the porch even more inviting.
LOCATION: Natural Tunnel State Park is in Scott County, about 13 miles north of Gate City and 20 miles north of Kingsport, Tenn.. To get there, from I-81, take U.S. 23 North to Gate City (about 20 miles). The turn-off to the park is at mile marker 17.4 on Rt. 23. Take Natural Tunnel Parkway about one mile east to park entrance.
Drive Time: Northern Virginia, eight hours; Richmond, six hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, eight to nine hours; Roanoke, three and a half hours
Click here for a Google Map. Latitude, 36.696984. Longitude, -82.738577.
Reservations can be made up to eleven months in advance and up to the day before arrival by calling the Virginia State Parks reservation and information center at 800-933-7275. The center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed all state holidays). Reservations can also be made 24 hours a day on line by clicking here. A week's stay is required from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day except within one month of arrival. A standard two night minimum stay applies all other times.
Click here for details on reservation cancelation and transfer policies. A fee is charged per pet per night for overnight stays.