ATTRACTIONS and RECREATION

   

NATURAL TUNNEL STATE PARK , called the "Eighth Wonder of the World" by William Jennings Bryan, has been attracting visitors to the mountains of Southwest Virginia for more than 100 years.   Today, it is the focal point of Natural Tunnel State Park, an 850-acre park owned and operated by the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The 850-foot-long Natural Tunnel is more than one million years old.  The Norfolk Southern Rail System uses the track that winds through the natural tunnel on a daily basis.  Visitor access to the tunnel is by a hiking trail or a chair lift.  Once you make the 530-foot descent, a 500-foot boardwalk and observation deck are provided-both accessible to physically-challenged visitors.  

Natural Tunnel State Park has a lot to offer that will keep you busy and entertained.  Such offerings include: campground, swimming pool, hiking,  chair lift, picnic area, canoe trips, cave exploration, campfire programs, geo-ranger programs, a visitor center, and amphitheater.  One of the newest features of Natural Tunnel State Park is the Cove Ridge Educational Center.  Cove Ridge is a beautiful lodge equipped with meeting rooms and classrooms that are ideal for school groups, retreats, etc.   Dorm-style lodging accommodations are connected to the main building.  A huge deck on the back of the lodge affords guests and visitors a breathtaking panoramic view of the mountains.  For more information, please contact the park at (276) 940-2674 or 800-933-PARK. 

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THE HOMEPLACE MOUNTAIN FARM AND MUSEUM is a collection of authentic structures and artifacts that were assembled here from their original locations throughout Scott County.  The buildings have been completely restored and furnished to period.  This is a replica of a working 1860's farm that brings to life the stories of yesteryear.  For more information, please call (276) 386-7027.

 

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BUSH MILL celebrated its 100th birthday in October, 1996.  The mill is situated on Amos Branch in the Nickelsville section of Scott County.  The mill has a 30' diameter and 4' wide metal wheel that generates approximately 30 horsepower at maximum operation capacity.   The mill has been restored to full operation capacity and operates at select festivals or by request.  When the mill is operating, a bag of stone ground corn meal may be purchased for consumption or as a souvenir.  For more information, please call (276) 479-2320.

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THE CARTER FAMILY FOLD AND MUSEUM offers families a retreat to bluegrass music.  The "Fold" as it is affectionately called, is operated to honor Scott County's famous folks - the Carter Family, A.P., Sara, and Maybelle - pioneers in country music.  Jeanette Carter, daughter of the late A.P. and Sara Carter, is still making music at the Fold, as well as, operating the weekend music festivals.  The festivals and events hosted at the Fold are family oriented and no alcohol is permitted.  Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash also make frequent visits to the musical events.  One such event is the annual music festival held the first weekend in August each year.  For more information, call the Carter Family Museum at (276) 386-6054.

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DANIEL BOONE WILDERNESS TRAIL is one of the nation's most historic routes.  The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail was blazed by the legendary frontiersman in 1775 from Long Island of the Holston at what is now Kingsport, Tennessee, through Scott and Lee Counties and Cumberland Gap of Virginia into Kentucky.   It would become the route for hundreds of thousands of settlers of the western frontier.  

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KILGORE FORT HOUSE was built by Robert Kilgore whose family was early settlers along the famous Wilderness Road, the Kilgore Fort House is the last standing structure of twelve forts extending from Castlewood, Virginia to Cumberland Gap serving as a refuge for early settlers from roaming bands of Indians during the late 1700's.   The Fort is now privately owned; however, it can be viewed from the roadside.

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RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES abound.  In addition to the above attractions, visitors can take advantage of our abundant natural resources by hiking, camping, swimming, canoeing, fishing, golfing, or just relaxing under a shade tree.  Scott County is also well-known for arts and crafts, and annual community events that reflect that "home town" atmosphere.

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