On Tuesday, July 1st, 2014, we took a Day Ride. Our destination was the Natural Tunnel State Park in Southwest Virginia.
Jeff kicks off our ride with this short video:
We took off from our home in North Knoxville at 9:45 am. We rode north on Broadway stopping briefly to fuel up and grab some snacks for the trip. We continued north on Broadway, rode through Halls, and continued on 33 through Maynardville.
We stopped briefly at the marina off 33 to eat a snack.
From the marina, we continued north on 33 to Tazewell. In Tazewell we took 25E north which took us through Harrogate and then into Cumberland Gap. We rode into Cumberland Gap and took a few photos.
From the Gap we rode into Virginia on 58.
Highway 58 is a wide four lane road that runs parallel to the Cumberland Mountains. We continued on 58 through Jonesville, then stopped at a scenic overlook in Stickleyville, VA.
Jeff discusses our ride so far in this short video:
We then rode onto Duffield and into the Natural Tunnel State Park.
The Natural Tunnel is described on the Natural Tunnel website as follows: More than 850 feet long and as tall as a 10-story building, Natural Tunnel was naturally carved through a limestone ridge over thousands of years. William Jennings Bryan called it the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”
The park has a $3.00 per bike admission fee and a $3.00 per person chair lift fee. The view of the Natural Tunnel is well worth the admission fee! Look at our photos and videos to get a great sense of this wonderful site and then make plans to go yourself.
Video of the chairlift ride:
Jeff talks about the Tunnel in this video:
Jeff shoots another video:
Video of chairlift leaving the Tunnel site:
After gawking at the Natural Tunnel, we visited the Museum before heading off to lunch. We truly enjoyed our visit here and were absolutely blown away by the beauty and wonder of the Natural Tunnel.
We had lunch at the Red Stone Drive In which is only about a mile from the park entrance.
When you go to the Natural Tunnel, be sure to visit The Red Stone In. The folks are friendly and the food is great.
After lunch, we took 23 south, stopping briefly in downtown Gate City, Virginia.
We continued on 23 south into Kingsport where we took 346. 346 took us through Mount Carmel, then Church Hill and led us right to 11W.
We took 11W into Rogersville and continued on to Mooresburg where we took 31 north. 31 took us up and over Short Mountain with curves very similar to parts of the Dragon. After we descended down the other side of Short Mountain, we took 131 into Thorn Hill and then into Washburn.
From Washburn we continued south on 131 through Lutrell, Plainview and then back into Knoxville.
We got back home at 6:15pm and our total ride was 242 miles.
Here is our ride wrap up video:
If you enjoy taking Day Rides, put this one on your to do list!
See our entire list of Day Rides HERE.