Natural Tunnel Christmas Lights

Big things are popping, or should I say lighting up at the Natural Tunnel in Duffield, Virginia.


Imagine this, at more than 850 feet long and 10 stories high, the Natural Tunnel, which was naturally carved through a limestone ridge over thousands of years, totally decked out for Christmas! The Natural Tunnel is a very cool place to check out any time of the year, but for limited visits during the Christmas season, it becomes a little more epic.





I'm talking firepits, marshmallow roasting, hot cocoa drinking, chair lift riding, live music, historical awesomeness, and thousands of Christmas lights throughout this park.


It will cost only $5 per vehicle to have access to all this awesomeness. The chair lifts are an additional $5 per person round trip or $4 a person one way. Please keep in mind, friends, this is a limited-time event leading up to Christmas. Available dates are Fridays and Saturdays, starting Nov 26 through Dec 18 from 6 to 10 pm.


Upon arrival, you will be directed to the picnic area for parking and there you will pay. They have shuttles that come and go every few minutes from the parking area to the visitor center parking lot.


While they're not the star of the show, there are Christmas lights to enjoy on your way to the visitor center and I personally appreciated the Christmas jams they were playing on the bus. It was a nice little touch.


The visitor center is open to enjoy and from this parking area, you can access the chair lifts.





You can also access the lights by hiking down the Tunnel Hill Trail. This trail is just adjacent to the Visitor Center. The trail is about 0.8 miles long and is rated as moderate in difficulty. While the descent is easy, the climb up can be challenging. I would not recommend this path for people who have knee and foot issues as there was a fair amount of steps to navigate.





This is me somewhat regretting my decision to hike as people in chair lifts cruised by. I wanted some good heart-pumping exercise and I definitely got my cardio in, as did the 40 other people who were huffing and puffing along with us.





At the base, you can go right on the chair lift platform and find porta-potties and the start of the Carter Cabin Trail. This trail is a very easy walk. You'll cross this bridge pictured below, just before reaching the cabin.





This was actually my favorite spot, it wasn't overcrowded, there was a nice and warm bonfire going. The cozy fire and the gentle hum of the river made this a nice place to chill. They were also doing some storytelling here.





If you go left from the chair lift platform, you'll walk the path towards the tunnel. Which is adorned in Christmas lights with multi color arches.





On the observation platform/boardwalk you can expect things in this area to start getting a little more crowded, as this is where most of the activities are located. Here you will find a concession stand area, selling a variety of snacks and treats. Also, this is where you can purchase your return chair lift ticket if you decide to forgo the hike back up.



Looking down from a viewing platform.



There were also several heat lamps, photo ops, and a Santa letter-writing area for kiddos. There are two or three fire pits with chairs all around, where people were roasting marshmallows and making smores. There was no live music playing while we were there, however, Christmas music still played throughout the entire park.





From the bottom of the tunnel you'll notice a star perched atop Lovers Leap. I, unfortunately, couldn't get a good photo of this, so you'll just have to look for it on your walk or ride down into the tunnel.


Remember guys, it's limited time and only on Fridays and Saturdays. So, if it sounds like something you'd like to check out, don't delay. Merry Christmas!!



As always, keep it safe, keep it cool, and stay curious.




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