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 a campground, swimming pool, hiking, chair lift, picnic area, canoe trips, cave exploration, campfire programs, geo-ranger programs, a visitor center, and an 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 800-933-7275.
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-feet diameter and 4-feet wide metal wheel that generates approximately 30 horsepower at maximum operating capacity. The mill has been restored to full operational 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.
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. The festivals and events hosted at the Fold are family oriented and no alcohol is permitted. 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.
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 1700s. The Fort is now privately owned; however, it can be viewed from the roadside.
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 "hometown" atmosphere.
The beautiful Clinch River flows through Scott County. View a map of Scott County Clinch River Access Points (PDF).
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. For more information, call 276-452-4520.