The Natural Chimney–500 million years of history in the Shenandoah Valley

Week 3 of the Funnest Summer Ever!!! kicked off with a trip to the Natural Chimneys in Mt Solon. At a mere 500 million years old, the chimneys are a sight to behold and a treasure trove for geologists.  They were first formed when the Valley was under the sea and over years, with the help of volcanoes, shifting plates and water, the chimneys took shape.

NaturalChimneys

Natural Chimneys

Kids and the Natural Chimneys

We’ve been studying geology and the kids loved looking over the chimneys and in the caves to see if they could find any fossils.

Fossils--Natural Chimneys

The Chimneys are an anchor to a recreational park that offers camping, a junior olympic pool, playgrounds, shelters, horseshoe pits, and an occasional jousting match.  Yes, jousting.  There is also an event stage and the Natural Chimneys is home to the Red Wing Roots Festival.

Natural Chimneys Playground

Natural Chimneys Pool

Natural Chimneys Shelter

The kids spent over an hour and a half running, exploring, and playing.  We then settled down for lunch.  After our bellies were full, we loaded the kids back into our cars and headed home.  Needless to say, naps were a given.

Kids Eating at Natural Chimneys

The Details:

  • Cost: Free for exploration, there is a fee for camping
  • There may or may not be someone working the front gate
  • There are bathrooms (and showers).  They aren’t bad.
  • Located 16 miles northwest of Staunton

Have you been to the Natural Chimneys?  What did you think?

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