Few places within a half hour’s drive of Staunton could hold a candle to the unique beauty of Natural Chimneys Park and Campground.
This Mt. Solon day park with an overnight camping option is a photographers’ dream. From the inspiring limestone chimney rock formations to the crystal clear North River that runs along the cool green, well-manicured grounds, the park offers a restful respite that seems like a time out of the Jurassic Period (no velociraptors!).
It’s hard to imagine, but the Shenandoah Valley was once the floor of a great inland sea. Centuries ago, as that sea receded, the forces of nature carefully etched out an awe-inspiring formation of solid rock. The seven Natural Chimneys tower as much as 120 feet above the pastoral terrain of the Shenandoah Valley, offering onlookers a sight unrivaled, in majesty.(Augusta County, Virginia Things to do)
We had the pleasure of volunteering this past June for the annual Redwing Roots Music Festival which takes place on the park grounds. This three-day family friendly event brings thousands of gentle folks of all ages together for a multi-stage music extravaganza. Volunteers get free admission in exchange for their efforts – well worth the time investment!
Fossilized sea creatures are trapped for all time in the limestone hillsides. Caves and sinkholes abound, and hiking trails make this a nice place to explore. Campers of all sorts congregate here in the warmer months on the 145 sites – with “glamping” options to areas for more rudimentary tent dwellers.
Follow up a hike to the top of the chimneys for that view, followed by a picnic on the grounds below. The park is operated by Augusta County, and park officials report campers from as far away as California, Maine, and Florida.