The Channels Natural Area Preserve

Alert: changes to usage of The Channels Natural Area Preserve

The parking lot off Virginia Highway 80 will be limited to 10 vehicles at one time. Visitors are asked to come back later should the lot be full when they arrive. Parking will not be permitted along Highway 80. “No parking” signs have been posted, and violators will be ticketed.

We appreciate your cooperation. See this press release for more information

The Channels Natural Area Preserve is a 721-acre Natural Area Preserve located just 45 minutes from Abingdon, VA.

A 3-mile hike in on an old logging road brings you to the Great Channels of Virginia, impressive formations of 400-million-year-old sandstone outcroppings. Geologists conclude that the Channels were likely formed while the high-elevation sandstone cap was under the influence of permafrost and ice wedging during the last ice age. These forces shattered and enlarged joints in the sandstone caprock.

The hike also includes views of the Clinch Mountain range, and the remains of a fire tower (not open to the public), as well as rare and imperiled plant species protected by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The Brumley Gap trail is a 7-mile in and out hike.  Find multiple parking locations off of the Brumley Gap Road entrance. 

Download a trail map (PDF) Our complete guide to The Great Channels Natural Area Preserve
The Channels hikers 1 courtesy of VTC
Channels low res
The Channels courtesy of VTC 2