Shenandoah 2016 - pt4

Mount Solon Travel Blog

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National Chimneys Regional Park

Through what seemed a maze of winding roads up and down through some heavily forested countryside, Tong and I arrived a the Natural Chimneys Park in Mt. Solon, Virginia. I am not sure this place would be easy to find using a map or set of directions, but Siri on the iPad Maps app guided us well through all the twists, turns and road changes along the tree lined roads to the Park. Once we got there we were still not sure we had found it, but then there they were - The Natural Chimneys. There were only a few other people here when we arrived, so we essentially had the whole place to ourselves to enjoy the sights here and take some photos. I guess were were expecting that this would be something with a fair number of tourists about and there would be some fee to enter, but not so on both counts.

Natural Chimneys

Geologically, the Shenandoah Valley it was once part of an inland sea, which laid down limestone beds and is the origin of many of the limestone caverns found in the area. When the sea receded leaving the sea bed exposed to the elements, the forces of nature carved out formations in the limestone rock that resemble chimneys. From some perspectives they even resemble the castle turrets of a castle. In fact, since 1821 there have been a yearly jousting tournament held here in the National Chimneys Park. Modern day knights match their skills in the medieval art of jousting, but instead of trying to knock each other off their horses, they guide their lances through rings suspended from overhanging posts. It is believed to be the oldest continuously running sporting event in the United States, even older than the America's Cup (1851) and the Kentucky Derby (1875). There is an overlook trail through the woods 1/4 mile up to the area above the chimneys for enjoying a nature walk and the views from the overlook. It's rather a small overlook and not a fantastic view, but worth the trek up to see. With that we were finished and back on the road with the intent to visit one of the caverns in the area.

german_eagle says:
Exactly, a Cretaceous sea. Rough quartz sand, clay and fine marl sank and became lithified layer by layer. A compact sandstone sequence developed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbe_Sandstone_Mountains
Posted on: Nov 18, 2017
spocklogic says:
Was there an inland sea in what is now Germany back in the deep past? Cretaceous period maybe if you have the limestone formations.
Posted on: Nov 17, 2017
german_eagle says:
Still some nice colours. I have similar rock formations in my region, only it's sandstone here and not limestone :-) Love it!
Posted on: Nov 17, 2017
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National Chimneys Regional Park
National Chimneys Regional Park
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Scenic drive
Scenic drive
Scenic drive
Scenic drive
Scenic drive
Scenic drive
Mt. Solon, Virginia
Mt. Solon, Virginia
Spring Meadows Farm
Spring Meadow's Farm
Spring Meadows Farm
Spring Meadow's Farm
Spring Meadows Farm
Spring Meadow's Farm
Spring Meadows Farm
Spring Meadow's Farm
Spring Meadows Farm
Spring Meadow's Farm
Brian
Brian
Tong
Tong
Tong
Tong
Brian & Tong
Brian & Tong
Old church
Old church
tree lined roads
tree lined roads
Natural Chimneys park entry
Natural Chimneys park entry
Natural Chimneys - Arrival
Natural Chimneys - Arrival
Natural Chimneys - Welcome
Natural Chimneys - Welcome
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Tong & Brian
Tong & Brian
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
The Cyclopean Towers
The Cyclopean Towers
Some Autumn colors still remain
Some Autumn colors still remain
Brian
Brian
Tong
Tong
Brian
Brian
Tong & Brian
Tong & Brian
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys - rock arch
Natural Chimneys - rock arch
Tong
Tong
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Falling Rocks!
Falling Rocks!
A Molten Intruder
A Molten Intruder
Colors in the rocks
Colors in the rocks
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
Natural Chimneys
The Caves and Tunnels
The Caves and Tunnels
Cave
Cave
Tong
Tong
Tong
Tong
Brian
Brian
Tight squeeze this way
Tight squeeze this way
Tight squeeze that way
Tight squeeze that way
Tong
Tong
Exiting caves
Exiting caves
Brian
Brian
The Over Look Trail
The Over Look Trail
Tong
Tong
Brian
Brian
Tong
Tong
Hiking the trail upward
Hiking the trail upward
Brian
Brian
Hiking the trail upward
Hiking the trail upward
Hiking the trail upward
Hiking the trail upward
Hiking the trail upward
Hiking the trail upward
The Lookout
The Lookout
The Lookout
The Lookout
Mountain Hills
Mountain Hills
Top of the Natural Chimneys
Top of the Natural Chimneys
Tong & Brian
Tong & Brian
Tong
Tong
Hiking the trail downward
Hiking the trail downward
Hiking the trail downward
Hiking the trail downward
Remains of a structure
Remains of a structure
Remains of a structure
Remains of a structure
Wildlife warnings
Wildlife warnings
Back on the Road
Back on the Road
Scenic driving
Scenic driving
Mount Solon
photo by: spocklogic