The Great Channels

On a recent trip back home to the southwestern part of Virginia, some of our Tribe took a hike with their Poppaw Ferguson to The Channels Natural Area Preserve. The Great Channels features a maze of slot canyons similar to what’s found in the southwestern United States. We think the Channels State Forest is one of Virginia’s best kept secrets and most singular natural wonders. Located in the designated 721-acre preserve, the Great Channels are a 20-acre labyrinth of sandstone formed along the 4,208-foot crest of Middle Knob, the high point of Clinch Mountain.  The 6.6 mile hike is well worth it!

The Hayters Knob Fire Tower, may be out of commission for now, but the structure has a rich history. The lookout was built by Franklin Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps in 1939, one of many fire towers constructed throughout the country in that decade. The fire tower was operational for just over three decades, finally retired in 1970.

If you decide to do this hike, wear reliable shoes and have your camera ready!

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