Hiking and Biking
Natural Chimneys has over 2.5 miles of combined hiking and biking trails. Approximately one (1) mile of this trail system is level and considered easy for both walking and biking. This trail meanders along the borders of the park, in and out of hardwood stands. The park borders the North River, giving the hiker a cool and refreshing walk beside calm waters when the river is running. Unfortunately, the river retreats underground at times in the summer due to low levels.
The remainder of the trails is on steep hills and ridges, and is of medium difficulty. There are overlooks giving a peek back down into the valley below and displaying the unimpeded western view from the top of the Natural Chimneys themselves. At this time these trails are suitable for hikers and advanced mountain bikers only.
Numerous wildflowers and wildlife is observable while using either trail. It is not uncommon to see a chipmunk or grey squirrel busy about the task of finding food or hear a songbird singing about the morning or an owl ‘hooting’ about its perch in the dark. White tail deer, wild turkey, and the occasional black bear have been sighted on the park. In fact, Natural Chimneys is included as an observation site for the Mountain Trail of the Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail System. Click here for more details from the state's Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.
With approximately ¾ mile of frontage on the North River, native trout waters, the park offers very easily accessible fishing holes. A license, issued by the State of Virginia, is required to fish and all state regulations and limits are applicable. Throughout the fall, winter, and spring, the river is stocked with trout by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Please check their website here regarding interest you may have in the stocking schedules.
This portion of the North River traditionally experiences low levels in the summer and retreats to flow underground in the months of June, July, August, and most of September. This section of the river is not navigable by canoe or kayak at any time of year.
Basketball and Volleyball
A half court, hard-surfaced basketball court is located in the front activity filed of the park just west of the swimming pool. This court is available for general use during park hours.
A grass-surface volleyball court is located in the activity/rec field of the campground and available to all campers. A second volleyball court is located between Shelter #1 and Shelter #2 and is first available to rentals and then to any general use during park hours.
Balls are not provided by the park, or any other equipment in addition to posts, rims and nets.
A small playground including swings can be found within the campground, at the south end. This playground is available for general use but placed to cater to all those camping. Equipment and structures are designed for children’s use and adult supervision is requested.
This seventy-five yard straight track with three evenly spaced timber frames is used exclusively for Jousting tournaments, exhibits, and practice throughout the year. The track is cooperatively maintained by the Natural Chimneys Jousting Club, the National Jousting Association, and the park staff. Bleachers are provided for spectators and the track is lit for post-dusk rides.
This track hosts two annual special events. The first is the National Hall of Fame Jousting Tournament in June. The second is the Natural Chimneys Jousting Tournament. This tournament is the oldest, continuously held sporting event in North America, outliving the Kentucky Derby and the World Series. To find out more about these annual special events, the history of the sport of jousting, and its timeless link to Natural Chimneys please click here.