A little hidden gem, know as Channels State Forest, in Washington and Russell County VA is a place that feels like stepping back in time...at least that is how I felt. The forest is a preserve that is home to "The Great Channels of Virginia sandstone outcrop" according to the website.
We both agreed that this had to be one of the coolest things we had visited/explored in Virginia. It took us hiking about 4 miles (we think) to get here but beyond worth it. And when I say hike I mean mostly uphill. If you visit follow Rt. 80 from Abingdon to the top of the mountain. There is a small parking area on the right that has a very small marker indicating it's a natural wildlife trail. When we got there I actually passed it because I didn't see anything telling me it was for the forest. We just took a chance went back and started hiking the trail. We eventually came across a map indicating we were a few miles from "the Channels". We only ran into other people once we actually got into the formations-and they were on their way out.
Right before getting into the channels you come to an old fire tower that is no longer in use. If you make the journey up to this area...be sure to check out the views...they are breath taking.
It was a special trip and I'm glad I got to make some magical memories with Tommy.