The Great Channels - Hayters Gap, VA
Posted by: vhasler
N 36° 52.260 W 081° 58.789
17S E 412671 N 4081010
Quick Description: The Great Channels are named for the maze of large sandstone boulders and eroded crevices in the Channels Nature Area Preserve.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 3/21/2010 4:52:36 AM
Waymark Code: WM8E95
Called "Wind Tunnels" by locals, known as "The Crevices" by the Tennessee Eastman hiking club, but officially named the "Great Channels of Virginia" by the commonwealth.
Per a park brochure: "At the crest of the mountain, within the Natural Area Preserve, are 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 Channels are then a large maze of mostly passible crevices in the sandstone.
Geologists on the hike for the photos noted that the sandstone beach formed the series of mountain ranges spanning from Knoxville, TN up into New York state.
The government website given below is very out-of-date as the first ranger has transferred to another office. The parking lot has been constructed, thus regular access is now available. Per the park brochure: "The Channels State Forest is open from dawn to dusk and offers opportunities for hiking, wildlife watching, biking, horseback riding, hunting and picnicking."
One set of The Channels is located roughly 100 feet SWW of the Hayter firetower through a rhododendron thicket on Middle Knob. The primary access is from the parking lots off VA Route 689 (Brumley Gap Road) which is a 5.5 mile hike up the dirt "North-South" forest service road. The seasonally open parking lots may require a high clearance vehicle to shorten the hike distance. With prior landowner permission, a shorter 3 mile route may be possible via the dirt Raven Ridge Road and Channels Road East from Hayters Gap on Hwy VA80.
Waymark is confirmed to be publicly accessible: yes
Parking Coordinates: N 36° 49.682 W 081° 57.728
Access fee (In local currency): .00
Requires a high clearance vehicle to visit.: no
Requires 4x4 vehicle to visit.: no
Public Transport available: no
Website reference: [Web Link]
No specific requirements, just have fun visiting the waymark.