Saturday, October 6, 2012

Places of Geologic Significance - Natural Chimney Regional Park - Mt. Solon, VA

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Natural Chimney Regional Park
Mt. Solon, VA
Topic: Places of Geologic Significance

GPS: N38° 21.495; W079° 04.985

Quick Description: 

Unusual limestone columns rise 120 feet from the valley floor.

Long Description:

About 500 million years ago this area of the Shenandoah Valley, in western Virginia, was under a shallow sea. Limestone deposits accumulated and hardened as water deposited calcium and iron and sponges secreted a silicon like substance. The resulting material is referred to as chert. Due to the tectonic forces that created the Appalachian Mountains the land rose and the sea retreated. The action of wind and water eroded the surrounding softer layers of rocks leaving behind these hardened limestone towers or "chimneys". The seven columns that comprise the natural chimneys rise from 60 to 120 feet above ground level, elevation 1348 ft. and have the appearance of medieval towers. Tunnels through their bases augment this illusion.

The park is owned and maintained by Augusta County. It has a campground, pavilion and performance stage. In August an annual jousting tournament is held on the park grounds.

94 Natural Chimneys Lane
Mt. Solon, VA 22843

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