Hiking in The Channels Natural Area Preserve at Hayters Gap – Honaker, VA
This will be about a 7 mile, moderate to strenuous rated loop hike with about 1500 foot elevation gain. We will meet up at the Exxon station off I-81S exit 50 in Atkins, VA at 10am for a “last stop supplies/bathroom breaks” etc.. This Exxon is 90 miles from Salem, 65 from Christiansburg; the trailhead is about 35 more miles from Exxon. Carpooling is suggested ($9). There are no parking/usage fees for this hike.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation and Department of Forestry dedicated this state natural area preserve in April of 2008. The Channels, the 53rd state natural area preserve, is an area of significant high elevation forest, rock outcrop and cliff communities. The preserve name is derived from the maze-like system of sandstone crevices and boulders that occur near the 4208ft. summit of Middle Knob on Clinch Mountain. The 721-acre Channels Natural Area Preserve is part of a 4,836 acre State Forest that was purchased by the Department of Forestry from The Nature Conservancy in March 2008.
*Please keep your RSVP current, update them as needed if your plans change*