James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 4.96'
Flow: 4700 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond

  • Very hot and humid today so fill that Camelbak and bring an extra water bottle. All local trails are open.

Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 8:36am
Low Tide: 3:54pm

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Posted In: Hiking

Exploring the Channels’ mountaintop slot canyons

February 3, 2012 10:57am

To follow up on Tuesday’s post, check out the link to my column in today’s Times-Dispatch on the Channels State Forest and Natural Area Preserve. And if you’re a hiker, outdoors lover or just general explorer of Virginia rarities, put this place on your list of must-dos.

Sure, it’s a five hour drive, but it is more than worth it. For one thing, the trip down I-81 is beautiful the whole way. For another, there are so many other places to investigate in that part of the state. On the Interstate alone, you see signs for Grayson Highlands State Park (right next to Virginia’s highest peak, Mount Rogers) and Hungry Mother State Park. Not far from the Channels is Hidden Valley Lake and the new Clinch Mountain Trail. Bottom line: The Channels alone will have you raving to your outdoors-loving friends. Combine it with everything else available in that part of the state and you’ve got the makings of a great trip

Anyway, here are some more pics: 

The trail near the top of Hayters Knob










In the Channels proper





About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?