Blue Ridge Tunnel Way
483 Three Notched Mountain Hwy, Waynesboro, VA 22980
The Blue Ridge Tunnel was constructed beneath the Central Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains’ Rockfish Gap, with the city of Afton on its easter side and the town of Waynesboro near its western end. This tunnel was designed by Claudius Crozet (french engineer) to allow the Blue Ridge Railroad to reach the Shenandoah Valley through the mountains.
In 1976, the Blue Ridge Tunnel was named a National Historic Civic Engineering Landmark. Still, it was abandoned during World Warr II due to a new, more extensive tunnel that accommodated larger trains. In 2020, this tunnel opened to the public. This tunnel has a unique elliptical stone portal at the west entrance and interpretative signage that displays the tunnel story and interesting facts as you walk along. Although bikes are allowed on the Blue Ridge tunnel way, walking is better due to foot traffic and the uneven floor surface.
Traveling through the long tunnel is a stirring experience for all visitors, from hikers and cyclists to history enthusiasts and wildlife watchers to railroad buffs and heritage tourists, and even schoolchildren on field trips and nearby residents.
The Blue Ridge Tunnel trail allows visitors to explore and travel back in time to touch the 1850s pin scars. Nowadays, the tunnel is more cave-like and holds temperatures of 50 degrees throughout the year. During summer, the tunnel is refreshingly relaxed and welcoming, and warm in winter. Blue Ridge Tunnel Way gets utterly dark in the middle area, so visitors are encouraged to carry flashlights or wear deadlines as phone flashlights won’t cut it. After many years, the Blue Ridge Tunnel Way is open for visitors from dawn to dusk and has something for everyone, as it is family-friendly and pet friendly.