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The Cove Ridge Center

at Natural Tunnel State Park

General Info

Cove Ridge CenterThe center’s primary focus is outdoor education and adventure activities, but it is designed to be used as well for training workshops, meetings and retreats in the intimate and natural setting of a state park. The Cove Ridge Center Auditorium accommodates up to 100 and can be staged to meet the needs of your particular group. Also, the center features a classroom and a resource library that can be reserved for groups of up to 24. State of the art audiovisual equipment and high speed Internet access are included with the use of these facilities. Please visit the Cove Ridge Foundation's website for more information.

The climate-controlled center is open year-round. The great room contains a large stone fireplace and a registration desk. A 3,500-square-foot deck overlooks Stock Creek Gorge and the northern portal of the Natural Tunnel. The deck can be used for dining and breakout space for meetings.

Adjoining the center are two six-bedroom dormitories that can accommodate a total of up to 48 overnight guests. Each room has a full bed and three twin beds, dresser, and a wardrobe cabinet. Restrooms and showers are centrally located within the facility. Overnight guests can enjoy the convenience of a self-contained kitchen for the purpose of preparing meals. There are several hotels in the surrounding area if guests wish to have the amenities that they provide. (A list will be provided upon request.) There are also 10 cabins at the park.

Other benefits the center offers are a Junior Olympic size swimming pool (seasonal), a gazebo with a 360-degree mountain view, an outdoor activity shelter that can accommodate up to 200 people for outdoor events and cookouts, and an outdoor amphitheater for performances and presentations. Visit the Cove Ridge Center Foundation's Website for more detail about the center and Natural Tunnel State Park.

Reservation policies

To reserve the center, call Cove Ridge Center at (276) 940-2696. Reservations may be made up to a year in advance. A deposit of 30 percent is required within 14 days of making the reservation. If your deposit is not received by then, the reservation is cancelled. Your deposit is refundable up to two weeks in advance of the event to be held. Because of demand for use of the center, cancellations after this time period are nonrefundable. Contact the center, (276) 940-2696, for details on fees. Payment in full is due one week prior to your event arrival unless previous arrangements have been made. Checks must be made payable to Treasurer of Virginia.

Dormitory use

Check-in for the dorm is 4 p.m., and check-out is 10 a.m. unless previous arrangements have been made. Pillows and linens are provided. If you use the dorm kitchen, please place your used dishes in the dishwasher and turn it on upon leaving. Operation instructions for dishwasher are affixed on the counter above the dishwasher. A clothes washer and dryer also are available for overnight guests.


The center can provide catering for up to 50 or you may arrange for outside caterers to provide food service in the center provided the caterer follows Virginia Department of Health guidelines for food service. Upon request, the staff will provide the center's catering menu or a list of caterers that serve the center. Caterers and, ultimately, the sponsoring group are responsible for cleanliness of the catering kitchen. Center staff will gladly work with your caterer to set up the requested area prior to the event.


Park gates on the road to the center are locked at 10 p.m. each evening. If after-hours access is necessary, contact the park office for accommodation. The center complex is secured each evening at 10 p.m. Guests staying in the dorm are responsible for security of that building. Swimming is permitted only in season and under the supervision of a park lifeguard. The park can provide lifeguards for your event if prior arrangements for after-hours swimming have been made. Both the dormitory and center contain sensitive fire alarms for your safety. It is unlawful to tamper with these devices or cause false alarms to occur. Users are held responsible for such behavior and could face termination of use of the facility. A phone is on the breezeway for access to emergency numbers and park rangers.


Public use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited within Virginia State Parks. If you care to have alcoholic beverages at your event, you’ll need to obtain a banquet license from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Commission that will provide guidelines on the serving and use of alcoholic beverages within the confines of the center. Information on this procedure is available upon request.

The Cove Ridge Center is available and designed for public use. It is your facility, provided by your state park system. Please respect it and treat it as if it were your own. This will ensure that your and the next user’s visit is enjoyable. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve our offerings, facilities or services, please contact a member of the park staff. We look forward to your visit.