Pennington Gap, Virginia: Stone Face Rock with Nonoffensive Name

Stone Face Rock is one of those natural formations that some people think looks like something, but its original name is now taboo.
Address:
US Hwy 421, Pennington Gap, VA
Directions:
Follow US 421 north of Pennington Gap past SR 621, curving west along a stream on the right. Watch for the Stone Face Food Mart sign, pull off, and turn around to see the face behind you.
RA Rates:
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Visitor Tips and News About Stone Face Rock with Nonoffensive Name

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Stone face rock. Stone Face Rock

A little hard to locate. Used our GPS to "get close." Then when our GPS was telling us to go one way, and the road sign said "Pennington Gap" another way, I stopped and asked a worker at a gas station. She "sorta" knew what I was talking about, and told me which way to go - but didn't know the exact location. So we followed her directions and stopped at the next gas station. The workers at the next gas station didn't know what I was talking about.

Luckily there was an older policeman in the store and he knew what I was talking about.

I suggest stopping and asking for directions when you get to Pennington Gap. The biggest tip for locating it is to look for the closed gas station with a sign out front for "Stone Face Rock Food Mart." Stop there. Get out of your vehicle and turn around and *poof* -- there it is.

[Michelle D., 02/26/2010]

We've adjusted the map location and directions. But when satellite technology ultimately fails, it's wise to count on our public servant elders as guides!

Stone Face Rock. Stone Face Rock with Nonoffensive Name

On US Hwy 421 just north of Pennington Gap, Virginia, is the Stone Face Rock. Somewhere around the mid-1970s the name was changed from the definitely un-PC "N*Head Rock." My grandmother still has a collector plate from the 60s with that name on it.

Geologists have studied it to determine if it is natural or perhaps an Indian-made monument. It's become the landmark symbol of my hometown. In the 1980s a local girl wrote and recorded a song about the Stone Face that was played on local radio from time to time. As I remember, it was pretty bad.

[Xrae, 02/28/2000]

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