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The Blue Ridge Mountain area of Virginia is home to one of the greatest state park systems in the country. Virginia State Parks are consistently rated the best in the nation and have been the backdrop for perfect vacations for more than 75 years. If you’re looking for adventure, plan a hiking trip, a horseback ride, or enjoy some time on the Shenandoah River.

Parks

Virginia’s 36 state parks are as diverse as the state itself. They are found along the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay, on historic sites, in the Blue Ridge Mountains and just outside of major cities. Our parks have more than 500 miles of trails and convenient access to Virginia’s major waterways.

Consider neighboring Fauquier County’s heritage, associated with agriculture, including wineries, and steeplechase racing. Meet Virginia’s version of the Napa Valley on the Blue Ridge Wine Way, which includes nine wineries open for tours and wine tastings.

Luray Caverns
The Caverns, Car Museum, Zipline and Ropes Course, Garden Maze

It seems like a tourist trap but you have to persevere, because the Caves are spectacular. The experience is very controlled with small groups with plenty of time between each. That is why you’ll see a line outside and a full parking lot.

Sunset over mountain range

View from a biker's perspective of bike handles and trial

Hiking and Biking

Sky Meadows State Park offers hiking trails with rugged terrain and pleasant camping facilities. A portion of the Appalachian Trail runs through the park, too. In Bealeton, be sure to catch the Flying Circus Airshows with vintage biplanes, wing-walkers and hot-air balloon rides.

To enhance your visit, check out our Take a Hike! package.

Recommended Trails

  • White Oak Canyon – This scenic 10 mile out and back trail features a waterfall and 2,591 feet of elevation gain. Rated difficult. See Map
  • Little Dickey Ridge/Snead Farm Trail Loop – An accessible 3.4 mile loop trail features beautiful wildflowers and only 574 feet of elevation gain. Rated easy. See Map
  • Old Rag Mountain – This challenging 9 mile loop trail features a river, beautiful views and a challenging 2,493 feet of elevation gain. Rated difficult. See Map
  • Mary’s Rock – A 9.6 mile out and back trail featuring beautiful wildflowers, great views and 2,933 feet in elevation gain. Rated moderate. See Map
  • Little Devil Stairs – This 5.3 mile out and back trail features waterfalls during the spring and a moderate 1,548 feet of elevation gain. Rated difficult. See Map
  • Stoney Man – A 1.5 mile loop that is great for all skill levels, featuring beautiful wildflowers and only 318 feet in elevation gain. Rated easy. See Map

Read more about our local trails with our Shenandoah National Park Hiking Guide.

Horses

Locally, the Marriott Ranch is home to some of the best mountain trail rides in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Great Meadow Field Event Center is the site of the Virginia Gold Cup Races, Stadium polo on Saturday nights from May to September, and full field polo matches on select weekends.

Girl laughing while standing next to a horse

Skyline

Skyline Drive runs 105 miles north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park and is the only public road through the park.

You can enter Shenandoah at several places however; closest is Front Royal at U.S. 340. Front Royal Entrance Station in the north (Mile 0.6) is accessible via U.S. 340. This is the beginning of Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park. It takes about three hours to travel the entire length of the park on a clear day. The speed limit on the drive is 35 MPH. Get directions and map.

Autumn at Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah River Activities

Front Royal Canoe

Kayaking, Canoeing, Tubing, Rafting, Enjoy Nature with view of Bald Eagles, Blue Herons, Beavers, Turtles, or the occasional cow in the river.

Woman kayaking and splashing water