Mountain Lovers Virginia: Discovering Nature's Majestic Highpoints
From the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains to the rugged Appalachian range, Virginia offers outdoor enthusiasts an array of mountainous terrains teeming with adventure and scenic beauty. In this article, we will explore the state's renowned mountains, hiking trails, road trip routes, and outdoor destinations.
Virginia's mountain ranges are a testament to the state's diverse natural beauty. The most famous, the Blue Ridge Mountains, extend across the state's western border, forming part of the expansive Appalachian Mountain Range. Peaks such as Old Rag Mountain and Mary's Rock in Shenandoah National Park offer thrilling hikes with rewarding views.
The Allegheny Mountains in western Virginia are home to Mount Rogers, the highest peak in the state at 5,729 feet. The surrounding Mount Rogers National Recreation Area provides many outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, horseback riding, and more.
For hikers, Virginia boasts a variety of trails ranging from strolls to challenging treks. The Appalachian Trail, one of the longest hiking-only footpaths in the world, runs for over 500 miles through Virginia, offering numerous entry points for day hikes or extended backpacking trips.
The Crabtree Falls Trail in George Washington National Forest showcases the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. The challenging 4-mile trail offers a series of breathtaking waterfall views culminating in a panoramic view of the Tye River Valley.
Though strenuous, the Old Rag Mountain Loop is one of Virginia's most popular hikes, known for its rock scrambling section and stunning summit views. Remember to start early and bring plenty of water for this epic adventure.
Virginia offers some of the country's most scenic drives for those who prefer exploring the mountains from the comfort of their vehicles. The Blue Ridge Parkway, often dubbed "America's Favorite Drive," runs for 469 miles, with 216 miles meandering through Virginia's stunning landscapes.
The Skyline Drive, a 105-mile road that runs the entire length of the Shenandoah National Park, offers magnificent vistas and access to numerous hiking trails and picnic spots. It's particularly popular in fall when the foliage turns a vibrant array of reds, oranges, and yellows.
Virginia's mountain regions offer an abundance of outdoor destinations for nature lovers. The Shenandoah National Park is a haven for wildlife, home to deer, black bears, and numerous bird species. It also offers a variety of recreational activities, including fishing, bird watching, and horse riding.
Grayson Highlands State Park, near Mount Rogers, is another gem renowned for its wild ponies, stunning mountain views, and access to the Appalachian Trail. The park's high elevation creates a cool climate ideal for summer camping.
Whether you're a hiker seeking challenging trails, a driver longing for scenic routes, or a nature enthusiast drawn to stunning outdoor destinations, Virginia's mountainous landscapes deliver on all fronts. So pack your gear, hit the road, and let Virginia's majestic mountains captivate your adventurous spirit.
Written by Geraldine Orentas in partnership with Marv Golden pilot supplies.