Just an hours drive from Washington, D.C., Sky Meadows State Park in Clarke and Fauquier counties, offers a peaceful getaway on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With rolling pastures and woodlands, the park boasts beautiful vistas of the foothills and access to the Appalachian Trail. Its rich history is shaped by the development of agriculture and the impact of the Civil War. Activities include hiking, fishing, picnicking, horseback riding, primitive camping, and nature and history programs. Please click here to view a short video of the park.
We stumbled on this area by accident. We had a few good hours to hike, which brought us to Sky Meadow. Hiking up Piedmont is slow going, but the views are worth the trek. We followed the recommendations of others on this loop. At the top of the Ambassador Whitehouse trl is a beautiful view of Paris below. The trail intersects with the AT, but then turns back into the woods onto the North Ridge trl. Very glad to take the South Ridge trl down. It meets up with the Snowden trl, where you can see remnants of the old homestead.
Excellent views. On our first visit we climbed up the meadow (benches for kids to take a break) and came down in the woods by the stream. We knew next time to go up in the woods by the stream and go down the meadow and enjoy that view! My 6 year old had no problem and could of hiked much farther. It was a bit much for my 3 year old. Very well marked trails. Just a fabulous park! This park can get very busy. We arrived at 11 AM on Presidents' Day and were told the park was closed due to overcrowding. One of the park rangers directed us to the GR Thompson state wildlife management area on Leeds Manor road about a mile away where we parked for free, hiked and had a fabulous time, but definitely not the views of Sky Meadow.
This hike is in Sky Meadows State park (nominal $5 entrance fee). Beautiful expansive views definitely worth the entrance fee.
When you get the park trail map you realize that this 4.7 mile loop is actually made up of 5 trails (one of them being a small segment of the Appalachian trail). Because of this you definitely need the state park trail map to navigate! Having said that though this park's trails is very very well marked with actual trail names for every one of the trails along the way. Every turn is very well marked!! Trails are well-kept except for part of the yellow trail (which was our last trail in the park) This Trail had some washouts but not real bad. All the trails are the width of small jeep.
The parking area is just great with plenty of room for a lot of cars and where we parked there was a low stone wall that you could sit and put your hiking boots on (very nice).
The hike is a combination of expansive views and in-the-woods hiking.
We do a lot of hiking in Virginia and this by far has been the best marked trails that we've encountered in the state so far!!!
We highly recommend this hike and don't think anyone would be disappointed in this one!
A nice trail that is easy to get to from anywhere in Northern Va. If you hike counterclockwise and take the huge hill first, it can be a tough slog if you're not warmed up (or have been riding in a car for a while)
The view from the top is really nice and open, making the tough climb more than worth it.
Nice trail that flattens out to a pleasant highland meadow. The trail typically offers views of Paris, VA, however Sky Meadows was enveloped in a thick blanket of fog during this hike and the Paris Overlook was completely obscured. This created an interesting atmosphere for our jaunt through the forests and fields, but I look forward to returning on a clear day to take in the views.
Walked this yesterday in the snow and saw nice views of rolling hills. The section within the park is a bit short, so added a bit on the Appalachian Trail to increase the mileage. All trails are well marked. The Appalachia Trail does hook back up with the park trails, even though it is in't obvious on the alltrails map. Paid $5 using the honor system envelopes at the entrance booth to park; saw some people get ticketed for not paying, so I'd pay the fee if you stop by an no one is manning the station.