hiking

dogs on leash

kid friendly

views

nature trips

trail running

wildlife

birding

walking

horseback riding

forest

wild flowers

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.

trail running
10 days ago

This was nice for a challenging and quiet run with only a couple other people using the trails. I ran it counterclockwise meaning that the views were all within the first couple miles. I’d do it in reverse next time. Trail is varied from non technical fire road to some very technical single track. The two overlooks are beautiful, and the trail is generally a mixture of serene woods and open meadows that keep the run fresh and interesting. If you’re feeling more, add the Snowden loop for an extra 3/4 of a mile or so. I’d happily run this trail again!

I'll echo Chris Bigelow's review. It is a bit steeper than you think so be aware. Nice view from the top. The pic at the top of this page is a good preview. We took Piedmont Overlook up and northridge back down

Great combination of woods, hills and meadows.

hiking
15 days ago

Great hike and varied conditions. While it’s true that the first two miles are a fairly unrelenting uphill slope, it’s gradual enough to be manageable. The woodland brooks were a great surprise, as were the beautiful views. This trail got me and my son hooked on hiking!

I started off on the South Ridge Trail which has some decent elevation gain but not too terrible, went to the AT, down Ambassador Whitehouse and detoured off to the North Ridge Trail instead of the Piedmont Overlook so that I could stay in the shade (the trail to Piedmont Overlook is mostly in direct sunlight) - was roughly 5.5 miles. It was very buggy - be sure to bring bug spray. Some sections of the South and North Ridge Trails were a bit overgrown - so long pants may be best. Beautiful views and some amazing wild flowers! There is a $5 admission fee. You can pick up a park map at the entrance. There is plenty of parking at the visitor center (with an overflow parking lot for busy days). There are also bathrooms at the visitor center.

Rude horse riders

Fairly short loop on a wide trail, but the steepness and the fact that there is minimal tree cover makes it seem slightly more strenuous than you might expect. Nice view at the top, and there are a lot of butterflies along the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Gap Run is an ok trail, and you can make it a bigger loop by adding the north ridge (a little more difficult) and then back on south ridge to Boston Mill Rd. However, you get better views by simply doing the Piedmont Overlook trail.

Beautifully maintained. It costs $5 to park. I went after a large rain storm and everything drained well. My app tracked this path as 6 miles but it was very enjoyable and I will definitely return!

We had a great walk today on this trail nice mix of uphill on the front end and some flat and rolling hills halfway through. This is if you start from South Ridge Trail. Great views from Piedmont overlook! Definitely get a map beforehand. we were glad we saw that in the previous reviews.

did this trail mixed with the ambassador trail and the old trail to make about 8-9 miles. nice views and easy paths

Beautiful trail. All the trails in Sky Meadows are marked clearly . The grass in the meadow areas is fairly tall so be sure to do thorough tick checks . I'd say the meadow is obviously easy but once you hit the wooded part of the trail it certainly upgrades to a moderate trail. All in all I did this with my 4 year old son and (aside from whining he was tired during the moderate incline up the mountain lol) he was able to complete it well. You will cross 2 streams ,so be prepared to get a little wet in the feet

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Not difficult imo. Shaded most of the way. Be wary! Tics galore! Pulled 22 off my dog and one off myself

Began at AT trailhead at Ashby gap and followed AT to whitehouse overlook to view Paris valley. Doubles back to head toward south ridge trail and used the old AT trail to circle back to trailhead. AT has both canopy and clear areas with well maintained trails. Old AT is just about all shade and trails not used as much. View of Paris valley gorgeous on clear day. The hike is about 6 miles using this loop and trail is generally easy. To moderate

Great trial. Did it with my mom (64) who is a very beginner hiker and not so fit. We took our time and her walking poles really helped. We did the South Ridge to the North Ridge then to the Piedmont Overlook. It ended up being about 5 miles. Lots of varied terrain. Not very rocky. This loop had gradual elevation which was better for a beginner hiker. Overall t was a wonderful hike. Beautiful overlooks and well marked trials made for a great day.

My favorite spot when I’m in town. Just challenging enough to give you a workout but the views from the top are so worth it.

Love the views

4 months ago

We really enjoyed this hike. Fortunately, another reviewer suggested getting a map from a park ranger. We wouldn’t have been able to follow the series of trails without it. Lucked into a strawberry festival in the park at the end. Nothing like a cold lemonade after a hike!

It had some nice views and was a pretty easy trail for young kids.

hiking
4 months ago

Really beautiful views of farms and wildflowers! A nice switch up from regular hikes!

Very pretty trail. Nice views, wild life, flowers, birds, small waterfall. Some sections are open, so sun protection is a must. If I did this,again, I would reverse,the direction (start to the left). Lots of other trails in the park, camping and other events.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail that hooks up to the AT. I agree that it is more on the moderate side, I found the terrain gentle enough but there were some sections that are tough on the legs. We were there after about a solid week of rain and the trail was in excellent condition. We also saw trail maintenance going on to make the trail a little wider which definitely made it easier to spot any snakes near the trail. My dog absolutely loved it and we saw a few other dogs on the trail as well. We started our hike around 8:45 am on a Sunday and really didn't see too many people until we were decently through our descent back to the parking area. Many people were beginning their hike at that point. Beautiful views on the ascent and descent with the opportunity to hook up to other trails / overlooks within the park. Additionally, the trail has a decent amount of tree coverage which is nice for hot days. There are still plenty of meadows and overlooks where you get beautiful views. Definitely recommend this hike to anyone who wants a little bit of a challenge. We extended it by walking the AT until Route 17 then turning around, which is nice to add some additional elevation and extending the mileage.

Enjoyed this change of scenery with some open areas and of course good views.

Very nice and relaxing stroll. Not much change in elevation. Very quiet.

Beautiful hike! Took Piedmont Overlook trail up to Ambassador Whitehouse - pretty steep but worth for the views of Paris, VA. Then connected onto the AT trail for a short period of time prior to linking up on the north ridge trail which has some technical down slopes. All in all a good day with views and rolling hills. some of the distances on the map they gave us seemed a little off.

The trail mixes gently undulating miles through the meadow with a moderate climb to the summit of Lost Mountain. The stream crossings, after recent heavy rains, added some unexpected adrenaline surges. Yes, those rocks are slippery when wet. Overall, it was a great hike, peppered with panoramic views of farmland and timber.

Great place to for those who love to hike and our fur friends. Went there thinking it was going to be an easy hike but being on the side of the mountains, it was harder than expected. Beautiful views of the country side. It can definitely get hot, so be sure to bring plenty of water.

Great trail for a family hike and picnic. Easy enough from the Rt 50 side (Liberty Hill Rd. trailhead) for a 5-year old to complete the out and back without too much trouble.

A beautiful hike; those rolling hills aren’t a joke though, the 1000+ of elevation gain wore us out. There were a good number of people out today, but there’s lots of intertwining trails which helped provide a pretty relaxed and serene experience spreading everyone out. We’ll definitely come here again.

Accessed from AT Trailhead at Ashby Gap to Whitehouse trail, North Ridge trail, South Ridge Trail to AT and returned by Old Trail to make for a longer hike. Gorgeous views of Paris valley on a crisp morning. State park trails well maintained and wide-easy to hike. Initial access had moderate incline. Old AT trail nice and generally avoids open fields unlike current AT trail. This route around 8.8 miles for a good workout.

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