hiking

dogs on leash

kid friendly

trail running

views

nature trips

wildlife

birding

horseback riding

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.

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.

hiking
17 days ago

Good local hike when you do not have time to make it out to the Shenandoahs. Not really the usual "hard trail" but the climb can be a bit steep and drawn out as you approach the Appalachian Trail. The trail can be extended by starting a little more to the south and going up the south ridge trail and then linking up to the north ridge and on to the Appalachian trail. Best to go clockwise and start a little later in the day so that when you get to the views back to the east at the overlook, the sun is at your back for better photos.

hiking
1 month ago

Probably more moderate, in reality, but there are some pretty draw-out climbs that can be tough on the quads. North Ridge links with a few other sections (including the AT) in Sky Meadow State Park, and has some really great views of the surrounding area. Trail is pretty well maintained and wasn't all too busy (even in the middle of the day), though there are some sections covered in fallen trees/branches from recent windstorms in the area. Overall a fun day hike!

Great views on the initial ascent up the mountain. It’s was pretty muddy considering all the recent rain but the higher I got, the dryer the trail. After a stream crossing, and another long climb, the North Ridge meets up with the AT. Here the trail turns into open pastures and more great views.

Sky Meadows is a terrific park, yet another affirmation of Virginia's outstanding park system. This was a cold, rainy day - but an outstanding loop. Some of the best marked trails anywhere. The ranger at the office/store suggested going clockwise, which was great advice as the most rapid elevation gain is the first third going up the South Ridge - leaving the beautiful meadows and spectacular views for the final third and descent back to park HQ. On this winter day, the trails were a bit icy, especially the South Ridge, but doable. The brief stretch on the AT is well maintained and very passable.

Rolling hills, beautiful trees and flowers - perfect hike for the spring. Be cautious however - in the summer it can get very hot and there are limited "shady spots" on this hike so be prepared!

Wooden area, majority of hike you are hiking up the mountain in the woods - very pretty. Gets very steep and strenuous when nearing the top - legs got a beating! Once you've reached the top, it comes to a beautiful overlook. Trail intersects with the AT. Overall great hike - lots of informative signs and trail heads.

hiking
5 months ago

Rolling Meadows is very easy to walk (definitely more of a walk then a hike) and is relatively flat for the most part. Excellent views of the surrounding countryside although nothing dramatic like the overlooks in Shenandoah National Park. Trails are very well maintained and wide which is nice when I bring my dog. Several creek crossings as well. Hiked several times but can't beat this one a cool fall day.

Meadow part of trail is EASY. Climb to top of Lost Mountain is MODERATE. Scenery is wonderful, especially in meadows. Took hike on unseasonably hot day in early October with my dog. The meadow part of the hike is unshaded and was quite hot. I would recommend this trail for early- to mid-spring or mid- to late-fall for best outcome.

This is definitely not the easy trail! It’s the advanced trail! This trail is the yellow trail. In order to get to it, you have to hike a good portion of the easy blue trail (Rolling Meadows Trail). It definitely has a few places that are very picturesque but the yellow (Lost Mountain Loop Trail) is definitely challenging. 600 feet of elevation, up and down, little rocky, but nicely maintained and wide. Also, it is $5 for cars and they only take cash or check (good faith box).

hiking
6 months ago

A nice trail but make sure to get the map from the park ranger before starting. There is no trail called Sky Meadow Loop rather its a bunch of trails.

hiking
7 months ago

This is NOT an easy trail, but it's rewarding. Lots of falling acorns and walnuts and plenty of horse manure to avoid when we were there mid-September. Beautiful views of The rolling hills of Paris, VA, which is my favorite place in northern VA.

hiking
7 months ago

I did not find this trail particularly hard, especially compared to trails in the white mountains. There are some irksome rock covered portions of the trail near the start and the trip up is pretty unrelenting, but it's not particularly steep. There is no view where the trail meets the AT, however there are lovely views as you descend back toward the park center.

hiking
7 months ago

This is a nice little trail with some pretty views. Very little traffic. Those I passed were bird watching.

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome park. Going up Piedmont Overlook was hard right at the beginning of the hike. I will go the other way up South Ridge next time. This will also be great for the view coming down Piedmont Overlook. Overall awesome hike.

Had a nice trail run coming from the AT on the Rt 50 side, connecting with the "Old Trail" (not a soul on it) and then looping through the Ambassador Whitehouse trail. I like this route a lot better than the typical Sky Meadows trailhead route. Ambassador Whitehouse is nice either way.

trail running
7 months ago

A good trail run with plenty of solitude when coming from the AT off of Rt. 50. Deer and rabbits are pretty tame.

So, when I saw this trail rated as hard, I expected moderate to semi difficult. I got a bit more than I expected!! It was up uphill the first two miles of the north ridge trail. Then a gradual decline once you hit the AT. It feels like a short distance once you start heading back down. The hike was so beautiful. One of the nicest places around with a bunch of different features like a couple overlooks, a couple little brooks (great for a dog to drink from) as well as beautiful meadows. The park itself is super cool with its history and original buildings. Also, they have child friendly trails as well as events that they put on. Great for a solo hiker wanting a little bit of a challenge... also great for the whole family.

hiking
7 months ago

Great Saturday morning hike with my dog. The front half of the trail loop is rolling meadows and the back half is up in the mountains with a creek running down the middle. I was the only person hiking with a few other guys mountain biking the front half. The trail is also open to horseback riding with pull thru parking for trailers. Parking is $5.

I love Sky Meadow and all the trails there are a lot of fun.

An easy afternoon hike with nice views! Great for the pup too!

This review is for the trails in Sky Meadows park in general. We made a loop using the north and south ridge trails, gap run, piedmont overlook, and Boston Mill rd. Parking is $5 per vehicle. Use the trail map they give you and choose your own path. The trails are well marked; no chance of getting lost. It rained heavily the day before and some while we were there. Trails were a little muddy and rocks were slick but manageable. Even wet, I'm not sure I'd rate the north ridge trail as difficult. We didn't hike the whole thing so maybe it's more challenging in parts. I'd rate the entire hike as easy to moderate. Some moderate grades but nothing crazy. Lush foliage and beautiful views from a view spots. Nice benches to stop for a snack. Great spot for a day hike. We plan to go back to camp and explore more trails.

Combined Rolling Meadows with Washington's Ridge for a nice hike on a hot day. Rolling Meadows isn't much more than a walk but the two stream crossings are nice along with the views. Washington's Ridge adds a little challenge and some scenery.

Our first time in Sky Meadows State Park and hiking their trails. beautiful vistas all around. Most of the trailhead start well inside the park and feed into each other at the visitor center. We brought our young dog and she had a good walk, especially when she cooled off a bit in the small stream. We took the Snowden trail which is it's own loop through the woods, up and down equally. Nice in the shade, a little buggy today, but not bad. All and all, a great Independence Day outing. A note of advise, get to know your trail map so you can choose. I found the map a little more confusing than the trail markers.

Great hike. Next time I would definitely complete the hike finishing with the Piedmont Overlook section (the 0.6 mile section). That way you finish coming down the hill with a beautiful view of the landscape beneath you. Next time I'd shorten the hike on a high heat summer day that it was when we did the hike and go with, Gap Run, to North Ridge, to Piedmont Overlook. Happy hiking!

This is an easy and pretty woodland loop at the end of Boston Mill Road, which we then took to get back to the visitor center/farmhouse area to complete our beautiful morning of hiking at Sky Meadows.

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