“I believe that the ascent of mountains forms an essential chapter in the complete duty of man, and that it is wrong to leave any district without setting foot on its highest peak.” — Sir Leslie Stephen
There are many reasons that people choose to go hiking. Some appreciate the physical challenge, while others enjoy the quiet escape of nature, the ethereal beauty that transcends man-made creation. Others (like me) like to pretend they are elves, nimbly crossing the forests and mountains of Middle Earth. (What? You don’t like to pretend you’re an elf?) Whatever your reasons for hiking, Virginia provides some absolutely beautiful trails for hikers of all levels—day-long hikes, easy walks next to lakes and rivers, trails for biking and horseback riding, treks through national parks, and trails that overlook waterfalls. No matter the area of Virginia in which you find yourself, there will be a hiking trail close by.
Because it would be nearly impossible to list every single trail in a single blog entry, I shall highlight a few options in different areas of our lovely commonwealth:
The Cascades, Pembroke, Va– This trail offers waterfalls and creeks, so you can cool off after your trek. You have the option of doing a 4-mile round trip to the lower falls, or an 8-mile round trip to Barney’s Wall.
Prince William Forest Park, Triangle, Va– This park is full of various circuit hikes, depending on which direction you would like to take. It’s an easy hike, and is a great opportunity to bring your canine companions with you.
Peaks of Otter, Bedford, Va– This is a wonderful hike, because it offers trails for all different fitness levels. If you’re looking for a good challenge, Flat Top and Sharp Top can take up to three or four hours to complete. Or if you’re feeling especially ambitious, you can combine the two for a nice long, 9.8 mile hike.
If you’d like a list of twenty of the most popular hikes in Virginia, look no further than here. Also, after a good, adrenaline-pumping hike, you should have a nice, comforting Bed and Breakfast to come back to…….so, aren’t you glad we have a list of B&Bs for you to peruse?
By Tara Stoll