Virginia has some of the most beautiful and unique hiking trails. From mountains, to coastal hiking, waterfalls and even wild ponies - there's always a variety of options! These are some of Virginia's MUST-SEE hidden gems and trails:
1. Grayson Highland State Park: What is more exciting than hiking with Virginia's Wild ponies? Located on the Appalachian Trail, the Grayson Highland State Park offers 360 views of Virginia's tallest mountain and the valleys below. Once you reach the peak of Mt. Rogers (the tallest mountain in Virginia), you hike along the ridge looking out over the beautiful Virginia Scenery! For trail details and instructions on our personal 13-mile loop, click here.
2. St. Mary's Wilderness: Not only is this trail special to my family (we found out we were expecting Patrick the day we got home), but it is also such a blast! Located in Raphine, Virginia, you have views from the drive to the trail due to the trail being right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway! The trek crosses the stream a few times leading up to St. Mary's Waterfall, which you can jump off into the refreshing falls below. The whole trail, which is 15.5 miles, follows the creeks and river, with campsites around every corner. We camped right before the waterfall at a site, which was right on the river, offering some white noise for those that aren't fans of the breaking sticks at night. For trail instructions, click here.
(yes, we carried beers the whole way to the site...priorities).
3. McAfee Knob: One of Virginia and the Appalachian Trail's most popular scenic sites, McAfee Knob is by far one of the most beautiful. For those adrenaline junkies looking to dangle their feet over a hanging rock, this trail is well worth the climb. The 9 mile trek on the Appalachian Trail is a steady climb of about 1700', leading up to the overlook. PSA, if you're bringing your corgi along, make sure she is in better shape than mine. I stayed up keeping an eye on her due to the lack of movement and lack of barking throughout the night! Also note, this is a very popular trail, so it was very crowded when we got to the top. My husband and I did this trail for New Year's to be able to watch multiple fireworks off of the knob. To our surprise, there was no one up there during our visit! If you're looking for an intimate hike with a lack of people, I suggest doing this trail during Fall/Winter. You can also continue on the Appalachian Trail to get to Tinker Cliffs, another beautiful destination. For full trail instructions, click here.
Part One of Two - Virginia's Must-See Destinations
A very blessed,
Back Country Momma