Bill Cochran at the Virginia State Parks are award winning.
Read his entire article here as he shares some history and highlights from our state parks.Thanks for the kind words Bill, hope to see ya there!
Grayson Highlands State Park near Mount Rogers the highest peak in VA
Bill wrote: I have many favorite parks, but let me highlight five:
DOUTHAT: What is special here is the facility’s old-park atmosphere, including those rustic CCC cabins. When the dogwoods bloom, the lake holds rainbow trout that will grab your spinner and leap high displaying silver sides kissed with pink. In the summer, the same lake becomes a swimming hole. There are 40 miles of mountain bike trails.
BREAKS INTERSTATE PARK: Virginia teams up with Kentucky to highlight what often is called the “Grand Canyon of the South.” Put this on your bucket list. If you demand luxury, the facilities here are a bit more posh than many other Virginia parks.
GRAYSON HIGHLANDS: Here is a bit of Montana left behind in Virginia by the Ice Age. Nearby are Mount Rogers, Virginia’s highest peak, and the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Alpine meadows stretch across the horizon affording views of rock outcroppings, red spruce, wild ponies. You can enjoy wilderness hikes through spectacular gardens of rhododendron, some on the famous Appalachian Trail. Winters offer cross-country skiing.
KIPTOPEKE: On the southern end of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, I use this park more than any. It offers boat launching access to key fishing spots of the lower Chesapeake Bay and provides some of the finest bird watching in the country. Since its opening in 1993, bird watchers have banded more than 300,000 songbirds and counted more than 500,000 raptors. Late September and early October are good months for birding.
NEW RIVER TRAIL: This isn’t your typical park. It is a linear, 57-mile abandoned railroad right-of-way along the New River covering four counties, two tunnels, three major bridges and nearly 30 smaller bridges. You can hike/bike/horseback ride the trail or canoe/ kayak the river. Foster Falls gives paddlers a thrilling ride through rapids and a history lesson on a pig-iron mining town.
For more information on Virginia’s state parks check the Virginia State Parks website here.