From the Press Room at Virginia.org
We hope your Fall getaway plans included Virginia State Parks!
Natural Ways to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Virginia
RICHMOND, Va. – From the Blue Ridge Mountains to dense piedmont forests to the tranquil coastal waters of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia is the ideal place for people looking to step away from the stress of everyday life and relax and reconnect with loved ones and nature this fall.Virginia’s topography welcomes all types of outdoor recreation – from camping to hiking to water sports to mountain climbing. To help nature lovers truly connect with Virginia’s great outdoors this fall, here are a few active ways to enjoy fall foliage.
Celebrate 75 Years of Virginia Outdoor Treasures – Camp at Shenandoah National Park or Virginia State Parks
Fall is a great time to camp in Virginia as mild temperatures make for great quality time making s’mores and telling stories by the camp fire. Two of Virginia’s outdoor treasures are celebrating their 75thanniversaries this year, and both offer ideal setups for camping.
Virginia State Parksoffer perfect places to pitch a tent or “rough it” indoors at a cabin. Voted “America’s Best,” Virginia parks offer comfortable cabins, campsites and primitive backcountry spots for the rugged adventurer. Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor recreation, including hiking and biking trails, lakes and waterways as well as a full menu of programs and classes. To celebrate their 75thanniversary this year Virginia State Parks have special events scheduled across the state.
Douthat State Park in the Fall
75thanniversary, Shenandoah National Park is celebratingwith special events, travel packages, deals, discounts and a scavenger hunt game that offers visitors a fun way to learn about the Park and the surrounding communities. Participants who answer all the questions correctly are eligible to win great prizes.
Take a Hike!
Virginia is a hiker’s paradise, especially in the fall when temperatures are milder and the foliage is in color all around. From the Appalachian Trail to Shenandoah National Park to lesser-known trails in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests and scenic State Parks, Virginia has a footpath for everyone.The Appalachian Trial(AT)is an epic 2,175-mile long public footpath along the East Coast and Virginia is home to 544 miles of the AT – more miles than any other state.
Mount Rogers National Recreation Areain Southwest Virginia is an outdoor mecca with 115,000 acres of mountain recreation including hiking trails, lakes, streams, historic sites and wildlife viewing. Put on hiking shoes and climb atop Mt. Rogers for a bird’s eye view from the highest point in Virginia at 5,729 feet.
Biking for Leaf Peepers
From rugged mountainous terrain to calm coastal flatlands, Virginia has no shortage of cycling options with amazing scenery.Virginia has 838 miles of the U.S. Bicycle Route System – more than any other state – and Bicycle Routes 76 and 1 cross the state from east to west and north to south. Virginia’s rails-to-trails routes are perfect for scenic, peaceful pedaling as they are former railroad grades that have been converted into multi-use recreation trails. TheSouthern Traverse ridenear Harrisonburg to the trails in downtown Richmond at theJames River Park System Loop, bikers can enjoy foliage and riverside views next to urban cityscapes.
Paddle through the Foliage
Water lovers can’t go wrong in Virginia as paddling options are seemingly endless on a vast variety of idyllic rivers, small streams, tidal bays, quiet inlets and mountain lakes.Chincoteague National Wildlife Refugeand connect to Assateague National Seashore and the Assateague Canoe Trail.
Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refugethat offers a unique choice for paddling enthusiasts. With shallow waters stained amber with tannic acid, the lake is a thing of beauty as the reflections ofextraordinary cypresstreesand clouds appear so clearly inthewater
Get Your Blood Pumping on a Fall Whitewater Adventure
Experience the wet and wild ride of the Russell Fork atRussell Forkis limited to weekends during the first four full weekends in October, when water is released from the John Flannagan Dam and Reservoir. It’s an intense class V+ roller coaster of big drops, including the infamous El Horrendo, one wild 75-foot stretch that is considered one of the most difficult in the East. After the exhilaration of this whitewater adventure, take time to relax and explore Breaks Interstate Park, where the beauty of unspoiled wilderness is all around.
Add Excitement to Fall Outdoor Activities on a Geocaching Treasure Hunt
Geocachingemploys the use of a GPS device to find a hidden container filled with a logbook, pencil and sometimes larger caches containing maps, books, toys and money. After finding the cache, geocachers write their name and the date in the logbook. Usually cache hunters will report their individual cache experiences on the Internet.
Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Visitwww.Virginia.orgfor more information. Or call 1-800-VISITVA for a free,Virginia is for Loverstravel guide