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    Spend a day at Buckroe #Beach in Hampton, #Virginia. You'll find a popular cobia fishing #pier and kayak, paddleboat, chair and umbrella rentals. If you time your visit right, you'll even get to hear some live music in the beachside pavilion. Photo props to @jennaevelyndill. Post your #VA photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here! #repost #ocean #howisummer #sand #photooftheday
    This is the #sunset from the #dock at #Merroir restaurant in Topping, VA last Friday evening. #Tranquility on #Virginia's #ChesapeakeBay. Swing by this weekend and get some #VAoysters in your belly! And tag your VA #oyster photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here. #photooftheday #latergram #eatlocal
    @rbuck65 recently hiked Bearfence #Mountain off of #SkylineDrive, and this was the reward! This #hike is fairly short with a nice payoff. The trail head is near mile marker 56.4 on the Skyline Drive. #photooftheday #repost #epic #hiking #mountaintop #sunset #blueridgemountains #vaoutdoors Don't forget to tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here!
    Have you hiked Roaring Run Trail in Eagle Rock, #VA? An excellent family #hike, the trail passes rock walls, cascading water, five foot bridges and even a natural water slide before ending at Roaring Run Falls. At the head of the trail is Roaring Run Furnace, ruins of a 19th century furnace operation. Roaring Run #Creek is also known for trout fishing. #VAOutdoors #waterfall #loveva #repost #roaringrun #virginia #perspective #photooftheday Kudos to @spezzaroo for the beautiful photo!
  • Posts Tagged ‘state parks’

    Get Outdoors and Soak in the Foliage

    by Casey | Posted on September 10th, 2012

    From the shores of the Chesapeake Bay to the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia’s beautiful outdoors are a major draw each fall as 15 million acres of foliage burst into color and illuminate parks, forests and coastlines. Families, friends and couples who love the outdoors can enjoy Virginia’s mild fall weather and stunning scenery while spending quality time together in the great outdoors. Below are trip ideas to get you outside and into Virginia’s fall splendor.

    Shenandoah National Park

    Shenandoah National Park

    Soar Above the Foliage on Virginia’s Eastern Shore - Glide over the Eastern Shore of Virginia like a bird while gazing down at some of the most beautiful scenery on the East Coast on a Discovery Hang Gliding Flight at the Eastern Shore Hang Gliding Center. No experience is necessary and all ages four and older are able to enjoy this pure form of flight from 2500 feet or a mile high.

    Take a Cycling Scenic Road Trip – Road cycling enthusiasts looking for an epic fall ride can enjoy a scenic ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the country’s most legendary scenic roads. This 469-mile scenic route winds through 39 counties in Virginia. It is one of the best leaf peeping destinations on the East Coast and is popular among bicyclists and motorists during fall.

    Go on a Guided Backpacking Trip in Shenandoah National Park – See places in Shenandoah National Park that few people know about; breathtaking waterfalls, high meadows, rugged mountaintops, even historic structures. This guided backpacking trip includes gear, meals and instruction by an experienced guide. Prices start at $225 per person.  Folks who want to plan an independent backpacking trip can certainly do so without a guide in Shenandoah National Park, or in other outdoor wonderlands like Mount Rogers Recreational Area and along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.

    Stay in a Luxury Tree House – Located near the Blue Ridge Parkway, the new Golden Eagle Tree House at Primland Resort in Meadows of Dan is a highly luxurious way to experience fall foliage. Designed by La Cabene Perchee, one of the world’s top tree house architectural firms, the tree house sits in one of Primland’s oldest and most beautiful trees – without the intrusion of one single nail – and overlooks the Dan River Gorge. The red cedar tree house features a king bed, huge deck and all the luxurious amenities found at Primland’s main lodge.

    Watch Roaring Falls Framed by Colorful Fall Foliage - Great Falls National Park, just outside of Washington D.C. is a collection of jagged rocks jutting up from the Potomac River in the narrow Mather Gorge creating an amazing series of falls. There are 15 miles of trails – five are multi-use and allow bikes and horses – to see the falls from various angles.

    Go Tree Climbing – Adventurers can get an up close and personal leaf peeping experience as they climb among the foliage up to the tree tops. Blue Ridge Tree Climbing in Southwest Virginia and Riverside Outfitters in Richmond offer the chance for folks to climb to sky-high branches using safety techniques borrowed from professional arborists.

    Ride Along Virginia’s Rail to Trails – Families can enjoy any number of Virginia’s rail trails, many of which are multi-use trails that trail runners, hikers and bikers of all skill levels can enjoy as they are well maintained, primarily flat trails converted from old railroad lines. In Martinsville, try the Dick & Willie Passage Rail Trail, a paved 4.5 mile section of the old Danville and Western Railroad. In Nelson County, the Virginia Blue Ridge Rail Trail runs along the Piney River and crosses into Amherst County – a beautiful wooded trail set against the Blue Ridge Mountains.

    James River

    James River

    Visit Virginia’s State ParksVirginia State Parks are consistently rated the best in the nation and have been the backdrop for perfect family vacations for more than 75 years.  Families will find that Virginia’s 35 state parks are as diverse as the state itself, with parks found along the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay, on historic sites, in the Blue Ridge Mountains or just outside of major cities, making fall outdoor fun accessible in every region of the state.

    Float through Foliage on Virginia’s Scenic Water Trails - Virginia’s vast system of scenic rivers, salty tidal bays and quiet inlets and streams provide paddlesport enthusiasts endless opportunities to experience fall from the water.

    Look for Wildlife - Virginia is full of places for wildlife viewing, especially along the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, which consists of 65 trail loops throughout Virginia. The first such trail in America, this trail reaches every part of the state and brings visitors up close and personal with Virginia’s abundant wildlife treasures. Fall is particularly great for birding as one of the most important migration stop-overs on the East Coast happens. Millions of songbirds and butterflies and thousands of raptors will converge on Virginia’s Eastern Shore during their long journey south in October.

    Discover more ways to connect in Virginia’s beautiful outdoors at Virginia.org/Outdoors.

    Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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    Fall in Virginia, Outdoors, Travel Ideas | Comments Off

    Camping Along Cool Waters

    by Casey | Posted on July 19th, 2012

    The great outdoors bring families to Virginia to unplug, unwind and just be together. Take advantage of the remaining summer weekends – or plan a fall weekend – to escape to one of Virginia’s campgrounds or a Virginia State Park.

    Lake Shore Campground, Abingdon

    Lake Shore Campground, Abingdon

    Virginia offers all types of camping in various climates and terrains. Beach and lake-based campgrounds are especially popular this time of year and often have great family attractions nearby.

    • First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach is Virginia’s most visited State Park. The beach you’ll find there is actually on the Chesapeake Bay, not the Atlantic, so it’s much calmer water for little swimmers.
    • Holiday Trav-L-Park is the closest campground to the Virginia Beach oceanfront. You can bicycle to the sand or there is designated free parking for campers.
    • North Landing Beach Campground & RV Resort in Virginia Beach is located on the North Landing River and offers a variety of camp sites, even primitive beach tent camping.
    • Cherrystone Family Camping Resort in Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore is 300 acres on the waterfront of the Chesapeake Bay where you can, indeed, see a beach sunset in Virginia.
    • Bethpage Camp-Resort in Urbanna boasts over 1,000 camp sites and an abundance of those are located on a peninsula in Robinson’s Creek – a tributary of the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay. Also find a large lake, multiple pools and a waterpark here.
    • Christopher Run Campground in Mineral is located on Lake Anna – Virginia’s third largest lake. Families will enjoy the beach area, as well as marina and boat rentals.
    • Lake Shore Campground in Abingdon is situated on the South Holston River. You won’t find a long list of activities and amenities but you will find great fishing, a beach for relaxation, and a quiet, comfortable place to completly connect.
    • Indian Heritage RV Park & Campground in Martinsville offers camping right along the Smith River. Seventeen tent sites and 29 full hook-up sites are available. Take advantage of the on-site outfitter.
    • New River Campground in Independence sits right on the VA/NC border and has great sites on the New River. Tents and RVs are welcome; camping cabins are available.

      Outlanders River Camp, Luray

      Outlanders River Camp, Luray

    • Outlanders River Camp has wooded tent sites on the Shenandoah River in Luray. Nearly 100 acres back up to 3/4-mile river frontage. Pull in your RV for full hook-up or utilize electric or primitive tent camping sites.
    • More Virginia Campgrounds

    If you need more inspiration or want a ‘best of the best’ list, see our post that includes 12 Virginia campgrounds that made the cut for ReserveAmerica’s Top 100 Family Campgrounds.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Order a free copy of the Virginia Travel Guide. 



    Beaches, Family, Outdoors | 1 Comment

    Take a Walk at a National Park

    by Casey | Posted on June 5th, 2012

    This Saturday, June 9, is Fee-Free National Park Day and it’s also National Get Outdoors Day. Virginia’s national park sites are perfect places to spend the day and enjoy the very best of Virginia’s natural beauty and history.

    Cedar Creek & Belle Grove

    Cedar Creek & Belle Grove

    Shenandoah National Park
    Shenandoah National Park
    Great Falls National Park

    Great Falls National Park

    George Washington Birthplace National Monument

    George Washington Birthplace National Monument

    Note that fee-free means there is no entrance fee. Fees still apply to any special events, camping and lodging, food, etc. A majority of National Park Service sites are free admission all the time.

    In addition to the National Parks, Virginia State Parks are participating locations for National Get Outdoors Day, and have special events planned. See the calendar.

     LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.
    Request your free Virginia Travel Guide. 



    Family, Outdoors | Comments Off

    Outdoor Fun with the Kiddos

    by Casey | Posted on May 14th, 2012

    Saturdays are great family days anyway, but this Saturday – May 19 – that is especially true. It’s National Kids to Parks Day and there are loads of fun events.

    Fishing at a Virginia State ParkVirginia has 35 state parks and every single one of them is offering special events this Saturday in recognition of National Kids to Parks Day.

    Hop aboard a hay ride at Caledon or Occoneechee; check out the Swamp Stomp at Staunton River; or be among the first to walk the new TRACK Trail at Hungry Mother and Grayson Highlands. TRACK Trail is a family-friendly trail system with activities that introduce kids to the nature around them.

    See more Kids to Parks Day Virginia State Park events at dcr.Virginia.gov.

    In addition, May 19 is one of several 2012 Kids Fishing Days in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries have chosen several locations to stock trout and host special activities.

    • South Fork Holston River at the Riverside Community Center, Smyth County – Food and drinks available for purchase. Kids 12 and under. 9 am to noon
    • Beartree Lake in Washington County – Kids 5 to 15. 9 am to 1 pm
    • Wolf Creek in Narrows Town Park, Giles County – Free lunch, prizes, and t-shirts. Kids 5 to 8 fish from 10 to 11 am; kids 9 to 15 fish from 11 am to 2 pm
    • Big Cedar Creek at Pinnacle Natural Area Preserve, Russell County – Kids 15 and under. Free food and drink. Prizes. 9 am to 2 pm
    • Rural Retreat Lake in Wythe County – Lunch provided by Wythe County Parks, goodie bags to all participants. Prizes. 9 am to 1 pm.
    • Ed Allen’s Campground Marina in New Kent County – Kids 3 to 13. Some rods/reels are available and some bait provided. 9 am to noon.
    Monster Rock Trail

    View from Monster Rock Trail

    More outdoor events that might interest your family this weekend:

    Take your kids outside and share your love of nature with them.
    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.
    Order your FREE  2012Virginia Travel Guide.



    Family, Outdoors | Comments Off

    Your Favorite Virginia Hikes

    by Casey | Posted on May 11th, 2012

    We took to Facebook and Twitter and asked you which Virginia hikes were your favorite. Having some pretty good ones in mind ourselves, we were overwhelmed with your awesome responses and just had to create a big list. Here are some highlights and you can jump over to www.Virginia.org/Hiking/ for the complete list.

    Little Stony Man in Shenandoah National Park. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Little Stony Man in Shenandoah National Park. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Whiteoak Canyon
    A wildly popular Shenandoah National Park trail is this one. Why so popular? Six waterfalls reward your effort! The falls range from 35 to 86 feet and feature swimming holes at the bottom of each. Awesome place to propose? Yes. Awesome place to skinny dip? Not so much. Hike in one mile for the lower falls or on up another two miles (and steeper grade) to the upper falls. Park off route 600 at the Boundary Trailhead.

    Or, access Whiteoak Canyon from Skyline Drive at milepost 42.6. You’ll encounter the upper falls first on a 4.6-mile out-and-back hike. If you wish to go to the lower falls, know that it’s a steep climb back up and adds another 2.7 miles round trip. Download the Trail Map

    Whiteoak Falls

    Whiteoak Falls

    Molly’s Knob
    Hungry Mother State Park includes a 108-acre lake with 12 refreshing miles of trails around it. While one trail leads to another here, it’s the Molly’s Knob Trail that serious hikers adore. It’s only 1.6 miles, but it’s narrow, steep, and downright difficult at times before it reveals its treasure – the summit and highest point of the park at 3,270 feet – Molly’s Knob. Download the Trail Map

    Strickler Knob
    This 5.5-mile moderate hike into George Washington National Forest is not maintained and not suitable for dogs or young children. It does, however, reward with challenging rock scrambling and stunning 360-degree views of New Market Gap and the Luray Valley, as well as a geocache. Access via Crisman Hollow Road/forest development road 274 off route 211 near Luray. This area is known as Scothorn Gap.

    Dragon’s Tooth
    This spur off the AT overlooking the Roanoke Valley is a 4.6-mile out-and-back. At 3,000 feet, the views from this aptly named location are great. You’ll know you’ve hit Dragon’s Tooth when you see the jagged rock rising ahead of you. Access the trail via route 311 towards Catawba, past the McAfee trailhead. A parking lot is available.

    Go to www.Virginia.org/Hiking/ for the complete list of favorite hikes as mentioned by our Facebook and Twitter followers. Happy Trails!

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Order your free 2012 Virginia Travel Guide. 



    Couples, Fall in Virginia, Family, Outdoors | 1 Comment