In this, the first in a three-part series of "Staycation" ideas and information, we look at some great local options for hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, all within the state of Virginia.
|Sky Meadow State Park, Delaplane, VA|
Other, more rustic access points to the Appalachian Trail are also nearby. You can access it near Linden, off Route 55 on Tuckers Lane. There you will find a parking lot on the right just as you drive under Route 66. Pack a snack or lunch and hike as far as you want, rest, then hike back. Because it is rarely crowded and has several small streams, it is a good trail to bring along the family dog. Trail access is free.
Another nearby Appalachian Trail access point is off Route 66 in Markham, off the Route 688 North exit. The trails leads you to the George Thompson Wildlife Management area. Hikers can leave their car at the nearby parking lot and spend the day exploring. Trail access is free at this location as well.
Have you ever heard of Wildcat Mountain? It is a local hidden gem and offers beautiful scenery, a labyrinth of trails to choose from and is well known for offering solitude to hikers.
|Bull Run Mountain, Broad Run, VA|
If you are looking for a challenge, Old Rag Mountain is the place to hike. This will take most of the day; start out early to take advantage of cooler morning temperatures and plenty of time to fully explore.
If you preference is a leisurely stroll or walk, visit nearby Rady Park in Warrenton, or the Northern Fauquier Community Park in Marshall. Both offer paved walkways and picnic areas.
Numerous resources to learn more about these and other staycation hiking locations are available in our collection:
Guide to State Parks of the United States
Enjoying Virginia Outdoors: A Guide to Wildlife Management Areas
Hikes in the Virginias: Virginia, West Virginia
Virginia: An Atlas of Virginia's Great Hiking Adventures
Fauquier-Warrenton destinations plan: bicycle and pedestrian plan
Before you head out the door, stop by any Fauquier County Public Library location and pick up "Flat Ernie" - take him with you, snap a photo, then send your photo to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop your photo off at one of our locations - we will post it on our Flat Ernie display. It's a great way to share your adventures with other library patrons, and we'd love to see where you and Flat Ernie go this summer - near or far!
Regardless of where your summer vacation takes you, happy trails!