Here are the five best parks to visit in the Commonwealth of Virginia this week.
The National Park Service (NPS) will be turning 100 this August 25, 2016. Affiliated parks, monuments, and points of interests under the NPS banner, including those here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, will be celebrating. From April 16-24, 2016, National Parks from across the country will open their doors for free.
The state of Virginia boasts 21 parks, monuments, and historical sites affiliated with the NPS. Here are the five best places to visit this week and throughout this year:
Shenandoah National Park
"You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So get on your way!" Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! Shenandoah staff and volunteers are celebrating today by reading in schools in the surrounding area. Shenandoah's mountains are waiting for you. Thanks @treysecrist for the great photo! #shennps #readacrossamerica #drseussday #findyourpark #npscentennial
Shenandoah National Park is the most popular and well-known National Park here in the Old Dominion State. It is located 75 miles west of Washington, D.C. It spans over 500 miles and is situated near the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachian Trail.
Why Shenandoah? It appeals to outdoor enthusiasts of all levels and ages. For more expert climbers, there’s Old Rag Mountain or hiking up to the highest peak at Hawksbill. For those less inclined to hike steep elevations, there are countless trails and beautiful vistas to be found on Skyline Drive. Not only known for its incredible beauty, it’s also known for its unique wildlife like the elusive black bear. Prime time for Shenandoah is fall with the foilage change.
To learn more about this park, go here.
Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague Island National Seashore is situated on the Maryland-Virginia Eastern Shore border. Located about 3.5 hours southeast of the nation’s capital, Assateague Island National Seashore comprises 48,000 acres surrounded by coastal wasters and estuaries.
If you enjoy saltwater, encounters with nature, and peace of mind, this place is a must-visit. Like its sister island Chincoteague Island, Assateague Island boasts overly friendly wild ponies. Hikers, anglers, beach goers, families, and birdwatchers will especially like this place.
To learn more about Assateague Island, go here.
Great Falls Park
Great Falls Park is located in McLean, Virginia, and is a popular place for hikers. Located about 15 miles northwest of the nation’s capital, this park is a favorite destination of locals from the District, Maryland, and Virginia. Visitors can choose to hike alongside the falls, set up a picnic and catch a glimpse of the falls. There are countless miles of trails here–enough to satisfy all
To plan your visit to Great Falls, go here.
Harpers Ferry, Virginia Side (Loudoun Heights Trail)
#TravelTuesday: Harpers Ferry (@harpersferrynps). Had a great time hiking in West Virginia this weekend! Couldn't ask for a more picturesque view than this. Check out my write-up in the above link. #vscocam #explorewv #hiking #justgooutdoors #LoudounHeightsTrail #AppalachianTrail #Nature #WhereTheWildThingsAre
Although Harper’s Ferry belongs to West Virginia, one of its two hiking trails is located in Virginia. Better known as the the Loudoun Heights Trail, the Virginia hike at Harpers Ferry is a fairly moderate hike to climb–one that will take roughly two hours to reach the lookout point. Although not a steep incline, this trail can be difficult for those who don’t prepare for it. The overlook from this trail allows visitors to see bird’s eye view of Harpers Ferry, plus the intersection of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers (pictured above).
To learn more about Harpers Ferry, go here.
Colonial National Historic Park
The Colonial National Historic Park comprises Yorktown Battlefield and Historic Jamestowne is the first permanent English settlement in the United States located near Colonial Williamsburg. It was founded on May 13, 1607. This destination is protected by the National Park Service and the perfect family-friendly place to venture to. Visitors can learn about early Virginia history and how the state came to be. Nearby is the James River, which provides countless fishing and hiking opportunities.
To learn more about the Colonial National Historic Park, go here.
Did these five Virginia parks interest you? Be sure to #FindYourPark this week and all throughout 2016 here int he Commonwealth!