Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine
BIKE, HIKE AND GALLOP in Virginia
Whether via two wheels, two feet or perched on the back of a horse, Virginia’s rich terrain makes it a natural choice for cyclists, hikers and horseback riders. More of the Appalachian Trail passes through Virginia than any other state, so you have plenty of opportunities to make your mark on this legendary hike. Trails also abound in the 39 state parks, more than 20 national parks and thousands of acres of national forest.
Whether you fancy trotting with your horse through a vineyard, biking downhill on a well-groomed mountain trail or hiking through a forest of loblolly pines and sweetgums, here we highlight just a few of Virginia’s outdoor adventures:
TWO WHEELS GOOD
Virginia’s Blue Ridge is known as America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital. Cyclists can spin their wheels on turf that’s home to multiple trail systems. Pedal into Virginia’s heartland on epic trails fuelled by names like Arcadia Up and Over, and Dragon’s Back. Experienced riders will love the Virginia Mountain Bike Trail, an off-road route that runs the length of Virginia’s Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains. Created by dedicated trail riders, eight major trail systems are linked through forested roads, including the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.
TAKE A HIKE
If your schedule doesn’t allow for a multiday adventure on the Appalachian Trail, you can still make your mark with a short visit. Try the family-friendly Bears Den Overlook hike in Bluemont, which is accessible for all ages and abilities. Prepare for a jaw-dropping view less than a kilometre from the parking area!
Virginia Beach boasts more than just warm sands and water. Head for the wilderness of First Landing State Park. The urban oasis of pristine wild nature offers walkers 10 trails to explore. Try the Cape Henry trail which passes over salt marsh and cypress swamps, keeping watch for turtles, snakes, and frogs.
Take in Virginia’s natural beauty via horseback, galloping past postcard pretty surroundings. Numerous outfitters offer riding in the famous Shenandoah Valley with its spectacular views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. Head to Cross Junction with local operator Bailey’s Walking After Midnight Farm, and ride where George Washington once rode.