Colum­nist Tee Clark­son takes a look at a three-day get­away in­side Vir­ginia’s bor­ders.

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - SPORTS+ - Tee Clark­son out­doors@Times­Dis­

The three-day va­ca­tion is im­per­a­tive. With­out it, there is lit­tle doubt that all san­ity would drain quickly from the sink.

If I were to run for pol­i­tics (and don’t worry, that won’t be hap­pen­ing), I would base my en­tire plat­form around the three­day va­ca­tion. And why not? Who can’t squeeze in five days of work into four ev­ery now and again?

At least one three-day week­end a month sounds about right.

Shut­ting the of­fice down early saves on en­ergy and does won­ders for morale. Plus, when you hit the road, you inevitably spend a lit­tle more money, boost­ing the econ­omy a bit, par­tic­u­larly in the outof-the way places.

Our fam­ily tries to get in at least one long week­end va­ca­tion ev­ery sea­son, so I thought it would be fit­ting to high­light some op­tions through­out the sum­mer sea­son, start­ing with the Warm Springs area of Vir­ginia.

Where you stay es­tab­lishes the tone of any three­day week­end, and the Warm Springs area has op­tions rang­ing from prim­i­tive camp­ing on Lake Moomaw to five-star lodg­ing at the Home­stead. There are also plenty of great lit­tle inns and bed-and-break­fasts around and house and cabin rentals avail­able on VRBO and Airbnb.

Re­gard­less of where you stay, a good hike is in or­der when you are in the area and there are all sorts of op­tions. A few rather short ones are the Hid­den Val­ley loop along the Jack­son River and the Dan In­galls Over­look trail. Longer hikes are avail­able in the area in Douthat State Park and through­out the Ge­orge Washington Na­tional For­est. The Na­ture Con­ser­vancy has pub­lished a hik­ing guide for Warm Springs Moun­tain Pre­serve. If you are look­ing for a hike around Lake Moomaw, this map is a good place to start.

There are a wealth of ex­cel­lent fish­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the area with the two pri­mary op­tions be­ing Lake Moomaw and the Jack­son River.

Moomaw is known pri­mar­ily for its small­mouth bass and trout fish­ery. Many an­glers take ad­van­tage of the en­tire lake in power boats, but those choos­ing to fish from kayaks or ca­noes can en­joy the rel­a­tive quiet of the up­per end of the lake where the Jack­son River en­ters. For in­for­ma­tion on fish­ing Moomaw, an­glers should start by check­ing the DGIF site.

Trout and warm-wa­ter species are avail­able on the up­per Jack­son near Hid­den Val­ley as well as through sec­tions below Gathright Dam.

The Vir­ginia Depart­ment of Game and In­land Fish­eries reg­u­larly stocks the sec­tion in Hid­den Val­ley with rain­bow trout. This is a great area for fly fish­ing and spin fish­ing alike. Those will­ing to walk a few miles will find the spe­cial reg­u­la­tions area pop­u­lar with fly an­glers. Small­mouth bass and other warm-wa­ter species can be found in this por­tion of the up­per Jack­son when wa­ter temps are too high for trout.

Fish­ing below Gathright dam is ex­cel­lent for trout year round. Pub­lic ac­cess is avail­able for wad­ing and for floats but those ven­tur­ing to the area should be aware of tres­pass­ing law­suits filed by some landown­ers claim­ing Kings Grants. DGIF has out­lined these ar­eas and ac­cess points.

The fur­ther down­stream you go the bet­ter the small­mouth bass fish­ing.

Those wish­ing to com­bine a lit­tle hik­ing with their fish­ing will find plenty of na­tive brook trout streams in the neigh­bor­ing Ge­orge Washington Na­tional For­est.

There is cer­tainly no rea­son to leave the moun­tain bike at home ei­ther. Douthat State Park has more than 40 miles of trails and is the “go to” spot in the area for more se­ri­ous rid­ers. Those in the mood for a more re­lax­ing ride should look into the Jack­son River Scenic Trail.

Re­gard­less of whether you choose to rough it or stay in style, whether you are look­ing for ad­ven­tures on two wheels or two feet, whether you like your boat pow­ered by a mo­tor or your own pad­dle, the Warm Springs area makes for an ideal three-day get­away.

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