Parks and Nature...
Here is information about Fauquier County parks, but you can also check out the list below.
Follow scenic roads through expanses of farmland, orchards and horse farms bordered by centuries-old stone fences. Or relive American history as you walk the trails of Civil War battlefields in the region called home to three of America’s first five presidents. Hike or horseback through fields and woods or bicycle along winding scenic roads (we get bicyclists from all over). There is a wonderful bike/coffee shop in The Plains where you can rent bikes or have your own repaired.
• The award winning Northern Fauquier Community Park is only a minute away (left out the driveway and one mile down on your right). Its 88 acres are beautifully maintained and include eight picnic shelters, an amphitheater, softball, baseball, football and soccer fields, three playgrounds, indoor restrooms, several fishing ponds and a 1.75 mile paved trail for walking or cycling. It even has an outdoor ice skating rink that is open through most of the winter months. The $5 fee includes skates. The rest of the park is free to the public.
• Sky Meadows State Park is a 20 minute drive and consists of 1,862 acres of vistas, rolling pastures and woodlands. Hiking, picnicking, fishing, and primitive hike-encamping are favored activities in this peaceful getaway on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park offers six miles of bridle trails and 14 miles of hiking trails, which access the Appalachian Trail. Parking is free.
• Manassas Battlefield Park is less than 20 minutes east is the site of the Battle of Bull Run, the first major land battle of the Civil War. The park features ranger tours and Civil War reenactments. Explore this historic terrain where men fought and died for their beliefs over a century ago.
• The Appalachian Trail can be accessed via Sky Meadows State Park (see above) and the G.R. Thompson Wildlife management area.
• Appalachian Trail - Ashby Gap to Bears Den Rocks (the Roller Coaster) This 13.5 mile section is rocky and the ups and downs are pretty constant. There are two nice viewpoints along the route. It is about 16 miles from the house.
• Appalachian Trail - Lost Mountain Trail is 1.8 miles of single track. It is a nice tree covered trail with a few steep inclines over Lost mountain.
• Buzzard’s Rock, Front Royal, VA. It is part of the George Washington National Forests and is 5.5 miles long. It is said to be pretty challenging and has high ratings from hikers. There are great views at the top. 28 miles from the house.
• Bull Run Mountain Quarry Trail is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Broad Run, Virginia that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and birding and is open March until November. There are lovely mountain views at the top. It is only eight miles from the house.
• Whitney State Forest features 148 acres and seven miles of hiking trails. Not too strenuous. You can see ruins of a colonial era house and sneak a peak at the grand working horse estate of North Wales. 19 miles from the house. It is off of Lee’s Ridge Road just south of Warrenton.
Would you prefer an easy and close walk on a gravel road less traveled with beautiful views? You might try Whitewood Road, about a mile from the house (You’ll pass “Hazeltop”, Robert Duvall’s driveway along the way.). All around us, the back roads are gorgeous - lovely to drive even if you don’t do the hiking part!
• Horseback Riding - Across the road is Madcap Farm, where Jeanne Blackwell works with horses and teaches sidesaddle, polo, beginner and advanced rider lessons. If you contact her in advance, she can arrange lessons. She also offers self-care overnight horse boarding if contacted ahead of time.
• Fresh Eggs and Farm Animals, Anyone? Greenfield Farms Alpacas is nearby and they'll sell you fresh eggs in an array of gorgeous colors and probably even take you around to see some of their animals! Give them a call ahead of time.
• Paris Barns - for a walk around a working farm (and certified wildlife habitat) in lovely Paris, Virginia (less than 20 minutes away) visit Paris Barns! See website and call them first; open most weekends as well as by appointment from June to December.
Please be aware of ticks and poison ivy. Virginia is gorgeous but has plenty of both!