Let's enjoy a late Spring hike in Sky Meadows State Park!
The route: From the parking lot near the Park Office, we’ll head uphill and west along Piedmont Overlook Trail (Red, 0.61 miles), continuing north and west along Ambassador Whitehouse Trail (Light Blue, 1.1 miles) to the Appalachian Trail. We’ll walk south along the Appalachian Trail (White, 2.43 miles) and turn east to follow North Ridge Trail about 1/3 of its length (Blue, 0.5 miles) to where it intersects with the South Ridge Trail. From there we’ll follow South Ridge Trail (Yellow, 1.54 mile) past the ruins of Snowdon Manor as it loops along the south boundary of the park to Boston Mill Road (Green, 0.4 milles), which we’ll follow north back to our start point.
The walk is about 6.5 miles and should take a little over 2 hours, with breaks. The surface is a mix of dirt, gravel, and mown grass. The uphill stretch along Piedmont Overlook Trail is even ground, but the downhill stretch along North Ridge Trail has rocks, roots, and some muddy patches.
Where to meet: We'll meet in the Visitor Center parking lot, GPS =[masked],[masked]
How to get there: From the I-495 Beltway, take exit 49A for I-66 W toward Vienna/Front Royal. Follow I-66W for about 42 miles. Take exit 23 to merge onto US-17 N/VA-55 W/Winchester Rd toward Delaplane/Paris. Continue to follow US-17 N/Winchester Rd for almost 7 miles. Turn left onto State Route 710/Edmonds Lane, drive 0.5 miles, and turn slightly right onto Winchester Road to enter the park. The parking lot is 0.7 miles further at 1124 Winchester Rd, Delaplane, VA 20144.
What to bring: Water, comfy shoes, and your furry friend if desired. (Leashes, please.) Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a light snack for halts are good accessories. It’s pretty early for bugs, but some repellent might be handy. Please remember, this is a kid-free zone, no one under 18 please.
Cost: Parking is $4.00 per car; pay and pick up a hangtag at the gate. (You can grab a free trail map while you're there.)
Administrative stuff: The park office area has restrooms, drinking fountains, and a gift shop.
Sky Meadows State Park: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/sky.shtml