Find fresh air and outdoor activities in Shenandoah County. After a long cold winter indoors, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the mild spring temperatures. With over 178 miles of trails through the George Washington National Forest, there’s sure to be a way to breathe in the mountain air with a hike, bike ride, or horseback ride.
Start with a wonderful stay in one of the many “glamping” spots like BallyBrook Farm, The Black Bear Tent or stay directly on the river in the Seven Bends Cottage. They offer rustic but comfortable accommodations where one has the impression of camping in absolute luxury. The good thing about these places is that you can be outdoors with a bit more of the comforts of home. Do you prefer harshness? There are plenty of campsites and cabins connected HERE as well as a variety of other types of accommodation. You can fuel up for the day with an amazing breakfast at Underground Pancake where they serve some of the most creative pancake and waffle dishes, both sweet and savory.
Fort Valley Ranch, located in a valley in the Shenandoah Valley, is a wonderful place to gather with friends and family for a ride through mountains, over creeks, and with views of waterfalls. One-hour, 90-minute and half-day walks are available by reservation. Fort Valley Ranch also offers accommodations that allow guests to bring their own horses with cabin rentals, RV hookups, and rustic campsites.
Another Fort Valley highlight are the OHV trails. If you have your own off-road vehicle, take it out to enjoy the 36 miles of wooded trails with great views of the valley below. These trails represent the largest network of OHV trails on public land in Virginia. You can access the trails at the South Peters Mill Run trailhead, Edinburg Gap trailhead, and Taskers Gap trailhead. Click on HERE for a card.
For those who love hikingthere are hiking trails to suit all abilities, from steep day hikes with rocks and incredible views, to short paved wheelchair accessible hikes also with incredible views. It’s a great time of year as the red buds begin to appear through the trees and the wildflowers on the forest floor emerge.
One of the great benefits of being in a rural and agricultural area is the fresh, local food served. Many Shenandoah County restaurants are committed to serving food grown right here in the region. places like The Woodstock Garden Cafe, Brewery ticket office and Penelope’s Coffee offer creative and thoughtful lunch menus with locally grown ingredients whenever possible.
For those looking to try something new or check off an item off the to-do list, Shenandoah County has you covered. How about a few rounds of disc golf? There are two excellent locations for Disc Golf with all skill levels in mind. AT Limestone ledges there is a class for intermediate to advanced and one for beginners and fun for the family. AT Swover Creekit’s a great place to go with a group in a relaxed atmosphere where after your round of disc golf you can enjoy a craft beer and wood-fired pizza.
When it comes to the bucket list item, treat yourself to the thrill of a lifetime at Skydive in Shenandoah with expert tandem instructors for some of the most spectacular views.
Cover photo: Disc Golf at Swover Creek Farm Brewery
All photos courtesy of Visit Shenandoah County