Virginia

WALK THE MILE

Virginia is a hiker’s paradise – from walks through coastal marshes to epic backpacking trips along the famed Appalachian Trail, From the Montebello Fish Hatchery the two-mile climb to the Appalachian Trail and then on to Spy Rock is a moderately strenuous one. The payoff is tremendous with 360-degree panoramic views from the rock outcrop. Virginia has a footpath for all abilities, offering stunning views, flowing cascades, rhododendron and large hemlock trees. Hawksbill Mountain is the highest peak in Shenandoah National Park at 4,050 feet. Access the summit from parking areas at milepost 45.6 and 46.7. The trails vary from a steep 1.7 miles round trip to a 2.9 miles moderate circuit. Mount Rogers is the highest point in Virginia at 5,729 feet! Try and find the plaque signifying this for a great photo-op. This nine-mile out-and-back hike begins at Elk Garden Gap. Take the white blazed AT trail north. An opening awaits you at about mile three and again at about mile four. The summit will take your breath away.

Riding Bikes

Virginia offers soft adventure for families to high adventure for adrenaline junkies. From the leisurely bike rides on the Creeper Trail to the complex mountain biking trails found throughout the state, you can find an adventure that’s just your speed. Many of Virginia’s old railroad grades have been converted into multi-use recreation trails. These gentle, mostly flat trails range from a few miles to more and wind through some of the most beautiful scenery in Virginia. The 34.3-mile Virginia Creeper Trail was named after the steam engine that once creeped up the rails into the Iron Mountains. Also, a plant called the “Virginia Creeper” grew along its tracks. By the 1970s, many railroads were abandoned. And in 1986, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy began converting old railroad beds into trail systems for hikers and bikers. Abingdon at Mile 0 is the one of the most popular places to enter the Virginia Creeper Trail. Parking is available, and a steam locomotive is on display at the Trailhead. Other popular access points are at Alvarado Mile 8.5, Damascus Mile 15.5, Creek Junction Mile 25 and Whitetop Station Mile 32.3.

Parasailing

VIRGINIA BEACH – Get ready for the exhilaration of take-off, followed by the panoramic view of the Virginia Beach coastline while soaring in the sky. Fly up to 3 people 800, 1,000 or 1,200 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. See schools of dolphin, surfers and jet skiers from a bird’s eye view. All captains are US Coast Guard certified. Stay dry or get dipped, it’s up to you. Conveniently located 2 blocks off the resort strip. Call 747-422-8359 for reservations. Sport boat, jet skis, and kayak rentals also available. >MORE