Whether visiting Virginia for vacation, exploring your own state, or simply passing through the state, you should strive to allow time in your schedule to explore some of Virginia’s many impressive mountains. Virginia’s mountains are part of the Appalachian range that runs from Alabama into Canada. Virginia’s tallest mountain at 5,729 feet is Mt. Rogers (although Thomas Jefferson wrote that not only were the Peaks of Otter the highest mountains in Virginia, but he speculated that they might be the highest mountains in North America). The subject of countless works of art from songs to paintings, the mountains in this state are sure to satisfy tourists, locals, and passersby alike. Though Virginia is home to eight different mountain ranges, perhaps the most popular is the Blue Ridge Mountain range.
When visiting the mountains, hiking is a popular activity. There are a number of trails to take including Dragon’s Tooth and Roaring Run Falls. The Dragon’s Tooth trail is rugged and challenging, but it provides incredible views of the mountain and its surrounding area; conversely, the Roaring Run trail is more attuned to family fun, and the recreation area features a picnic area and a stream that is known for trout fishing. As some of Virginia’s mountains reach heights of more than 5,000 feet, taking time to properly prepare for the journey is important, regardless of one’s skill level or experience.
Blue Ridge Parkway
For those who want to appreciate the mountains’ splendor as it spans the state, driving along any stretch of Virginia’s 217-mile-long segment of the Blue Ridge Parkway is a great way to immerse yourself in the mountain atmosphere. With a multitude of tree species along its route, this road carves through the forest along the Appalachians and continuing into North Carolina to follow the Smoky Mountains. The historic Skyline Drive, a National Scenic Byway, is a hugely popular route in autumn when the trees boast leaves in brilliant fall colors.
Virginia’s mountain region encompasses many State Parks. The State Parks have consistently been ranked highly when compared to parks across the nation, and most of them feature amenities such as campsites and cabins. National Parks scattered around the state offer natural environments, historical areas, and various trails. Great Falls Park, for example, just a few miles from Washington, DC, up the Potomac River at the fall line, presents a unique opportunity to hike along Mather Gorge and view stunning waterfalls. The various parks allow visitors and Virginia residents to appreciate the sights of Virginia’s mountain ranges and other natural wonders.