Virginia, nestled in the southeast United States, enjoys breathtaking landscapes of the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Coastline. If you’re looking for a diverse range of outdoor activities, VA doesn’t disappoint.
The climate, humid subtropical, isn’t the worst. The culture is progressive and welcoming, and the legal system is the fourth best in the nation. Considering residents have legal access to medicinal and recreational marijuana, it’s safe to say VA is abreast with current trends.
Overall, you will have a good time in Virginia. The natural beauty alone promises abundance in outdoor activities. In this post, we highlight some of the state’s best outdoor activities.
Hike the Mountains
Virginia has some of the best hiking spots in the country, with extensive trails cutting through breathtaking greenery, mountains, and sprawling fields. A good place to start is the Shenandoah National Park, which offers plenty of scenic sights.
For a hiker, the legendary Appalachian Trail is the stuff of dreams. Stretching 544 miles through Virginia, you get more of the trail compared to any other state.
If AT proves too challenging, there are other popular trails like the Old Rag Mountain Hike, Saunders-Monticello Trail, Noland Trail, and Hawksbill Greenway.
The camping experience in Virginia is certainly great due to the state’s scenic landscape. As a visitor or resident, you won’t have to frequent the same campgrounds when you have plenty of options to experience the wilderness.
Virginia’s state parks have safe and well–maintained campsites you can visit year-long. There’s something for everyone, regardless of skill level.
If you’re not into wooded areas, the state’s coastline offers some of the best campgrounds at the beach, such as False Cape, Kiptopeke, and Chincoteague Island.
Try Water Activities
Virginia has plenty of water bodies, of which the most popular are the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, and the Potomac River. But the state boasts numerous lakes and rivers perfect for water activities.
The extensive sandy beach of Buckroe Beach on Chesapeake Bay is great for water activities. Assateague Island, featuring the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, is a great place to swim, sail, and surf.
Virginia is also home to some of the best and most scenic lakes for canoeing and rafting, like Swift Creek Lake and Philpott Lake. Opportunities for these activities are also available in rivers across the state, such as the Potomac, Rappahannock, Roanoke, and Shenandoah Rivers.
Explore the Wildlife
Nearly 60% of Virginia’s land is forested, providing abundant wildlife harboring various species of birds, animals, and insects. With over 60 state and national parks, there is no shortage of spots to view wildlife.
Explore the diverse ecosystems in popular spots like the Roanoke River and the heavily forested Blue Ridge Mountains, where you can spot moose, white-tail deer, foxes, and black bears. Just be sure to be in the company of guides when you’re further inland.
Stretches of the pristine Atlantic coastline are notable for red foxes, turtles, and many species of birds. If you’re a birdwatcher, you will appreciate the coastal plain as well as the Appalachian Mountains, as they are home to hundreds of bird species.
Take on the Caves
One of the best outdoor activities in Virginia has nothing to do with the open sky.
Virginia is a great place for underground adventures, courtesy of spectacular caving systems. You will get to crawl through some of the best caves in the nation.
Book tours to explore the underground world in popular sites like Foster Falls, Grand Caverns, Shenandoah Caverns, and Fountain Cave.
Hit Biking Trails
If you’re into cycling, Virginia has all kinds of terrain, from mountains to plains, that will give you the best experience. Road cyclists will enjoy the scenic road biking trail like the Great Falls Overlook, which offers views of lush trees and the Potomac.
Other trails road bikers will love include the Virginia Capital Trail, spanning 50-plus miles, Mount Vernon Trail at Gravelly Point Park, Deep Run Park Trails, and the loop trail at Oak Grove Lake.
Off-road and mountain bikers are certainly not left behind, as Virginia is equipped with good terrain for the activity.
In Roanoke, Virginia, you have the popular Carvins Cove Trail, a singletrack trail stretching 30 miles. Other notable mountain bike trails are Dragon’s Back, Sherando Park Trails, and the Douthat State Park trail.
You may be interested in a different outdoor experience we haven’t mentioned. You should know that Virginia has a lot to offer to people of all ages and experience levels.