Virginia may be best-known for the Appalachian Mountain trails in the western part of the state. These trails offer many scenic viewpoints for hikers of all abilities. About 20 percent of the Virginian Appalachians are in Shenandoah National Park, which offers accessible hiking trails from the spring to fall, plus cross-country skiing in the winter.
Experienced hikers can head to Sinking Creek Mountain in the south. After a challenging climb, adventurers can take in the scenery of Craig Creek Valley. Hikers can also explore the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in central Virginia, which contain a diverse array of plants and animals, including 150 bird species. Another area with popular hikes, also along the Appalachian trail, is the Devil’s Marbleyard, where a hiker has two options. The first hike has massive boulders covering the side of a hill and the other hike has an incredible 360 degree view of the surrounding Virginia landscape. The boulder hike is generally considered a tougher hike. Also, remember to wear sunglasses if it is bright and sunny, as the reflection on the boulders can be blinding.
The author, Carl Buhler, is in the Air Force and has deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. Outside of his professional life, Carl Buhler pursues his interest in nature-based activities such as hiking.