For those looking to really get away, journey to the soaring mountains of Highland County, the least populous county in Virginia, to experience solitude and breathtaking views.
There are ample opportunities for hiking in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, like the Shenandoah Mountain Trail. The access point is a popular mountain scenic viewing area, especially during fall, where you can walk the short interpretive trail at the Confederate Breastworks, or continue on to longer hikes into the Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness, or join up with the Great Eastern Trail. Just down the road is the McDowell Battlefield Trail that follows in the footsteps of Civil War soldiers to the top of Sitlington Hill.
Near Monterey, a 1.3 mile hike or drive takes you to the restored Sounding Knob Fire Tower where you can climb over 100 steps from sunrise to sunset for a lasting memory. You’ll be close to over 14,000 acres to explore in Highland County’s Wildlife Management Area.
When you’re done hiking for the day, satisfy your sweet tooth with a tour of
several sugar camps in the county along the Virginia Maple Syrup Trail, or order a refreshing glass of locally-made cider from Big Fish Cider.
Cover photo: Sounding Knob Fire Tower, photo courtesy of Blue Ridge GeoGraphics