From mountain ridge tops to underground caverns, the parks of Rockingham County provide access to a variety of Virginia adventures. With over 177,000 designated as national park or national forest land, there is plenty to keep you coming back year after year.
Follow Skyline Drive to one of the spectacular overlook or waterfall hikes in Shenandoah National Park. Dozens of trailheads, including access to over 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail, and three campgrounds make this a must-see Virginia destination. A short hike to Blackrock Summit or Hightop Summit offers stunning views from a rocky outcrop, and both are excellent options for a dreamy sunset hike. Nearby, First Mountain State Forest is another excellent spot for anglers looking to spend hours on the water. The upper reaches of Boone Run are a must-visit, classified as a Class II wild trout stream.
Head deep into George Washington National Forest for more remote but no less scenic trails. Whether you prefer fishing the cool mountain streams, mountain biking miles of rocky and rooty terrain, or camping in a secluded spot, you can’t go wrong exploring this massive swath of scenic beauty. High Knob Fire Tower is a popular destination on the border with West Virginia. After a 40-minute hike, climb the tower built from rocks for sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Visit one of the area’s urban parks before exploring the options for a bite to eat and a taste of the local spirits. Walk the pollinator trail around Lake Shenandoah for a glimpse of native wildflowers, grasses, and a variety of wildlife species, or stroll the loop along North River at Wildwood Park in Bridgewater. Check out the pours on tap at Cave Hill Farms Brewery, Elkton Brewing Co., or BrewHaHa Brewing after a day of exploration.
Fill out your itinerary with a hike along Massanutten Ridge Trail to a panoramic view of Massanutten Resort’s ski slopes or a nature walk amongst the Elk Run Trails, an 18-mile wooded trail perfect for a peaceful jaunt. You might even find yourself kayaking, canoeing, or tubing the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River on a morning run or all-day adventure. If you’re looking to escape that warm summer sun or unpredictable afternoon showers, head underground at Endless Caverns, Melrose Caverns, or Grand Caverns for a tour of the area’s rich geological history.