Crisp fall evenings accompanied by the colorful mountain scenery is reason enough to head to Virginia for the autumn season. The Shenandoah Valley fall foliage is at its peak at the end of October and beginning of November. The trees ablaze with reds, yellows and oranges is a sight to behold as you drive along the picturesque parkways or even by foot along the many hiking and biking trails.
Adventure seekers can experience the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley fall foliage by way of horseback. Fort Valley Ranch offers guided horseback trail rides through the mountains. Rides range from one and a half hours to full day rides. If riding is not your thing, horse and mule drawn wagon rides are also available and another great way to take in the views. Take a day to slow down and soak in all the beauty that Shenandoah has to offer.
Grab your best pair of walking shoes and head over to The Shenandoah National Park. With over 500 miles of winding hiking trails to choose from, the views from the various lookouts will be well worth the exercise. From a casual stroll to the more advanced routes, there is a path for every skill level. If you are in search of a short hike with splendid views, check out the Little Stony Man Cliffs route. With the sunlight shining on the autumn colors in the trees, there are great views of Page Valley. This trail takes about an hour and is 0 .9 miles. The Hawksbill Mountain Summit takes you to the park’s highest peak. The loop is about 2.1 miles of rocky trail. For panoramic views of the mountains, Deadening Nature trail is a 1.4 mile loop that takes you to the top of Loft Mountain. The trail to the overlook is fairly steep in parts but considered moderately easy as far as difficulty. For more information on the trails, visit the Shenandoah National Park Hiking Page.
If you’re in the mood for a scenic ride, Skyline Drive is a favorite among visitors with its 75 overlooks and a 105 mile stretch of open road to explore. Skyline Drive runs the entire length of the Shenandoah National Park and connects with The Blue Ridge Parkway. In addition to the must see overlooks, there are picnic areas available along the way. One overlook considered to have the best views is Big Run Overlook. Located at milepost 81.2, Rockytop Ridge is on one side with Rocky Mountain and Brown Mountain cascading on the other.
Shenandoah Valley is home to an abundance of wineries that make up the Shenandoah Wine Trail. For a relaxing afternoon getaway, Bluestone Vineyard is located in the center of the valley boasting views of the western mountains from the vineyard. Wine tastings are available daily ranging from $5.00 to $8.00. Stop by and soak in the valley views with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the vineyards favorites.
Boasting its own views of the fall foliage from their two wrap around porches is the Hummingbird Inn bed and breakfast. Located in the small town of Goshen, this bed and breakfast sets the scene for the perfect fall getaway. In addition to the five spacious guest rooms available, the Inn offers a peaceful and relaxing environment to make you feel at home. For more information on the inn and booking a reservation, visit www.hummingbirdinn.com.
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