Summary: A very nice hike through wooded, moderately steep terrain. The paths are well maintained, and fairly heavily traveled. This is a very popular park, so you can expect to run into other hikers here, especially on the weekend. There are many trails in the area to choose from, ranging from less than a mile to a loop of about 8 miles. The park trails connect up to the Appalachian Trail, south of where it heads into Ashby Gap.
This hike covers a popular loop: up the Gap Run Trail to the North Ridge Trial, then down the South Ridge Trail. Most of the trails are well shaded by tree cover, though there are a few nice scenic overlooks that are open. The Gap Run is steeper than the South Ridge, so you may find it easier to follow the same route we did; a little tough going up, but nice and gentle on the way down and back.
There are many facilities here, but the park is mainly geared towards hiking. See http://www.dcr.state.va.us/parks/skymeado.htm
Trailhead: I-495 to I-66 west; I-66 west to US 17 (Exit 23); north on US 17 approx. 7 mi. to park entrance on left. $3 entry fee (as of 08/10/03)
Up-to-date fee info here: http://www.dcr.state.va.us/parks/parkfees.htm (Lat:38.99185 Lon:-77.96624)
Trail Guides for Sky Meadows 3.5m loop (Gap Run, North/South Ridge):
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Department of Conservaton & Recreation, Sky Meadows (540) 592-3556
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by J Paul Keller
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Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Virginia Hiking, Virginia Trails, Virginia Hikes, Fauquier County Hiking, Fauquier County Trails, Fauquier County Hikes