Virginia is home to some of the greatest state parks in the country. If you live in the Waynesboro, VA, area, you have access to an entire host of amazing nature spots. What’s even better is that you can sign up for the Virginia State Parks Trail Quest program. As you track the various parks you visit, you can earn different Trail Quest Pins that show off your wanderlust. To get started on your Trail Quest, here are the top five state parks you should visit from Waynesboro, VA, to enjoy this incredible park network and earn your first pin.
Grayson Highlands State Park
Between two of Virginia’s highest mountains is the Grayson Highlands, State Park. You’ll enjoy scenic views overlooking various mountain peaks more than 5,000 feet in the air. A stop here allows you to enjoy a visitor’s center, campgrounds, and tons of hiking and horse trails. Make sure to explore the endless trails leading past waterfalls and scenic views. You can even access the Appalachian and Highlands Horse Trails while you’re in the area.
Smith Mountain Lake State Park
The Smith Mountain Lake State Park is not only considered the “Jewel of the Blue Ridge,” but it is also nested on the shores of Virginia’s second-largest freshwater lake. Aside from the miles of hiking trails, picnicking areas, and camping spots, this park is an oasis for those who love water. Bring your bathing suit because Smith Mountain Lake State Park offers plenty of water-based fun: swimming, boating, and some of the best fishing in the state.
Hungry Mother State Park
Families tend to flock to Hungry Mother State Park throughout the year. It offers a calm, 108-acre lake along with a picturesque forest and close proximity to the mountains. This park has been a family favorite for years. There is certainly no shortage of things to do at Hungry Mother. For those who love the water, check out options like a sandy beach, boat rentals, and an incredible fishing pier. If staying dry is more to your liking, stop by the campgrounds that offer cabins, yurts, lodges, and more. You can also spend the day hiking, riding bikes, or just enjoying nature through one of the various park programs.
York River State Park
The York River State Park offers a unique setting that is hard to find anywhere in the country. The shores of this park are where freshwater and saltwater combine to create a rare habitat for marine and plant life. You can explore over 30 miles of trails on foot, bike, or on horseback. You’ll go through marshes, shorelines, and forests with incredible views. Take some time near the water, where you can also try both fresh and saltwater fishing, rent a boat, or just enjoy the picnic and playground areas.
Pocahontas State Park
With three distinct lakes, your family can spend the summer cooling off or grabbing excellent photos of wildlife in one amazing park. The Pocahontas State Park is known for its connection to the 225-acre Swift Creek Lake. Grab a stand-up paddleboard, canoe, or kayak, and get out on the water. During the summer, you can do more than splash around. The park’s amphitheater offers live performances by Pocahontas Premieres. Make sure to bring a picnic lunch, blankets, and a chair to enjoy a full day of activities and a show.
Don’t Stop With Five
While this list has five of the most popular state parks you can visit from Waynesboro, VA, the fun doesn’t have to stop here. Virginia’s park system is vast and offers something for everyone. With the Trail Quest program, you can spend your weekends and holidays traversing some of the most memorable parks in the region while earning pins to show off your efforts. Let’s get ready for an adventure.
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