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Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane

4.8
Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
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Sky Meadows State Park is a 1,862-acre (754 ha) park in the Virginia state park system. It is located in extreme northwest Fauquier County, Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near Paris, Virginia. It is about an hour outside of the Washington, D.C. metro region.

The park was formed when Paul Mellon donated 1,132 acres (458 ha) of land in 1975. The name Sky Meadows came from former owner Sir Robert Hadow, who named the property "Skye Farm" after an island in Scotland. It has expanded its borders twice since then—248 acres (100 ha) were added in 1987, containing the Appalachian Trail, and in 1991 Mellon donated an additional 462 acres (187 ha), bringing the park to its present size.

It is located near Paris, Virginia off US 17, one mile (1.6 km) south of US 50 and seven miles (11 km) north of Interstate 66.

It starts in a valley between the foothills and the Blue Ridge Mountains, then has meadows and forests stretching up to the ridge of the mountain and the Appalachian Trail.

There is a basic walk-in campground, over 12 miles (19 km) of hiking trails and 6 miles (10 km) of bridle paths. The horse trails are east of US 17 and the hiking trails (and most of the park) is west of US 17.

With a combination of meadows, grazed fields, forest, scrub, and streams, it has a wide variety of ecological zones.

Most of the year, there are monthly "astronomy nights" where amateur astronomers bring their telescopes and use them to show attendees various celestial objects. Typically, an astronomer from the Smithsonian Institution is among the leaders.

Sky Meadows is a year-round bird watching site. It is known for a colony of red-headed woodpeckers that live in an oak grove just past the contact station. Depending on the time of the year, it is almost certain that this and the other six species of woodpeckers—downy, hairy, red-bellied, yellow-bellied sapsucker, pileated, and northern flicker—commonly found in this part of Virginia will be present.

Except for "astronomy nights", the park closes at dusk, and campers must be in the park and others out of the park at that time.
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Sky Meadows State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
109 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • It's an absolutely beautiful area, just off the main road but they charge a parking fee as soon as you drive in...I understand it cost them maintenance but.... 
    It's an absolutely beautiful area, just off the main road but they charge a parking fee as soon as you drive in...I understand it cost them maintenance but....  more »
  • Great place for hiking!!!!! Beautiful flowers and not many people. Recommended for people who want to hike. 
    Great place for hiking!!!!! Beautiful flowers and not many people. Recommended for people who want to hike.  more »
  • We hiked the Lost Mountain trail which was about 4 miles in a circular path that included meadows, crossing a small stream, and a moderate uphill through a forested area. There’s a nice, open hill... 
    We hiked the Lost Mountain trail which was about 4 miles in a circular path that included meadows, crossing a small stream, and a moderate uphill through a forested area. There’s a nice, open hill...  more »
Google
  • I went there for a nice Saturday hike. I chose to do the Piedmont Overlook to the the North Ridge loop. The Piedmont Overlook is pretty steep with areas to sit halfway and at the top of the overlook. It was really cool because you walk in the enclosure with the cows. So, pets need to be leashed and children attended too! There are lots of other trails on the grounds some that connect with the Appalachian Trail. It's $10/car to park. Cash can be paid at the booth before entry OR at the visitors center. They were having fun fall events when I went. There is good signage and maps as well at the start with ample parking!
  • Large park with small camping area, lots of hiking trails, pretty views of rolling hills and mountains fall colors, historical buildings, really great fishing pond(entrance across from lost mountain), horse back trails and parking for horse trailers(lost mountain). Right off of highway. Really great experience.
  • Had a great time camping here. Campsite is beautiful, especially this time of year with the trees blooming (Redbuds and more!!). Stream ran alongside site and we awoke to what seemed like dozens of different species of birds singing overhead in the trees. Lots of Woodpeckers. There was also a ton of firewood available to buy at the site and it was a fairly easy trek from the car to the site. Mostly flat until the end where there is an incline up to the campsites. Online it says we have the site reserved until 1PM the following day, but the member in the visitor center who checked us in told us 11AM. This was disappointing to learn. Besides that, it was amazing and it’s nice not having a bunch of cars around. A lot of stars were visible even though the full moon was out. Definitely spend a night here!
  • What a beautiful park! You have plenty of parking, and plenty of options for hiking trails in terms of both length and difficulty. The property is very well cared for. You have to pay a $10 entry fee.
  • Beautiful park for whole family. Lots of Picnic spots, children discovery area, hiking, pond, and nature. If you’re looking for picnic spots, it would be right after the main entrance. Most of Virginia State Parks required entry fee and most of Virginia public libraries might have Virginia State Parks backpack and that backpack comes with a parking pass. Be careful there’s no cell tower. We enjoyed our time and we will go back again to explore more.

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