By Sydney Newcomb
You always hear “Virginia is for lovers,” but how often do you get bored of doing the same old things over and over? Virginia has some of the greatest places to get outdoors and stay active. Everything from waterfalls, to theme parks, to even skydiving is offered in this beautiful state. Make sure to check out some of these thrill seeking adventures the next time you’re in the area!
Some of the most popular hiking trails in Virginia include The Peaks of Otter, McAfee Knob, and Dragon’s Tooth. If you’re looking for a good exercise with a great view, these hiking trails might be for you!
The Peaks of Otter: The Peaks contain several different trails you can choose from including, Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill. Sharp Top is the most popular trail among the three. It is the steepest and most strenuous of the three trails and it's strongly recommended that you are in good health and take plenty of water with you for your hike. Sharp Top is only 1.5 miles to the summit, it’s not the longest hike but you’ll definitely get your workout in! Harkening Hill is the highest summit at the peaks being 3.3 miles high. Here is the Peaks Of Otter website, make sure to visit if you’re interested in taking in the beautiful scenery at The Peaks!
McAfee Knob: The Appalachian Trail is one of the best know trails not only in Virginia, but throughout states starting in Georgia and going all the way up to Maine. McAfee Knob is one of the most photogenic hiking trails in Virginia with it’s “tilted rocky mountain, sticking out into thin air like a diving platform.” This hike is 3 miles both ways, but it’s totally worth it. Make sure to check out this unique trail with a unique view!
Dragon’s Tooth: Looking for a bit more of a challenging hike, then Dragon’s Tooth might be for you. You may be wondering why it’s called Dragon’s Tooth, it’s because of its unique rock design which is shaped like a tooth! A bit of a rocky climb, but this challenging 5.7 mile hike is so worth it so check it out!
Not only is Virginia a great place for hiking, but it also has some breathtaking waterfalls. Although there are several waterfalls all throughout virginia, some of the most famous ones include Falling Springs, Roaring Run Falls, and Apple Orchard Falls. If you want more than just a view of the mountains while you hike, considering visiting one of these wondrous waterfalls!
Falling Springs: One of the tallest waterfalls in the state standing at 80 feet is Falling Springs in Allegheny. So if hiking isn’t your thing, this .01 mile “hike” might be. With it’s amazing overlook right off of 220 you can take in it’s outstanding scenery. Unfortunately you’re no longer aloud to swim in the water, but taking in the view is the next best thing!
Roaring Run Falls: Another favorite in the area is Roaring Run in Eagle Rock. Although it’s a small hike, but the 35 foot waterfall is worth every step. The majority of this jagged hike is made up of stone rocks which make the hike so much easier. Once you get through that mile of steps and jagged trail, you’ll be at the top of what feels like the universe!
Apple Orchard Falls: In Buchanan, a little closer to home, you can find Apple Orchard Falls. This 5.6 mile hike will give you a workout for sure, but the streams you see along the way and the fall at the top is so worth it! You can even camp out along this trail, the best spots for camping would be within the first mile of the hike. Rather you’re looking for an overnight hike or just a day of fun, make sure to visit Apple Orchard Falls!
Looking for more of a thrill than hiking? You’re in luck because Virginia offers several places for skydiving! SKydive Orange and Virginia Skydiving Center are the two most popular in this area. Although you might have to drive an hour or two, it’s so worth it to get that spin-tingling feeling when you jump out of the plane!
Skydive Orange: Ever wanted to go 2 miles above the ground just to jump out of a perfectly good airplane? It might sound insane to some, but to others its the ride of their life. In Charlottesville Skydive Orange gives customers the opportunity to do just that! Unfortunately for your first dive you can’t go solo it must be a tandem dive, but maybe once you’re experience you’ll ride solo. At Skydive Orange a tandem dive is $259 cash, $270 credit, and for just $125 more you can get a video and picture package of your experience!
Virginia Skydiving Center: Another popular skydiving center in Virginia is Virginia Skydiving Center located in Petersburg. Both facilities are very similar in price; a tandem dive being $249 and video and picture package being $125. That 60 second dive will be so worth the money and wait!
Other adventurous activities
Humpback Bridge: Another famous location in Allegheny County is Humpback Bridge. Humpback is the oldest covered bridge left in Virginia built in 1857. Humpback is very well known not only for its bridge, but its huge love sign you can’t miss. Humpback is a great spot to visit during all season, so make sure to visit soon
Devil's Bathtub: Although Devil’s Bathtub is technically a trial and waterfall, after this 3.2 mile hike you can enjoy a nice swim in the “bathtub.” Make sure to make this trip a necessity on your next trip to fort Blackmore. Combine hiking and swimming with the Devil’s Bathtub and make it a day of fun!
These are just a few of the thousands of adventurous things you can get yourself into. Whether it's hiking, skydiving, or other adventurous activities you can find something. Now you know why Virginia is for lovers!