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The Virginia Piedmont …something special in the foothills  Cycling on trails
Trails and Byways

Whether you’re looking to hike up a mountain, take a leisurely walk through the woods as you birdwatch, drive an historic route that connects battlefields and historic sites or bicycle on scenic byways, we invite you to explore the Piedmont up close on our trails.

Scenic Byways & Historic Trails

motorcyclesRegardless of your ultimate destination, the roads traversing our area, many of them Virginia Scenic Byways, afford visitors abundant opportunities to experience the beauty of rolling hills, farming communities and breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Scattered throughout the Piedmont region, Scenic Byways are recognized for the spectacular landscapes and connections to important historical areas. In Fauquier County, roads like Route 688, Leeds Manor Road, that passes through quiet villages like Hume Orlean, Markham and Delaplane; Route 643, Meetze Road, with connections to Casanova, Catlett, Calverton and Midland and Route 55, John Marshall Highway, that connects Linden to Markham, Marshall and The Plains, offer “in the country” ambiance. Be sure to get off the beaten path and enjoy other smaller county roads and discover treasures that one should not miss. In Culpeper County, Routes 229,522 and15 offer stunning views of mountains and farmland. In Madison County, Route 231 rates as one of the top ten scenic routes in the state. Route 15 in Orange County winds through bucolic rural landscapes. Dozens of country roads wind through Rappahannock County, each offering a more incredible vista around every bend, miles of grazing pastures and orchards and opportunities for experiencing wildlife, the fiery pink of a Blue Ridge sunset. Pack a picnic lunch, take a blanket and a book…you can do everything or nothing at all in Rappahannock County. For a map of all Scenic Byways in Virginia, call 804-786-2838 or order online.

The Journey through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway, designated in 2009, and National Heritage Area extends 175 miles from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, highlighting our nation's history from the American Revolution through the twentieth century.  Following Route 15, the trail passes the homes of prominent Americans, including two US Presidents, Civil War Battlefields, historic buildings and covered bridges. In Fauquier County, you can visit the Warrenton Historic District, Thoroughfare Gap Battefield, and Old Jail Museum. In Culpeper County, walk through historic downtown Culpeper, tour the Burgandine House—the oldest in town, and take a driving tour of Civil War Culpeper.  In Madison County, be sure to see the Madison County Courthouse and The Residence at Woodberry Forest School. In Orange County, visit Montpelier, home and estate of President James Madison, the Exchange Hotel, and the Orange and Gordonsville Historic Districts. In Rappahannock County, see the historic towns of Sperryville and Washington and the Scrabble School.

Civil War Trails run throughout the embattled land of the Piedmont. These beautiful foothills were fought over, occupied, and marched upon throughout the conflict, and the Civil War Trails organization ensures that the history that happened here will not be forgotten. Follow the bugle signs to Culpeper County battlefields at Brandy Station, Kelly’s Ford, and Cedar Mountain and to the site where the “gallant” Major John Pelham died. At Montpelier in Orange County visit the site of a Confederate camp and tour the cabin and farm of slave-turned-freedman James Gilmore. In Madison County, visit the site of the Battle of James City and drive through countryside virtually unchanged since the Battle of Jack’s Shop, where J.E.B. Stuart was nearly captured by Union cavalry. Bugle signs in Fauquier County lead to the Spilman-Mosby House, constructed 1859-1861 by Judge Edward Spilman, and later owned by the famed Confederate cavalryman John S. Mosby, known as the “Gray Ghost.” Continue to follow the footsteps of the “Gray Ghost” at Sky Meadows State Park. Visit Delaplane (Piedmont Station), where Stonewall Jackson's Confederate troops boarded trains July 19, 1861 to travel to Manassas, the first time in history railroads were used to move soldiers to an impending battle.


Regional Parks

Mountain Run Lake Park in CulpeperThe region’s parks provide places to stop and rest or to get up and go. Fauquier County parks offer hiking and horse trails, including Sky Meadows State Park in Paris, Whitney State Park near Warrenton and Chester A. Phelps Wildlife Management in Sumerduck. The town of Culpeper parks, including Yowell Meadow Park, Mountain Run Lake, and Spilman Park, offer walking and nature trails, bird and wildlife watching and picnicking facilities. Madison County offers wonderful places to enjoy nature and camp. Orange County’s Lake Anna State Park has a marina for boating and places to fish, swim and camp. Lake Orange has boat rentals and a tackle shop where you can purchase bait and other fishing needs.


Birdwatching Trails

cardinalThe Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail provides opportunities to explore the wild side of the Piedmont Region. Three separate loops call the Piedmont region home. The Front Royal loop, the Skyline Drive loop in Shenandoah National Park, and the Culpeper loop. In rural Rappahannock County, you will find stop one on the Front Royal loop at Caledonia Farms, a farmhouse constructed in 1812 and on the National Register of Historic Places. Here, the proprietor will assist birders with locating numerous species of birds and several species of butterflies. The Skyline Drive loop stretches the length of the famous Skyline Drive. To discover the park’s ample animal species, leave your car in one of the lots and follow the well-marked trails. You’ll be rewarded with hundreds of bird species, as well as a chance to glimpse white tailed deer, bear, and bobcat. The Culpeper Loop winds its way through the northern Piedmont and is worth exploring anytime of the year. Migratory birds pass through the wooded areas and some stay to breed each summer, while the woods provide an incredible display of vibrant colors during autumn.

 

 

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Trails and Byways

Scenic Byways

Shenandoah National Park

Regional Parks

Birdwatching Trails

 

Shenandoah National Park

Click here to visit their site. Towering above The Virginia Piedmont, Shenandoah National Park protects an incredible array of plant and animal species. There are abundant opportunities to experience Shenandoah. Over 500 mile of hiking trails lead to waterfalls, peaks with incredible views , wildlife sightings, and Visitors can enjoy the views of both the Piedmont and the Shenandoah Valley from the 75 overlooks scattered along the famous Skyline Drive. Billed the park’s greatest asset, the Skyline Drive winds down the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountain for 105 miles. The road was named a National Scenic Byway in 2004 and has recently been named a National Landmark. Ranger led programs help visitors learn about the past and connect to the present.

 The Virginia Piedmont …something special in the foothills