Need a minute out of the District? We all do once in a while! If you happen to be looking for a gorgeous hike and adorable little town within driving distance of D.C., I’ve got just the place: Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane, VA. Here everything you need to know for a perfect day trip from D.C.!
Sky Meadows State Park is about an hour and a half outside D.C., or about 67 miles. You’ll save fewer than 10 minutes by taking the toll road, so skip it! Head out on I-66 toward Front Royal and exit onto VA-17 toward Delaplane. From there you’ll see the signs, and the entrance to the park will be on your left! Just type “Sky Meadows State Park” into your GPS and it’ll come right up.
Know Before You Go
Preparation is the key to success! Here are a few tips and some insider information to know before your day trip!
There is a Bathroom
Ladies, rejoice! There is a clean bathroom at the visitor center and gift shop. They did have soap, paper towels, and toilet paper, and it seemed well cared-for.
There is a Touchless Water Dispenser
In the same area as the bathroom, you’ll find a contactless water bottle refilling station! So fill up before you start your hiking!
The entrance fee (which includes parking) is $10 on weekends from April-October; $7 any other time. There will be an attendant at the entrance who will give you a map and a receipt. You must pay with cash, not a credit card, so be sure to have some cash on you.
There is a Historic Area
Unfortunately for us, we visited during the great COVID Pandemic of 2020, so the hsitoric home on the property was closed. There were still chickens running around and a few other things to see from outside, but hopefully this lovely building will be open when you go!
Some of the Sky Meadows Trails Meet Up with the Appalachian Trail
If you’re interested in hiking part of the legendary Appalachian Trail, you can do it here!
Sky Meadows State Park covers 1,862 acres and has miles and miles and miles of trails! We tried to pick one trail and follow it, but so many of them meet up, cross each other, and loop around, we just followed whatever trail we came to next! The trails are remarkably well-marked with posts like the one in the picture above. The views are stunning, too!
More here: The Best List of Hiking Tips
Where to Get Lunch
You can certainly bring your own lunch and have a picnic at Sky Meadows, but after a morning of hiking, we were ready to simply grab a little something and head back home. A friend had told us about a place called the Locke Store just a few miles down the road in Millwood, VA.
You can just stop in and pick something up, or you can call ahead and they’ll have it ready for you. We called ahead, and we thoroughly loved our choices! My brother and husband both got the Club sandwich and a Greek salad, and I got the egg salad and a peanut noodle salad.
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