Staunton, Virginia CVB — 2010-11 Visitors Guide
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Outdoor Adventures

Betsy Bell Wilderness Park

Betsy Bell Road • Staunton, VA 24401 (540) 332-3945 • (click on Recreation) This park offers a magnificent view of the Shenandoah Valley from its observation platform (elev. 1,959 feet), which looks due east toward the Blue Ridge Mountains. The summit has picnic facilities and an observation area. The park may be reached by turning onto Betsy Bell Road from Greenville Avenue (Route 11). Mountain bikers may wish to test their endurance by tackling the entire length of the access road. It offers a difficult climb, a breathtaking view, and an exciting downhill run. Hikers will find a welcome natural area to explore and may catch a glimpse of the deer herd which haunts the slopes.

Blue Ridge Parkway • Outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities make the Blue Ridge Parkway one of the most popular components of the National Park System. “America’s Favorite Drive” winds its way 469 miles through mountain meadows and past seemingly endless vistas. Split-rail fences, old farmsteads and historic structures complement spectacular views of distant mountains and neighboring valleys.

Crabtree Falls

11581 Crabtree Falls Hwy. (Rt. 56) • Montebello, VA 24464 • The Crabtree Falls Trail features a series of five cascades and a number of smaller ones that fall a total distance of 1,200 feet. The trail provides views of the falls from overlooks constructed to accent the beauty of the valley. The first overlook is just 700 feet from the lower parking lot, making it an excellent stopover for travelers. The more adventuresome hiker may continue to Crabtree Meadows where the trail ends, or to the Appalachian Trail, which is just one half mile beyond Crabtree Meadows.

George Washington and Jefferson National Forest • These two national forests stretch from one end of Virginia to the other, as well as extending into West Virginia, along the ruggedly beautiful Appalachians. Virtually every type of outdoor recreation activity you can imagine is available. Of course hiking, fishing, mountain bicycling and camping lead the way, but don’t forget hawk watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, nature photography, and orienteering.

Gypsy Hill Park

600 Churchville Avenue • Staunton, VA 24401 540-332-3945 • (click on Recreation) A sprawling 214 acre park that includes a public golf course, football and baseball stadiums, a gymnasium, a lake, two playgrounds, three youth baseball fields, a public swimming pool, a volleyball court, horseshoe pits, tennis courts, the Gypsy Express Mini Train, the Duck Pond and a bandstand. Pavilions with modest outdoor cooking facilities and picnic tables are spread throughout the park. 1.3 mile circular roadway is a designated play street and is suitable for walkers, bicyclists and rollerblades.

Hours: M-Su 4:00 am-11:00 pm Fees: Free (pool and certain athletic games have entrance fees)

Humpback Rocks

Milepost 5.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway • • Visitors can tour a collection of Nineteenth Century farm buildings. The area also houses a visitor center with exhibits, a picnic area, and trails. Interpretive programs during the summer months, staffed with costumed rangers who demonstrate mountain crafts and skills.

Montgomery Hall Park

1000 Montgomery Avenue • Staunton, VA 24401 540-332-3945 • (click on recreation) 148 acres of rolling hills offers quiet woodlands and hiking, fitness and birding trails. The park also has softball fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, a disc-golf course, soccer complex and a public swimming pool.

Hours: M-Su 4:00 am-11:00 pm • Fees: Free (pool and certain athletic games have entrance fees)

Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness

Deerfield Ranger District • 540-885-8028 • Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness is a rugged and steep piece of land on the eastern side of Shenandoah Mountain, a region redolent with memories of America’s Civil War. One of the largest tracts of virgin forest left in the eastern United States has been preserved here. Among the variety of plants you may see are some virgin hardwoods and hemlocks standing in the upper elevations and a more typical Appalachian forest of tulip poplar, red oak, and basswood. Watch for deer and the many smaller mammals that inhabit the woods of Virginia.

Shenandoah National Park

540- 999-3500 • Take Skyline Drive along the crest of the mountains through the woods and past spectacular vistas. Hike in the shade of oak trees along the Appalachian Trail, discover the stories from Shenandoah’s past, or just relax in the wonder of wilderness.

Sherando Lake

Glenwood & Pedlar Ranger District 96 Sherando Lake Road • Lyndhurst, VA 22952 • Known locally as the jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Sherando’s beauty and history are part of the lives of several generations of Virginians. Families bring their children to Sherando and relive memories of their own parents bringing them. Swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking, hiking and camping are among the activities you can enjoy.

Skyline Drive

Http:// Skyline Drive, the only public road through Shenandoah National Park, rides the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains for 105 miles through the park, then joins the Blue Ridge Parkway which connects Shenandoah to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC.

St. Mary’s Wilderness

Glenwood & Pedlar Ranger District Steeles Tavern, VA 24476 The U.S. Congress designated the Saint Mary’s Wilderness in 1984 and it now has a total of 9,835 acres. The largest Virginia Wilderness on national forest land, it is located in the Blue Ridge Mountain Range. It has elevations ranging from 1,700 feet to 3,400 feet, and includes 17 miles of trails. Along the Saint Mary’s you can fish for native trout, walk through rhododendron and mountain laurel, and discover a lovely waterfall.

The area was mined for iron ore and manganese until the mid-1900s, and evidence of those bygone days remains along the Saint Mary’s River Gorge.