Are you a wildlife or nature enthusiast? Do you enjoy basking outdoors or hiking to adventurous places? If so, this article on national parks in Virginia has been curated especially for such wayfarers.
If you are fond of mountains, you’ll love Virginia. A state in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern regions of the US that is home to the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic coast. Further, it has many things to offer, such as serene landscapes, forested lands, wooded estates, and water entities. Beyond all these, people visit here for National Parks. The National Park Service has been in the process of preserving 22 national parks in the state. It provides fee-free days throughout the year. Shenandoah National Park, Great Falls National Park, and Historic Jamestowne National park are the most popular state-preserved national parks.
How many National Parks are in Virginia?
There are around 22 National Parks varying from Civil War monuments to nature spots. Shenandoah National Park is the most popular of the ones offering spectacular views, flora, and fauna. There are other parks in Virginia offering diverse views, landscapes, and facilities in the state.
What is the most visited National Park in Virginia?
Shenandoah National Park is the most visited and famous National Park in Virginia. This scenic jewel in the Appalachian mountains offers panoramic views and provides access to a 300-square-mile sanctuary. Quartz, granite, and greenstone shape the rock scrambles on these ranges and offer spectacular views of Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Do you want to know more about the state of Virginia and its lifestyle costs? Do read the Cost of living in Virginia to learn more about these costs.
Top 8 National Parks in Virginia
There are about 22 National Parks in Virginia spread across the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachian ranges. Keep scrolling to learn more about these national parks, their locations, and their characteristics in detail.
1. Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is the most popular of all the parks in Virginia and was the first to be established in the state. Often known as the jewel of the Appalachian Trail, Shenandoah offers panoramic views of Skyline Drive across the 300 square miles of the sanctuary. Beautiful wildflowers and fauna surround the National Park, giving a scenic view of the trails. Moreover, Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains look stupendous from Shenandoah National park is just 75 miles away from Washington DC. Undoubtedly, Shenandoah is one of the national parks in Virginia with cabins.
Shenandoah National park is best known for Skyline Drive and its breathtaking panoramic views.
Hiking, attending ranger programs, camping, and enjoying views across stunning rock formations are some of the activities in Shenandoah National Park.
The location is Shenandoah National Park, 3655 US Highway 211 East. Luray, VA 22835.
Is Shenandoah National Park worth visiting?
Yes, Shenandoah National Park is worth visiting as it offers spectacular views of cascading waterfalls, wildflowers, and wooded hollows. The Park has a variety of wildlife treasures like deers, songbirds, and black bears. The view from Skyline Drive is to die for.
How much does it cost to go to Shenandoah National Park?
A Shenandoah Annual Pass is issued at $55 for unlimited entry throughout the year for pass owners and passengers in the vehicle. Moreover, the annual $80 America Pass provides access to more than 2000 recreational parks. The best part is the entry fee for 1-6 passengers is $25, with an additional cost of $10 per person.
How long does it take to drive through Shenandoah National Park?
Skyline Drive is 150 miles long and the speed limit in the Park is about 35 miles per hour. It takes about 3 hrs from the Shenandoah National Park entrance to Skyline Drive.
2. Great Falls National Park
The Potomac River flows through jagged, steep rocks through Mather Gorge in Great Falls National Park. It is in Northern Fairfax County, encompassing an area of 800 acres, and is only 15 miles away from the capital city. Ideal for nature and history enthusiasts. The Great Falls of the Potomac River is at the northern end of the Park. Moreover, Great Falls International airport is close to the Park.
The Great Falls National Park is famous for its rich history, natural beauty, and culture.
Great Falls is famous for its hiking and outdoor climbing activities.
The location is in Great Falls Park, Turkey Run Park, George Washington Memorial Parkway, McLean, VA 22101.
Is there an entrance fee to Great Falls Park?
There is an entrance fee of $20 per vehicle, $15 for a motorcycle, and $10 for foot or on the bike all through seven days. It is a small National Park Service (NPS) site in Virginia.
How much is it to go to Great Falls?
There is a charge of $25 plus $3 per person for vehicles carrying 1-6 passengers. More than 7-25 passengers in a vehicle are charged $40, and extra charges per passenger are not levied for commercial vehicles.
3. Appomattox National Court House National Historic Park
The Appomattox Historic National Park shares deep historical roots with the incident of the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia in the McLean House in the Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. It is one of the most important Civil landmarks in the US. The decision to proceed as one nation without slavery was agreed upon at Appomattox Court House.
The Park is famous for its Civil landmarks and deep historic connections.
Digital Junior Ranger Programs, virtual experience of history, and walking tours of museums or historical sites are some of the prime things to do in the Park.
The location of the historic Park is in Appomattox Court House National Park, P.O Box 218, Appomattox, VA 24522.
Is Appomattox worth seeing?
Yes, Appomattox is worth seeing for anyone interested in the Civil War and historical tales. The Appomattox is a must-visit if one is into history, ancient architectural, and cultural roots.
Can you tour the Appomattox Court House?
Yes, one can visit the Appomattox Court House, a self-guided experience. It is recommended to start the tour at the visitor center and follow the map to explore the Park. The visitor center is in the reconstructed courthouse building.
4. Historic Jamestowne National Park
This Park is a cultural heritage site in Virginia, where the English colonization of North America began in 1607. It developed into a prosperous colony, pushing the Virginians out of their homeland. In 1619, Africans came to inhibit the place sparking slavery in the US. A museum inside the Park is preserved by the National Park Service and Preservation, Virginia, making it one of the most popular national parks in West Virginia.
The Park is famous for its cultural significance, the deep historical roots of the First Legislative Assembly, and the inhabitation of African Americans in Jamestown.
One can run, hike, or bike 3-5 miles of loop trail in the Park. It is an ideal place for nature enthusiasts as several hundreds of species of birds like Bald Eagle and wildlife are found in the areas of the Park.
The exact location is PO Box 210, Yorktown, VA 23690.
What is the difference between Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestowne?
Historic Jamestowne is the actual ongoing archaeological dig and location of the fort of 1607. In contrast, Jamestown Settlement is a living history museum, providing access to expensive indoor museums with facilities and resources.
How much does it cost to get into Historic Jamestowne?
The Historic Jamestowne has entry charges of $55.90 for adults above 16 years of age and $32.90 for teens (13-15) years of age. For children below 5 years of age, entry is free and $18.45 for children above 5 and below 13 years of age.
Can you walk around Jamestown Settlement for free?
Yes. There is no fee to walk around Jamestown Settlement, but one needs to pay charges to enter the museum buildings. The charges are levied based on age groups by the authorities.
5. Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center
Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center is the site of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. General George Washington joined hands with the American and French forces to besiege General Charles Lord Cornwallis’ British Army in the fall of 1781. Cornwallis surrendered on October 9, ending the war and ensuring independence.
Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center has a major historical significance in US history as the last battle of the Revolutionary Wall.
The indoor museum in the Park has exhibits from the 1781 Siege of Yorktown, the Battle of the Capes, and the campaign table used by Lord Cornwallis. A 15-minute documentary film is shown to all the visitors explaining the brief history of the Visitor Center.
The location of Yorktown Battlefield Historic Center is Colonial National Historical Park, P.O. Box 210, Yorktown, VA 23690.
Can you walk around Yorktown Battlefield?
Yes. Tour roads around Yorktown Battlefield are open to pedestrians, bikers, and motor vehicles. Thus, one can explore the areas around Yorktown Battlefield.
How much does it cost to go to Yorktown?
The charges for adult admission are $15 and for children below 15 years, there is no fee. However, an additional fee of $10 is charged to access Historic Jamestowne.
Can you drive through the Yorktown Battlefield?
Yes, one can drive through the Battlefield Tour Roads and a map is available for reference.
How long does it take to go through Yorktown Battlefield?
It takes about an hour to drive through the Yorktown Battlefield and another 30 minutes to explore the indoor museum.
6. Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway is the most scenic road in the US and is a National Parkway. Further, it is America’s longest linear park that runs for 469 miles. The scenic roads run through 29 counties of North Carolina and Virginia. Therefore, it is ideal for vehicles that run below 45kmph.
Blue Ridge Parkway is famous for its scenic, slow-paced, and relaxing linear road. It is named after the famous Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Parkway offers activities like camping, hiking, music concerts, picnicking, ranger programs, and photography for everyone.
Blue Ridge Parkway is near 199 Hemphill Knob Road, Asheville, NC 28803.
Relocate to Virginia provides detailed insights into the lifestyle factors in the state.
What is the prettiest part of the Blue Ridge Parkway?
The Black Balsam Area offers views of Black Balsam Knobs, Sam Knob, and Tennent Mountain are the prettiest parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Where are the beginning and end of the Blue Ridge Parkway?
The Blue Ridge Parkway begins from Smoky National Park and ends in Rockfish Gap, VA to Cherokee, NC.
7. Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail is a 2180-mile footpath traversing scenic, wooded, pastoral, and wild regions of the Appalachian Mountains. National Park Service, US Forest Service, and Appalachian Trail Conservancy manage the AT. It traverses 14 states across forested areas, ridge rests, and major valleys.
Want to know weather conditions? Does it snow in Virginia gives an idea of the snowfall and climatic conditions in the Appalachian mountains.
Appalachian Trail is the longest and most famous trail in the US.
The Appalachian Trail is famous for its hiking activities from Georgia to Maine.
The Appalachian Trail is in Harpers Ferry, WV25425. It is 70 miles to the northwest of Washington DC.
How long does it take to hike the Appalachian Trail in Virginia?
It takes about five to seven months to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. Hikers can complete the hike of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia in about 36 days with an average speed of 15 miles per day.
Can you hike the Appalachian Trail in Virginia?
Yes, one can hike the Appalachian Trail in Virginia across the northern end. The hike starts at the border of Virginia and West Virginia in Clarke County.
8. Assateague and Chincoteague Island
One can explore sandy beaches, salt marshes, maritime forests, and coastal bays on this island. The island is on the eastern shore of Virginia and is easy to reach from all the major cities in the mid-Atlantic region. The island is under the control of the National Park Service and Virginia Trust.
Read more about the best restaurants in Virginia Highlands to learn more about the facilities and amenities in the region.
The island is famous for its barrier island, wildlife refuge, maritime forests, and coastal bays in Virginia.
Camping, kayaking, and hunting are prime activities to do in Assateague and Chincoteague Island.
The location is near 7206 National Seashore Lane, Berlin, MD 21811.
What is the difference between Assateague and Chincoteague?
Assateague is in both Virginia and Maryland, whereas Chincoteague National Refuge is on Assateague Island. Assateague is a refuge with forested lands and Chincoteague is more developed, having all advanced amenities and hotels.
Are Assateague and Chincoteague connected?
Both islands are connected by a bridge with the Maryland section containing the maximum area of Assateague. Assateague has two entrances and the other entrance is from Chincoteague itself.
Is it better to go to Assateague or Chincoteague?
Chincoteague would be the better option as Assateague is a wildlife refuge and has no hotels. On the other side, Chincoteague has all the facilities and hotels in the area.
How far is Chincoteague from Assateague ?
Chincoteague is away from Assateague by 10 minutes and across a small bridge to the other half. Assateague is less developed than Chincoteague, with easy access to many cities.
National Park in Virginia FAQs
What national monument is in Virginia?
Virginia has a rich cultural history with many monuments and Service Parks. There are more than 120 historical monuments, memorials, and historic landmarks across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Most of them are located in Virginia National parks. The cultural landmarks are distributed across 95 counties and 39 independent cities in Virginia. The national monuments are open from 9 am to 5 pm, with the park grounds closing at sunset.
Virginia has a rich cultural heritage with many landmarks, monuments, and historical sites. Now that you have learned about the different National Parks in Virginia, what are your views on them? Would you visit these monuments and landmarks to know more about the history and beautiful landscapes of Virginia?
These parks have something for everyone; hiking and camping are prime activities here. National Parks are situated across the Appalachian Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains offering spectacular landscapes and scenic views. So, when are you planning to visit here? Let us know your views in the comment section.