Parks & Trails: 3-Day Itinerary

Green spaces and wide-open public lands are prime for exploration.

Bearfence Mountain Trail, Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park in Virginia
Hiking along the Appalachian Trail
The National Arboretum in Washington, DC
Skyline Drive, Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains
Skyline Drive
Big Meadows Lodge, guest room, Shenandoah National Park, lodging, Virginia
Big Meadows Lodge in Shenandoah National Park
Bearfence Mountain Trail, Shenandoah National Park
Skyline Drive, Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains
Big Meadows Lodge, guest room, Shenandoah National Park, lodging, Virginia

Day 1

In Washington, DC, the 20-mile Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is designed for walkers, runners, cyclists and skaters. Traversing both sides of the river, the trail passes through Anacostia Park and the Navy Yard district.

Beyond the trail, the National Arboretum is a 445-acre living museum featuring gardens, a bonsai museum and the original columns from the Capitol Building.

Day 2

Drive to South Mountain State Park near Boonsboro, Maryland, through which the Appalachian National Scenic Trail passes, serving as a day-hike option with several impressive scenic vistas. Make nearby Hagerstown your base for the night.

Day 3

Drive to the Front Royal, Virginia entrance to Shenandoah National Park, where you can pick up Skyline Drive, which spans the length of the park along the Blue Ridge Mountains. Roll down your window and feel the breeze as you look for wildlife and views around every curve.

Within the park, stop for the night at Big Meadows Lodge — accommodations range from main lodge rooms to small, rustic cabins.

Related: 
Scenic Drives
Outdoors & Nature
Tours & Trails
City Adventures
History & Culture
Attractions & Family Fun

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