Across Virginia

Sky Meadows State Park

Sky Meadows State Park
Photo Credit: Va. Dept. of Conservation and Recreation

Sky Meadows State Park is a 1,864-acre park in the Shenandoah Valley that has something for everyone with enjoys outdoor recreation.

With seven miles of horse riding trails, 17 miles of hiking trails and an overlap with the Appalachian Trail, those seeking a vigorous workout will not be disappointed.

The park also offers areas for picnicking and camping for the family looking to get away, and beautiful areas for fishing. History lovers will enjoy exploring the park’s rich past, and nature lovers will enjoy the park’s evident beauty.

History

The land of the Sky Meadows State Park was donated to the commonwealth of Virginia in 1975 by Paul Mellon. The original owner of the land was James Ball, who bought the property from Lord Ashby in 1731.

When he died, the land was divided among his children and grandchildren. In 1812, a man named Isaac Settle bought a portion of this land and named it “Belle Grove” farm. The farm was eventually passed on to Isaac’s son, Abner, who built the Mount Bleak House.

This house is still open today for visitors who wish to catch a glimpse of life of the average settling family in the mid 1800s.

Location

Sky Meadows is located a scant two miles south of Paris, Virginia, on State Route 710.

Facilities

The park has a main office and an information center. There are public restrooms, drinking fountains, and picnic areas, complete with tables. Mary’s Shelter is a covered picnic pavilion, with one self service grill.

This shelter can accommodate up to 60 people at one time, making it ideal for a group outing or special occasion. Mary’s Shelter can be reserved by calling 800-922-7274.

The park is also equipped with a Visitor’s Center, open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Visitor’s Center contains a nature and history exhibit and a gift shop.

Recreation

Overnight Camping
The park offers in-tent camping all year round. Reservations for this type of camping are required. Campsites are located one mile from the overnight parking area.

As vehicles are not allowed in the campsite, campers must hike or ride a bike to their campsite. Each campsite is equipped with a campfire and metal grate for cooking.

There are 18 total campsites in the park. For more information or to make a reservation, please call 1-800-933-PARK.

Hiking
The park’s 17 miles of hiking trails range from easy to difficult. Pets are allowed on the trails, but must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet. Bicycles are permitted on paved roads.

Hikers are permitted to bring cameras but should not approach or touch any animals or wildlife. Trash and litter should be carried out of the park.

Fishing and Boating
The three-acre Turner Pond offers freshwater fishing to those with valid Virginia State Fishing Licenses. The varieties of fish in Turner Pond include bass, sunfish, bluegill, and catfish.

Horse Back Riding
The park has seven miles of bridle trails. Riders must bring their own horses, as there are none available to rent.

Accessibility
Sky Meadows has wheelchair accessible parking lots, bathrooms, and picnic areas. Wheelchairs and scooters are allowed on the park trails.

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