Sky Meadows Loop Hike to Fantastic Virginia Piedmont Views

Updated on February 13, 2024 by Julie McCool

Enjoy a beautiful Sky Meadows loop hike through open fields, moderately challenging hills, and pretty woodlands leading to fantastic Virginia Piedmont views. Our hike follows a 4-mile circuit, but you can extend with a segment of the Appalachian Trail if you choose.

Sky Meadows State Park includes 24 miles of trails, including the 1-mile interpretive Snowden trail, so there are easier options available if you're looking for a shorter outing.

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Sky Meadows Loop Hike to Piedmont Views

Park and pick up a trail map at the Sky Meadows Visitor Center in the historic area behind Mount Bleak House. To begin the hike, head to the back of the parking area and follow the dirt path past the kiosk toward the park office building.

Once you reach the old Boston Mill Road, turn left and follow the gravel road until you reach the South Ridge trailhead, crossing over a stile on your right. The 1.5 mile South Ridge trail leads off to the left then turns uphill following switchbacks into the woods.

South Ridge trailhead Sky Meadows SP Virginia
South Ridge Trailhead Sky Meadows

Along the South Ridge trail you'll pass the old chimney and foundation of Snowden Manor, a large, columned house from the mid-1800s that was destroyed in a fire. As you climb further up the hill you'll have nice views to the south, and you can stop at a bench under a dogwood tree for a rest.

Snowden Manor remains Sky Meadows SP Virginia
Snowden Manor Remains
South Ridge Trail view Sky Meadows Virginia
South Ridge Trail, Sky Meadows

When you reach the North Ridge trail, turn right to continue on our loop hike. (If you want a longer hike you could turn left on North Ridge, and return on the Appalachian and Ambassador Whitehouse trails). The North Ridge trail is often rocky with some steep up and down sections that will give you a nice workout.

Trail marker Sky Meadows Virginia
North Ridge Trail, Sky Meadows Virginia

You'll pass intersections with the Gap Run and Ambassador Whitehouse trails before reaching your left turn onto the Piedmont Overlook trail. A short climb leads you to the edge of an open field. Climb over the fence stile and out to one of the prettiest Piedmont views in Northern Virginia.

Cross the fence stile to the Piedmont Overlook Sky Meadows SP
Fence Stile to Piedmont Overlook

The Piedmont Overlook offers beautiful views across Crooked Run Valley and down to the Bleak House area, and on a clear day you can see the taller buildings in Dulles and beyond. There are several benches at the overlook, so this is another nice spot for a rest or picnic.

Thistle and View from the Piedmont Overlook in Sky Meadows State Park VA
Piedmont Overlook View Sky Meadows Park

When you're ready to continue, follow the mowed path steeply down the hill and back to the gravel road for your return to the parking area. If you visit in Autumn you'll see some beautiful fall foliage as you descend the hill.

Fall Foliage at Sky Meadows State Park in Northern Virginia
Sky Meadows State Park VA

Want to tackle more hikes in Sky Meadows State Park? Consider spending the night at one of the park's excellent hike-in campsites, a fun option for camping in Northern Virginia.

After the Sky Meadows Loop Hike

If you didn't visit the historic area and the Visitors Center before your hike, be sure to look around after. On weekends you will likely find rangers who can tell you about the history of the park.

If you've worked up a thirst, you're in luck. About 30 minutes to your north is the cute town of Bluemont and some great wineries and breweries. Bluemont Winery and neighboring Dirt Farm Brewing both have similarly gorgeous views across the Piedmont.

Dirt Farm Brewing Patio in Bluemont Virginia
Dirt Farm Brewing Patio

To the south, there are many nice wineries in the Delaplane area including Delaplane Cellars, RdV Vineyards, and Arterra Wines. If you're in the mood for a pint and something to eat, we suggest Hunter's Head Tavern in Upperville, one of our favorite pubs in Northern VA. Their patio is a perfect place to recover from your efforts.

You can reach Sky Meadows State Park and nearby wineries and restaurants on a scenic drive through Virginia horse country.

Hunter's Head Tavern in Upperville VA
Hunter's Head Tavern Upperville VA

Sky Meadows State Park is at 11012 Edmunds Lane in Delaplane, Virginia. Check the park website for special events and the latest updates.

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