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Sky Meadows State Park

11012 Edmonds Ln., Delaplane, VA 20144; Phone: 540-592-3556; Email: SkyMeadows@dcr.virginia.gov

Location of Sky Meadows State Park in Virginia

About this park ...

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Latitude, 38.988703. Longitude, -77.968913.

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General Information

Rich in history, this 1,864-acre park has scenic views, woodlands and the rolling pastures of a historic farm that captures the colonial through post-Civil War life of Mount Bleak House. Nature and history programs are offered year-round. Hiking, picnicking, fishing and primitive hike-in camping for families and groups are favorite activities in this peaceful getaway on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park has 9.5 miles of bridle trails, 19 miles of hiking trails, 8 miles of bike trials and Appalachian Trail access.

Hours

8:30 a.m. - dusk.

Location

The park is less than two miles south of Paris, Va., via U.S. Route 50 to Route 17 South; or seven miles north of I-66, Exit 23 on Route 17 North. The park's main entrance is on State Route 710.

Its address is 11012 Edmonds Lane, Delaplane, VA 20144-0710. 
Latitude, 38.988703. Longitude, -77.968913.

Drive Time: Northern Virginia, 45 minutes to one hour; D.C., over one hour; Richmond, two hours; Tidewater/ Norfolk/ Virginia Beach, three hours; Roanoke, two and a half hours

Park Size

1,864 acres.

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Cabins, camping

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES

This park offers year-round primitive hike-in tent camping. Reservations are required. The park has no no cabins or drive-to campsites. Those wishing to camp here will need to hike 1 mile from the overnight parking area. Bicycles can be used to get to the campground. Campers must keep all equipment on the site's camping pad.

Please note that the individual primitive hike-in tent sites are non-site specific.

  • Camping guests must set up camp on the color to match the campsite type they reserved: 15 individual primitive tent sites have red signs; Buddy Site has a blue sign; Camp Slater has a brown sign; Camp Washington has a green sign.
  • Honor camping is not offered at this park. Reservations are required.
  • The campground has fire rings at the ground level with a metal grate covering about one-third of the top. There are tent pads, pit toilets, picnic tables and non-potable water.
  • All sites in this campground are a 1-mile hike from the parking area. No vehicles are allowed near or on any campsite.
  • Campers must park in the overnight parking area, which is near the park entrance. Access to the campground is via Gap Run Trail.
  • Check in 4pm; check out 3 p.m.

Site types:

TentPrimRed: 15 primitive, hike-in tent sites; no hookups; no vehicular access; non-potable water only; pit toilets. Set up on site with a RED sign.

BuddyPrimBlue - Two families wishing to camp together may reserve the “Buddy Site.” The Buddy Site is not suitable for group use. This site features two tent pads and a shared picnic and grill pad. It accommodates up to 12 and is available by reservation only. Set up on site with the blue sign.

SlaterGrpBrown(Sm) - Camp Slater is a small primitive tent group camp area that accommodates from 12 to 24 people. Set up on site with the BROWN sign.

WashingtonGrpGreen(Lg) - Camp Washington is a large primitive tent group camp area which accommodates from 18 to 36 campers. Set up on site with GREEN sign.

Total sites: 18

Sites: 15 individual primitive tent sites; 1; Buddy primitive family tent site, 1; Camp Slater primitive tent group site (Sm), 1; Camp Washington primitive tent group site (Lg)

For general information about Virginia State Parks accommodations, amenities or to make a reservation, you can reserve online or call 1-800-933-PARK. Click here for park fees.

Cabins

None at this park

Camping

No standard campsites, only primitive campgrounds. Those interested in other parks' overnight accommodations, rental rates for cabins and camping should know that offerings vary by season and park. Rates are subject to verification by DCR's state parks reservations staff (1-800-933-PARK). First determine the park, the season (which varies by park), then the rate. Click here for park system fees.

Recreation

TRAILS

The park has more than 17 miles of hiking trails and horse trails ranging from easy to difficult. In addition, the park offers access to the Appalachian Trail. The park is a three-day hike from Harper’s Ferry, W.Va., and two days from Shenandoah National Park. To protect our wildlife, all pets must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet. Vehicles are permitted only on paved park roads. Bicycles are allowed only on paved roads and designated trails. Horses are not permitted on hiking trails.

Va. Outdoors sign

Visit the Explore Virginia Outdoors website for enhanced maps and video tours of Sky Meadows' trails.

SWIMMING

None at this park.

FISHING, BOATING

Freshwater fishing is available at the 3-acre Turner Pond. Fishing is permitted from the shoreline only. A valid Virginia State Fishing License, which can be purchased online or through local retailers, is required. Turner Pond is periodically stocked with a variety of fish including: largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, sunfish and bluegill. Watercraft are not permitted.

HORSES

No rentals, however the park has more than 7 miles of bridle trails for those bringing their own horses. State law requires that visitors carry a copy of a negative Coggins report with each horse brought to the park.

Park Trail Guide

Click here for the park's trail guide. Click here for its general facilities guide.

Nearby Attractions

Wineries, seasonal “pick-your-own” produce farms, the Virginia State Arboretum and Experimental Farm, Civil War sites and various historic sites.

Picnic Shelters

Mary’s Shelter is a 20 by 40 foot covered picnic pavilion. It can accommodate up to 60 people at 10 picnic tables. It is universally accessible. Call 800-933-7275 to reserve this shelter, which has one grill and access to vault toilets.

Meeting Space and Facilities

MEETING FACILITIES

This park has a small meeting room.

VISITOR CENTER, GIFT SHOP

The visitor center has nature and history exhibits and a gift shop. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The visitor center is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

RESTAURANT

None at this park.

LAUNDRY

None at this park.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER

None at this park.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Historic Mount Bleak House, Turner Pond, Lost Mountain Equestrian trails and three miles of the Appalachian Trail within park boundaries.

Other Info

ACCESSIBILITY

  • Two designated parking spaces in the historic area and one in the picnic area
  • Wheelchair-accessible restrooms at the visitor center and the picnic area
  • Visitor center and gift shop
  • Mary's Shelter and several picnic tables
  • Fishing pond (no paved sidewalk access)
  • Although motorized vehicles are not permitted on park trails, electric wheelchairs and electric scooters that meet the federal definition for wheelchairs are allowed to enable people with disabilities to use the trails.

NATURE, HISTORY PROGRAMS

The park offers interpretive programs, activities and special events that highlight the history, natural diversity and agricultural heritage of Crooked Run Valley. The program season begins in March and runs through December. Highlights of the season include: the Delaplane Strawberry Festival, held on the Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend; the Great American Backyard Campout, held annually on the fourth Saturday in June; and the Fall Farm Festival, celebrated each weekend in October.

Click here to view all parks' events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.

CONCESSIONS

Small gift shop; beverage vending machines.

HISTORY

Settlement of the area can be attributed to nearby Ashby's Gap, which gave settlers access to the Shenandoah Valley.

In 1731, Lord Fairfax sold a 7,883-acre tract of land just south of Ashby’s Gap to James Ball. Ball died in 1754, and his land was divided among his daughter and five grandsons. One grandson sold his land to John Edmonds in 1780. Edmonds died eight years later, and his land was divided among his five children.

Isaac Settle of nearby Paris bought land from two of those children and in 1812 built a large brick house called “Belle Grove.” In 1842, he sold Belle Grove farm to his son in-law, Lewis Edmonds, who shortly thereafter sold 148 acres to Settle’s son, Abner, who built Mount Bleak House.

In 1868 Mount Bleak became the property of George M. Slater, who had been one of Mosby’s Rangers during the Civil War. Slater and his son lived there for 55 years.

The property changed owners several times in the 1900s. In 1975, Paul Mellon of Upperville, Va., purchased and donated a 1,132-acre tract to the Commonwealth for the development of a state park. Another 248 acres were acquired in 1987, thus providing a corridor to the Appalachian Trail. In 1991, Mr. Mellon donated another 248 acres, designated the Lost Mountain Bridle Trail Area.

The name Sky Meadows comes from former owner Robert Hadow, who named the property "Skye Farm" after an island in Scotland.

FRIENDS GROUP

The Friends of Sky Meadows (FOSK) is a citizen support organization that helps the park serve visitors and protect park resources. FOSK also raises money to help the park and assists with stewardship projects, educates visitors about the natural and historic importance of the park, recruits volunteers and promotes the park at outreach events.
Friends members have diverse interests and backgrounds. Meetings are held quarterly. Email info@friendsofskymeadows.org for more information.

MASTER PLAN

Master plans must be written for parks before they're built. The plans are updated at least once every five years thereafter. The plans cover the size, types, infrastructure and locations of facilities as well as the site's special features and resources. Three public meetings are held during the initial development of each plan. Click here for this park's master plan.

WILDLIFE

Virginia State Parks are great places to discover and reconnect with the wild world. Bring a camera and share your captures with the world. But please don't disturb or get too close to the animals. The park is, after all, their home. Here are a few recent natural encounters others have had at Sky Meadows State Park.

View all wildlife encounter photos from Sky Meadows State Park.

 

Upcoming Events

 
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Articles

Erin Brockmann, Chief Ranger – Visitor Experience, Sky Meadows State Park shares her project to find the beauty every day at her park.
I want to share two pictures from January that I find particularly inspiring and give you the stories behind them.
The new year began, and I vowed to make some changes in my life. Realizing that I needed a new outlook, I decided to take full advantage of getting to work in a beautiful park.
The American Hiking Society and Virginia State Parks have teamed up to provide college students alternative spring break programs at a number of parks.

At a Glance

The pictographs directly below show park offerings. Mouse-over the image for a short text description or click here to view a legend in which each pictograph's meaning is expressed.
Camp Store/Gift ShopCampground, Group CampingEquestrianHikingNature/Cultural Programs, Visitor CenterParking feePicnic TablesRestroomsShoreUniversally Accessible
Camp Store/Gift Shop, Campground, Group Camping, Equestrian, Hiking, Nature/Cultural Programs, Visitor Center, Parking fee, Picnic Tables, Restrooms, Shore, Universally Accessible