On Location Series #26–Sky Meadows State Park (Paris, VA) with Angel Garcia…

Sky Meadows State Park is in Fauquier County, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near Paris, Virginia. It took us (myself and Angel) roughly a little of an hour to reach the location. Interestingly enough, the park was designed when Paul Mellon bestowed 1,132 acres of land in 1975. The name “Sky Meadows” came from previous owner Sir Robert Hadow, who named the property “Skye Farm” after an island in Scotland.

Also, the location is not that far from the main parts of the Appalachian Trail.
Another thing to note is that Mt. Bleak-Skye Farm is a national historic district located in Sky Meadows State Park. It also involved the Timberlake farmstead Federal-style Mount Bleak mansion and the frame Meeting House (which pictures of these structures are below). This portion of land was included in the park around 1843, if my memory serves me without fault.

March 14th of this year yielded some beautiful hiking weather. As I stated above, the drive took just over an hour to be more accurate, an hour and twenty-five minutes. Entry to the park was standard, 8 dollars to get in since we were from out of town (Maryland), and we were given a park map. That map came in handy as the numerous trails that were in the park. For example:

Ambassador Whitehouse Trail
Appalachian Trail (not the main one)
James Ball Trail
Gap Run Trail
North Ridge Trail
Old Trail
Snowden Trail
South Ridge Trail
Boston Mill Road Trail
Hadow Trail
Corporal Morgan Trail

…along with points of interest such as Upper and Lower Piedmont Overlook and the Woodpecker Viewing Area.

Now, we did not walk all those trails nor explored ever points of interest (I left out four other locations) due to the park’s vastness. But I must say the Upper and Lower Piedmont Overlook was terrific. This locale had some of the best scenery I have seen in a long time, and I am basking in hyperbole by saying so. There was a point at the Upper position; an information station showed you what you were looking at in particular directions.  One actual example, I was staring in the direction of Tyson’s Corner from our point of location. This is the picture here along with others—

My friend Angel joined me on this journey, and he gave some observations of his own. He was very helpful in reading the map and pointing out the quickest path for us to go to reach our objective. It was a welcome sight having a fellow hiker explore this vast park, and yes, it was extensive.

This park may not have an extensive history, but the hike’s views ranging from old farmlands to hilly countryside are worth a visit. The mansion on the property was a brief look into the past, which on some days you can be able to tour it along with hiring a guide to walk you to all points of interest. Sky Meadows State Park is a not-so-hidden gem in Virginia but a pleasure to undertake on a sunny afternoon.

See videos below:




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