Once the site of a historic farm, Sky Meadows State Park is now an 1,860-acre outdoor recreation retreat. With a primitive and pet-friendly campground, rolling meadows, and excellent hiking, it's well worth visiting with your canine pal in tow.
This is a campground you visit if you want a little peace and quiet. It's a primitive campground only accessible on foot or by bike -- no vehicles are allowed -- with 15 tent-only sites available. To get to the sites, you'll need to hike one mile from the overnight parking area, so make sure you pack light.
Campsites cost $15/night and feature a tent pad, fire pit, picnic table, and bear-proof locker. Pit toilets, non-potable water, and firewood are all available, but there are no showers. If you don't like the idea of primitive camping or being a one-mile hike from your car, this ain't the right place for you.
There are also three group camping sites available -- one is designed for two families who want to camp together, while the other two accommodate groups of up to 24 or 36 people.
Dogs are welcome on all sites, provided they're kept on a leash when not confined. You'll also need to make sure never to leave your pet unattended and that you dispose of their waste properly.
The best way to explore everything Sky Meadows State Park has to offer is to take a hike. With some 22 miles of hiking trails to explore, you're spoiled for choice. All trails are well-marked and their difficulty level is also clearly outlined; that said, anyone with a decent level of physical fitness should have no trouble tackling most routes.
The Piedmont Overlook Trail and the 2.2-mile Lost Mountain Trail both offer lovely views, while the 2.2-mile Rolling Meadows route is a pleasant hike through gently undulating terrain. There's even a designated 5k course that starts and ends at the Turner Pond parking area, while those looking for a real long-distance challenge can tackle the two-day hike to Shenandoah National Park.
Bridle trails and biking trails are also available, while keen anglers might like to cast a line in the three-acre Turner Pond. The pond is regularly stocked with largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, and more, but you'll need to make sure you have a Virginia State Fishing License.
If you're seeking seclusion, scenery, and tranquility, Sky Meadows State Park might be your ideal camping destination. Best of all, your pooch will love it too.