Hiking is truly a sport that has something for everyone. It can be as simple as a walk in the woods, or as complex as an expedition that’s several days long (or more!). One thing’s for sure; those who’ve discovered the joys of hiking keep on coming back for more! It’s the feeling of accomplishment as you put the miles behind you, one step at a time. It’s the companionship you find along the way. It’s nature’s beauty and the reward of a enjoying a stunning view after a tough climb.
If the hiking bug has bitten you, and you’re looking for more ways to get out and explore the hiking trails of the Front Royal area, this post is for you! Read on for five tips on getting the most out of your Front Royal hiking adventures!
1. Get the Right Gear (It’s Worth It!)
If you’ve fallen in love with hiking, you may have become an enthusiastic hiker while making do with gear you already had in your closet. We’re here to tell you that it’s worth investing a little money on some high quality gear. For your adventures on the trails, you want to make sure you have long-lasting equipment that won’t let you down. The proper gear can also make a huge difference in making your time on the trails more enjoyable. It’s time to make the switch from from random-backpack-lying-at-the-bottom-of-the-closet to properly-designed-hiking-backpack. You’ll find the difference is magical! Stop by Mountain Trails in Front Royal to have all your equipment needs met.
2. Make a Hiking Bucket List
With fantastic hikes all around, deciding where to start can be overwhelming. That’s why we recommend keeping a bucket list of hikes in the area that you’d like to check out. Take your hiking to the next level by committing to a weekly or monthly hike. When the hiking day rolls around you can pull out your bucket list and you’ll have a list of great hikes calling your name! No more wasting time trying to figure out where to go. Having trouble figuring out what to put on the list? See here for some ideas to get you started. Shenandoah National Park and Shenandoah River State Park are two prime locations for hiking in the Front Royal area. Have a chat with a park ranger at either of these parks. They’ll be able to put you onto some more great hikes to add to your list.
3. Get off the Beaten Path
We don’t mean this literally! We know one of hiking’s prime safety and conservation rules is to stay on marked trails. What we’re talking about is choosing a less popular hike; one that sparks your interest, but perhaps isn’t on everyone’s “top ten hikes” list. Don’t be afraid to strike out on your own and check out a hike that’s calling your name, even if no one’s recommended it. You may discover a hidden treasure! And you’ll probably enjoy a more secluded adventure in the process.
4. Learn About Nature as You Hike
Hikers love being out in nature, but it’s possible to spend many hours outdoors with only a vague idea of all that’s going on around you. Diving in to learn a little more about the natural world can be a great way to make the landscape around you come to life even more! Try bringing along a field guide to trees, birds, flowers, or wildlife, and identifying some of the species you come across as you’re walking. Tip: if you aren’t interested in spending long periods standing still while you wait for animals to appear, it’s probably better to start with trees or flowers!
5. Enjoy a Fantastic Post-Hike Meal
There are few things more satisfying than enjoying a delicious meal after a long day out on the trails. It’s the moment you can relax with a burger and a beer (and muscles that are just sore enough to remind you that you’ve thoroughly earned it!). When you’re back from your hike and looking to satisfy your hunger, fueling station Front Royal is here for you! For that classic post-hike burger and beer combo, check out Vibrissa Beer or PaveMint Taphouse. Or if you’re looking for something more unique, Front Royal has you covered, too. From fine dining, to oriental cuisine, to delicious Mexican eateries, there’s definitely something for everyone. So whether you’re a local or a visitor, don’t forget to stop in town after your hike and fill up with a delicious meal from one of Front Royals’ many delightful restaurants.
With exciting hiking trails to keep you supplied with adventure, fantastic restaurants, and a handy supply store, Front Royal is a hiker’s dream come true. Get your hiking boots on and explore all the hiking fun that awaits you in the Front Royal area.
With school age kids settled back into the school routine across the country, parents and kids alike might be missing the opportunities for family bonding and shared experiences that the summer brought. The good news is that the beginning of school doesn’t have to mean the end of family adventures. If you let your imagination take off, you’d be surprised at what you can find to do in the Front Royal area between the end of one school day and the beginning of the next. Instead of driving straight home from the school pick up line, head off on an “after school adventure.” A weeknight adventure means you’ll enjoy less crowds, lower rates, and the mid-week break you need to keep you going.
Today’s post is all about finding adventures around Front Royal that fit in those precious hours when you’re off work and your kids are home from school. We’re calling these “after school adventures.” The goal is family fun. We’re not trying to set any world records. So we’ve rounded up some ways you can enjoy a break from your everyday routine, while making sure you’ll be back in time for school the next morning! You may lose a bit of sleep, but you’ll give everyone a needed break, and gain some unforgettable memories. If you’d like to enjoy an after school adventure with your family in the Front Royal area, read on for some ideas of family friendly fun in the Front Royal area.
Overnight After School Adventure Ideas in the Front Royal Area
For kids, nothing says adventure like spending a night away from home. Even camping out in their own back yard can be magical. But if you want to take it to the next level, there’s plenty of scope around Front Royal. You don’t have to go far to find a fun night away where you won’t be spending all your time driving or all your money on accommodations.
A great, family friendly camping options is Elizabeth Furnace Family Campground. The campground is right on the banks of Passage Creek, so you can make dinner over a camp stove while the kids splash in the water or explore the banks. Gather the family for s’mores around the campfire before snuggling up together in your tent. A fifteen minute drive in the morning will bring you right back into Front Royal. An important perk of weeknight camping: you’ll enjoy less crowds, less competition for the best sites, and even cheaper rates at some campgrounds.
If you don’t want to bother with pitching a tent, or if you want a little more comfort than tent camping provides, reserve one of the primitive PATC Cabins in Shenandoah National Park. Though primitive, these cabins do provide four walls around you, a roof over your head, and a bunk to sleep on. Don’t expect running water though! To build up the feeling of adventure, you’ll receive your cabin key in the mail, along with instructions on how to get to the cabin. Range View Cabin is a popular choice near the Front Royal end of Skyline Drive. Older kids will enjoy making the short hike through the woods to arrive at their housing for the night.
After School Adventures that Bring You Home for the Night
You don’t have to spend the night away from home to make it an adventure though. If you need the refreshing sleep you can only get in your own bed, you can still fit in an adventure before bedtime. Consider taking off after school for a short hike and picnic supper before heading home. Not sure where to start hiking? Two local favorites are the Compton Peak Hikes in Shenandoah National Park, or the Buzzard Rock Hike in the George Washington National Forest area. Both of these hikes do involve overlooks and steep climbs, so try to plan your evening so you’ll be back at the trailhead before dark.
If you can’t get out early enough to fit a hike in before dusk, you can have an adventure without going far from your car. How about driving into Shenandoah National Park after nightfall, stopping at an overlook, and making hot chocolate on a camp stove while gazing at the stars? Bring some blankets and enjoy family time under the stars before heading home to sleep in your own bed.
Reward Yourself with Breakfast Out in Front Royal
Whether you actually spent the night in the great outdoors, or simple carved out part of your evening for family time, your adventure does mean you don’t have the time you normally do for your daily chores. Why not complete the family fun by grabbing breakfast out the next morning? With a great selection of coffee shops and diners, Front Royal has you covered for a breakfast the whole family will enjoy. Try L’Dees Pancake House for a classic diner breakfast, or if a coffee shop is more up your alley, try Daily Grind, Happy Creek Coffee, or DL Campus Coffee on Main. Celebrate your break from the everyday, before heading back to work and school refreshed and energized.
If you’re looking to add some excitement to your family’s fall routine, it’s a great time to try an after school adventure. The Front Royal area is the perfect backdrop for your and your kids to make memories that will last a lifetime.
If you’re considering a trip to Front Royal this fall, there’s a unique lodging opportunity you should consider: the NOVA 4-H Center in Front Royal is opening up its accommodations to the public!
This limited-time opportunity is an outdoors-lover’s dream. With tent and lodge accommodations available, hiking, fishing, and more on site, and easy access to the Front Royal area’s many attractions, it’s a perfect fit for many different types. Whether you’re heading to Front Royal for fall foliage views, a personal break, a small-group retreat, or to attend a public event, be sure to check out this lodging opportunity to make your visit extra enjoyable.
Read on for our list of five irresistible reasons to reserve lodging at the NOVA 4-H Center this fall.
1. A Rare Opportunity
The saying goes that when opportunity comes knocking you should answer the door. In this case, it’s true! This is one opportunity that you shouldn’t count on coming back to later. Lodging at the NOVA 4-H Center is typically used for large groups and organized programs. Usually, this lodging isn’t available to the public.
This fall, cancellations due to COVID have left the 4-H Center in the unique position of being able to open up their fantastic accommodations to the public. Take advantage of this rare opportunity before it’s gone!
2. Lodging that Fits Your Group Size and Your Taste
The 4-H Center is a large complex with various accommodation options. Private rooms are available in the 4-H Center lodges for individuals, couples, or small families. A larger group could book two adjoining rooms, or reserve out an entire lodge. It’s a perfect set up for a family reunion or a getaway with friends.
Plenty of open space is also available for tent camping. So if being outdoors 24/7 is what rejuvenates you most, dive on in!
3. Amazing Amenities
Staying at the NOVA 4-H Center gives you much more than just a place to sleep. You’ll also find plenty of fantastic amenities to keep you busy all day. Enjoy miles of hiking trails including access to the Appalachian Trail, a disc golf course, tennis and basketball courts, and even a lake for fishing. Fire pits and picnic shelters are also available for reservation.
4. Fantastic Location near Front Royal
There’s plenty to keep you busy without ever leaving the 4-H Center, but you’ll want to tear yourself away to enjoy all that the Front Royal area has to offer. Enjoy this peaceful rustic setting just an hour from Washington D.C. With stunning fall foliage appearing all around, fall is one of the best times to visit the Front Royal area. You’ll find loads of outdoor attractions, including the famous Shenandoah National Park, which draws thousands of visitors every fall.
Or head to the nearby town of Front Royal to enjoy delicious dining, fantastic wineries, and all the unbeatable charm of a small mountain town.
5. All in a Good Cause
When you stay at the 4-H Center, you’re not just planning a few days of fun for yourself and your loved ones. You’re also supporting a fantastic cause. The money you spend on lodging at the NOVA 4-H Center goes straight to supporting this worthy non-profit organization, and all the important educational programs they offer for youth. It’s a win, win, win situation.
So don’t delay, make your plans today for your fall stay at the NOVA 4-H Center. For more information, or to make a reservation, call Chris Newlon at 540-635-7171, or reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every fall sees large numbers of visitors heading to the Front Royal area in pursuit of the breathtaking fall foliage vistas. But if you’re seeking nature’s glory splendor in Front Royal this year, make sure you catch the whole show! Mother Nature isn’t done after a day of drinking in the splendor of fall. There’s an equally glorious display about to come: the star-filled night sky.
There’s something about stargazing that’s good for the soul. The sight of thousands of sparkling lights coming from worlds away is one that never gets old. It’s a good reminder of how big the universe is. And how small we are.
And maybe it’s something we’re meant to see. After all, for most of human history, people everywhere enjoyed star filled skies on a regular basis. Today, light pollution has made stargazing difficult for those living in highly populated areas. That’s yet another reason to escape to the Front Royal area this fall so you can enjoy the night sky the way it’s supposed to be.
Stargazing Spots in the Front Royal Area
For those in search of the thrill of gazing at a starlit sky, there are two parks in the Front Royal area that offer particularly outstanding displays.
The first is Shenandoah National Park. Driving on Skyline Drive already makes you feel a bit closer to the sky. But for stargazers there’s still some light pollution from the towns in the valley below. To maximize your night sky viewing, head to one of the park’s top stargazing areas. The Big Meadows area is a sought-after stargazing spot, and the location of Shenandoah National Park’s formal astronomy program, which takes place on select Friday nights through the month of October. The Skyland Amphitheater is another top stargazing spot in the park. Making arrangements for a campsite,cabin, or hotel room in Shenandoah National Park is a great way to enjoy some stargazing without having to make a long trip home at night.
For more tips, see this guide to stargazing in Shenandoah National Park. The guide includes including a list of the top overlooks in the park for stargazing (with the least light pollution interference).
On the other side of Front Royal, another great option is Sky Meadows State Park. Sky Meadows offers such great night sky views, that it’s recently become an officially designated Dark Sky Park. The park typically closes at dusk, but check their schedule of events for the popular Astronomy for Everyone program. For these family friendly events, the park stays open after dark, and you can enjoy a guided stargazing experience. Or if you want a real stargazing adventure, plan on using their primitive hike-in tent camping site and spending a memorable night under the stars.
Five Stargazing Tips
If you’re sold on making stargazing part of your next Front Royal adventure, read on for a few more tips that will help make your experience great!
1.Plan with the moon in mind. The brighter the moon, the less you’ll see of the stars, as the light of the moon can drown out these smaller nights. Stargazing will be best with a new or crescent moon above you.
1.Wait for clear skies. You’ll also want to make sure that there’s minimal cloud coverage blocking your views of the stars. Choose a crisp, clear fall night (and maybe bring a mug of hot chocolate!).
1.Let your eyes get used to the dark. You may not be used to being outside after dark, but your eyes will get there quicker than you think. While it takes several hours for your eyes to completely adjust to darker conditions, major changes take place in your eyes after just ten minutes of darkness, allowing you to see better. To help your eyes adjust, avoid using flashlights or other artificial lights as possible. It’s also helpful to avoid looking at phone screens. If you must use a light, try using one that’s tinted red.
1.Stay safe. If you’re an adventurous spirit in the park after dark, you might be tempted by the idea of a stargazing hike. While hiking at night can be a fun and memorable adventure, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll want to take added safety precautions. Don’t stray from trails at night. You may find it impossible to retrace your steps without light. Also, avoid trails with hazards such as steep drops that could be particularly dangerous in the dark. Be particularly alert for wildlife. And as always, make sure someone knows where you are going, and when you expect to return.
For more stargazing tips, see this article on stargazing in Shenandoah National Park.
There are few sights as captivating as a night sky filled with stars, or as stunning as the Blue Ridge mountains lit up with the colors of fall. Plan to enjoy both this year. A combination leaf-peeping star-gazing trip will leave you filled with awe at nature’s wonders.
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