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.
There’s nothing that says “I love you” to a mom quite like the chance to spend some special time with family. And on Mother’s Day, the beautiful spring weather makes spending time outdoors together a perfect fit. This Mother’s Day, head to Front Royal and give the gift of a fun outing in the Shenandoah Valley. You and Mom can connect over something you both love to do.
Read on for ideas on a range of delightful outings in the Front Royal area for you and Mom. You can enjoy the beautiful spring of the Shenandoah Valley together. We’ve given suggestions for moms of all kinds, so you’re sure to find something your mom will love!
For the Mom who Loves Outdoor Adventures
We think of mothers as a safe-haven, and rightly so. But moms are also some of the most adventurous people there are! Taking on responsibility for one or several tiny humans is not for the fainthearted!
Does your mom love to adventure in the great outdoors as much as she loves the great adventure of motherhood? If so, you’ll have no problem finding a Mother’s Day outing she’ll enjoy in the Front Royal area!
With the Shenandoah River winding through Front Royal, a day on the river is a great way to adventure and relax at the same time. Front Royal has a range of friendly outfitters who’ll take care of your needs. Check out Front Royal Outdoors, Down River Canoe Company, or Skyline Canoe Company to find a river trip that works for you.
If you’re more interested in getting out on some hiking trails, you have some great options in the Front Royal area too. With the George Washington National Forest, the Shenandoah National Park, and the Appalachian Trail all within easy distance, you can find an iconic hike without too much trouble. If your mom is a serious hiker or biker, combine this outing with the gift of an All Trails Pro subscription. All Trails Pro is like a GPS app, but for hiking trails! Mom can enjoy the trails with a whole new sense of security.
For the Mom who Loves a Small-Town Vibe
Depending on your tastes, spring weather can be just as enjoyable on the streets of a quaint small town as in a mountain landscape. If your mom is a lover of small town life, she’ll definitely enjoy an afternoon in Front Royal.
To give your outing a bit more structure, consider following the Front Royal Walking Tour. This self-guided tour takes you through Front Royal’s most historic and picturesque streets. You’ll learn some local history along the way. Feel free to take a break along the way and enjoy hunting for treasures in an antique store, sipping on a coffee, or savoring an ice cream cone.
Another great idea for enjoying Front Royal’s small town atmosphere is an afternoon at the Dr. Seide Memorial Botanical Gardens. Within the 3.5 acres of beautifully planned gardens, you’ll find benches, walking paths, and even a stretch of Happy Creek. The same complex is also home to one of Front Royal’s most extensive parks, so the family can enjoy playgrounds, sand volleyball, tennis, basketball, and more.
For the Mom who just Wants to Relax
For some Moms, a slower-paced day in the countryside is the best way to relax and rejuvenate. If you’re looking for an outing along these lines, you might consider heading to Sunflower Cottage in Middletown. Mom can enjoy this picturesque herb farm, and visit the retail garden center to pick out herbs, flowers, or planters for the coming season. Don’t forget to include a stop at the farm’s Backroom Brewery on the farm for some refreshment. Hops for the unique range of craft beers are grown right on the farm. Backroom Brewery is also offering a special Mother’s Day lunch on Sunday March 9, complete with specialty herbal cocktails such as Lavender Martinis and Basil Whiskey Sours.
For another relaxing option, consider planning a picnic at one of the many fantastic wineries surrounding Front Royal. Sipping on a glass of Virginia wine in a gorgeous setting will be a restorative experience for anyone!
Celebrate Mom in the Front Royal area this Mother’s Day weekend. With a range of options to suit all tastes, you can get out in the fresh spring air of the Valley and enjoy a memorable day together.
With the COVID-19 crisis throwing travel plans into chaos, it may be tempting to give up on the idea of a vacation this year. But the benefits of some time off are well-documented. Taking advantage of paid vacation time improves your health, your happiness, your family relationships, and even your productivity at work. If you want to take a break, but aren’t able to make travel plans we have a solution: a Front Royal staycation! Block out some time to rest, rejuvenate, and explore your hometown!
If you’re lucky enough to live in the Front Royal area, there are plenty of opportunities for fun and relaxation right on your doorstep. Not sure where to start? Read on! We’ve rounded up some of our best ideas to make your Front Royal staycation feel like a vacation. You should find something below to suit everyone in the family. And don’t forget: your Front Royal staycation will help the small local businesses that have taken a hard hit during the COVID-19 crisis.
(COVID-19 policies change frequently. Avoid disappointment! Be sure to double check directly with the company for any policy updates before you finalize plans.)
DISCOVER FRONT ROYAL
Front Royal Staycation Dining
One major perk of vacation is taking a break from the never ending tasks of meal-planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. On your Front Royal staycation, you should make sure you still give yourself a break. In fact, since you’ll be saving money on travel and lodging, consider enjoying an extra fancy dinner or two. You might be dying to get out of your house and enjoy a meal in a restaurant. The good news is that many restaurants are now reopening with limited and outdoor seating.
COVID-19 has a lot to answer for, but it may also give you a chance to enjoy an old favorite restaurant in a whole new way. In an effort to follow COVID-19 guidelines, several local restaurants have added outdoor dining, and even carry out or delivery services. Outdoor dining definitely has a vacation feel to it. If you don’t feel like going out, you have the chance to enjoy your favorite restaurant in the comfort of your home.
Some Front Royal favorites that have added a COVID-19 carry out service include The Element, the Front Royal Brewing Company (also offering delivery), and Pavemint Taphouse,. Or bring home an old favorite such as Spelunkers Burgers or Melting Pot Pizza.
See here for a more extensive list of Front Royal dining options.
Front Royal Outdoor Adventure Staycation
Enjoying the great outdoors is a great way to have some summer fun while observing COVID-19 guidelines. Front Royal is the perfect place for a range of outdoor staycation activities (to suit varying levels of adventurousness!).
Nothing says “summer” like relaxing on the river. Many people happily travel for hours to spend some time on a scenic river in the summer. If you live in Front Royal, you don’t have to. A Shenandoah River staycation is at your fingertips! Front Royal’s river outfitters have reduced services due to COVID-19, but if you’re interested in boating or tubing, Front Royal Outdoors has limited river trip offerings. And if you have your own boat, Skyline Canoe is offering a shuttle service so you can enjoy a trip down the river without having to worry about getting back to where you left your car. Fishing and swimming at public river access points are great options for enjoying the river while complying with social distancing guidelines. Water enthusiasts can easily plan a whole week of different river activities in and around Front Royal.
For another day of outdoor summer fun, consider hiking or biking one of Front Royal’s popular trails. Pack your own picnic, or stop at Blue Wing Frog and have them pack one for you.
Other options for outdoor fun in and around Front Royal include rock climbing, golfing, and horseback riding stables. You can even enjoy a horseback ride through the Shenandoah National Park.
It wouldn’t be a summer vacation without some ice cream. Don’t forget to cool down at the end of the day at one of Front Royal’s favorite ice cream spots. Try The Apple House Ice Cream Stand, the ever popular Spelunker’s, or C&C’s Frozen Treats on Main Street.
The Indoor Front Royal Staycation
If being outdoors and active in the heat of summer doesn’t sound relaxing, don’t worry. There’s still plenty to do in Front Royal. And many indoor-based businesses have established COVID-19 policies that allow them to remain open. Here are some slower-paced ideas for your Front Royal staycation fun in Front Royal.
If you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon in town, Front Royal’s quaint Downtown area is an excellent choice. Happy Creek Coffee, and Main Street’s Daily Grind are two of the town’s most popular coffee shops. If you’re not a coffee lover, The Vine and Leaf offers teas and fine wines. Peruse the shop or enjoy a beverage in the “sipping room.”
It’s also fun to take your time exploring Front Royal’s selection of unique shops. Royal Bookshop is a charming used bookstore that’s a walkable distance from Main Street. Arts and crafts lovers will have fun painting their own pottery at The Kiln Doctor. Or for an activity that has you in nature, but out of the sun, take a tour of Skyline Caverns.
For beer and wine lovers, Front Royal has plenty of opportunities for a relaxing afternoon or evening. On Main Street, try ViNoVa Tapas and Wine Bar or the Front Royal Brewing Company. Or take a drive into the country for an afternoon at one of several scenic wineries and breweries in the Front Royal area.
COVID-19 has led to many disappointments. It’s not easy to deal with the cancellation of a summer vacation. But a week of Front Royal staycation fun may be just what you need to lift your spirits.
Spring with its restrictions sprang into oblivion quickly and the outlook for summer is not looking much less restrictive. Gym space and time is limited; running in the heat is not fun; and public swimming pools are closed. So, what is the best physical activity in the summer of 2020 in our beautiful Shenandoah Valley?
Riding a mountain bike on one of our scenic trails could be the answer!
Mountain biking is the ideal experience for anyone who wants to exercise and connect with nature. There are some skills that mountain bikers need to possess while acknowledging the difference in mountain bikes, biking styles, techniques, and terrains.
Everyone knows any physical activity is good for you. We have all heard about the “runner’s high.” But when you do any activity that gets your blood flowing and triggers the release of endorphins.
You never get bored with mountain biking as the trail is always changing. No route is ever the same. The texture of the dirt on the trail is different and there can be more rocks, fallen branches, or other unexpected obstacles.
Mountain biking gets you places much faster than hiking. In warm weather everything around is more beautiful. The stillness and majesty alone are worth it.
Here are a few of them to get you started on your mountain biking journey:
Special considerations on bicycling on the Skyline Drive
Bicycling is permitted along Skyline Drive and on paved areas in the park. Bicycling (road and mountain bikes) is not permitted on trails, unpaved roads or in grassy areas.* Because Skyline Drive is a two-lane road with steep hills and numerous blind curves, cyclists are urged to use extreme caution.
Visitors should be prepared to operate their bicycles during periods of low visibility, or while traveling through a tunnel, or between sunset and sunrise, by exhibiting on the operator or bicycle a white light or reflector that is visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red light or reflector visible from at least 200 feet to the rear. During periods of fog, reflectors will not provide necessary safety for bicyclists. Lights on both the front and rear of the bicycle are required. Mountain areas can experience dramatically different weather than what is being experienced in the lowlands, so be prepared!
Donations were received by the Shenandoah National Bicycle Coalition and Planet Bike of 150 lights to be given to visitors at the entrances for safety of the bicyclists arriving without a rear light. Lights are supposed to be dropped off as the visitors exit.
*Bicycling from Skyline Drive is permitted on Rapidan Fire Road for approximately one mile. At the end of this mile, there is a sign indicating no bicycles are permitted beyond that point.
BIKE TRAILS AND BIKE PATHS
Local Trails & Greenways
414 E Main St Front Royal
Sherando Park Mountain Bike Trails
Address: 200 Landgrant Ln.
Stephens City, VA 22655
Phone: (540) 665-5600
Address: Luray Ave.
Front Royal, VA 22630
Phone: (540) 636-4600
Elizabeth Furnace Recreational area
Address: Fort Valley, VA 22652
Phone: (540) 984-4101
Buzzard Rock Trailhead
Address: 3087 Mountain Rd.
Front Royal, VA 22630
Shenandoah River State Park
Address: 350 Daughter of Stars Dr.
Bentonville, VA 22610
Phone: (540) 622-6840
Address: 250 Rockland Park Way
Front Royal, VA 22630
Phone: (540) 635-7750
255 Lakeview Circle
Stephens City, VA 22655
Phone: (540) 665-5678
Low Water Bridge Campgrounds
Address: 192 Panhandle Rd.
Bentonville, VA 22610
Phone: (540) 635-7277
Sky Meadows State Park
11012 Edmonds Ln.
Delaplane, VA 20144
Shenandoah River State Park
350 Daughter of Stars Dr.
Bentonville, VA 22610
Whitney State Forest
Address: Lee, Morton Ridge
Warrenton, VA 20186
Phone: (804) 492-4121
Cedar Creek & Belle Grove
Address: Middletown, VA 22645
Phone: (540) 869-3051
Shenandoah National Park
17157 Skyline Dr.
Front Royal, VA 22630
Shopping for Bicycle or Bicycle Repair
Do you need a new bike or maintenance/repairs done on your bike? Here are some bike sales and repair shops to check out.
Mountain Trails Front Royal
120 E Main St.
Front Royal, VA 22630
Blue Ridge Bicycles
2228 Papermill Rd # G
Winchester, VA 22601
Shenandoah Bicycle Company is open and operating, ready to assist you!
135 South Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
4414 Costello Way
Haymarket, VA 20169
Some final, yet important considerations:
Remain on open forest roads
Watch over the environment
Ride carefully, remain in control
ALWAYS be prepared
Remember: You are responsible for your own safety
and for the safety of those around you.
Discover Front Royal