Sky Meadows State Park

Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane: Hours, Address, Sky Meadows State Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Sky Meadows State Park
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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109 reviews
Very good

Jenny H
Williamsburg, VA588 contributions
Aug 2020
This state park is just off the main road and a convenient long lunch stop. So pack a picnic and enjoy a lunch in the picnic area (off to the right just as you turn into the park). There is a loop trail near the picnic tables (many are shaded) as well as an interactive area for kids. This dog-friendly park works for all members of the family. There is a historic home, gift shop, chickens, and another restroom at the top of the hill. From the park map, there are an abundance of hiking options.
Written August 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

South Riding, VA16 contributions
Oct 2014 • Friends
Great drive out. Nice scenery. When you arrive (if camping, with a reservation) tell the Ranger at the gate you are camping and you will be directed up the hill (no need to pay to park). Go all the way up to the house and check it out. Nice little gift shop, too. You will get your 'packet' there, which tells you the rules, map to your site, and other info (not on their website). 'Must be that you have to actually visit before you're 'in the club' and are given the rest of the information you will need to camp there. You will drive back down the hill, secret gate combination now in hand, and park in the overnight lot, to the left of the entrance gate. Once there, you will notice a stand of large black, plastic two-wheeled garden carts (pneumatic tires). If you don't pack very light you WILL need one! Pay the Ranger at the gate (10yds away) $10 (cash) to rent one for the night. Once loaded-up, walk to the trail head, up the hill from the gate about 30yds on the left. From there, it's about a mile walk, mostly flat, but rocky (watch your step) until the last 1/4 mile - which will leave most folks carrying gear well-winded. It's a 10% grade. At first glance, it will make you sad.. Take a break on that last stretch. At the top, you'll pass a nice-looking building on the left. That's the 'pit toilet' (as they call it), which is conundrum as it's very well made; even on the inside. But.., well. You'll see. If you're lucky, you won't need to use it. Your site will be assigned to you at the gift shop, and there are posts to guide you. The Rangers really do a nice job. Wood is provided a few yards from your site on an honor system ($5 for ten split pieces). Good deal. Use your garden cart (if you rent one). Sites include fire pits and/or very nice hardwood grills, both with cooking grates. We were at Camp Slater, group site for 24. We had three nice picnic tables, four tent pads, and a ground-level fire pit and a party-sized table-height grill. Tent pads have small pea gravel, good for drainage and keeping mud off your tent. No need for tarps or footprints under your expensive tent floor. Lots of lantern hangers, too. In all, nice place to camp. Just remember.. it's not car camping. That mile-walk is not as easy as it sounds when walking up hill, carrying gear. Rangers will also stop by your site at least once, so do mind the rules. The walk out is much easier. Not much out there, so pack everything you'll need.
Written October 27, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Providence, RI47 contributions
Apr 2017 • Family
We have camped here three times, always in April. It is a perfect place to camp with kids. Not a place for those who want amenities (Andy Guest campground is nearby and has lots of amenities, such as hot showers, warm, electrified bathrooms- we love the site too and it has easy access to sites but less privacy).

The camping area at Sky Meadows is spectacularly beautiful, has easy access to hiking trails, contains perfect sites with lots of room between sites and contains incredible array of wildlife. The sites are either up in the hill or down by the brook. We like sites 6 (by brook although we have been flooded if it rains too hard) or 10 & 11 (in hill). Lots of trees provide shade and privacy (even in April before foliage arrives) as well as home to the birds. A non potable water pump is close by. Firewood is $5 per 10 logs, and the supply is well stocked. There are toilets in two locations. Easy access to trails, including the Appalachian trail. It is beautifully remote due to the hike in. The hike in is listed at 1 mile, but to actually get to some sites you have to go farther. if you have kids or a lot of equipment, this distance has impact. We have seen deer, birds, squirrels, but most exciting is that we have heard owls, coyotes closing in on a kill and a mountain lion's cry. We saw the split carcass of the mountain lion's deer kill the next morning on the trail and off into the woods. Lots of animal tracks and scat to talk about with kids. The park center and historical house have great activities on the weekends.
Written April 23, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Herndon, VA52 contributions
May 2014 • Family
I reviewed Sky Meadows State Park website today (26May2014), and did NOT find any closure notices or problems noted. Then I, and my family, drove 50-miles (at great expense and time) to Sky Meadows State Park just to have a BBQ Picnic. We made arrangements with other family and friends to join us there.

However, upon arrival at the Entrance, we were informed that...despite this State Park being funded by Virginia Taxpayers...Sky Meadows Management had sold Reservation to a Strawberry Festival charity organizers, and completely closed all Public Entrance to the Park. They demanded (attempted to extort) $25 Entrance Fee just to enter the State Park and refused entry to anyone that would not pay their foolishly-high price. The Festival Personnel, and also the State Park Entrance Gate Personnel (wardens) were rude, condescending, and unhelpful in answering our questions. They all stated that if we did not want to pay their $25 Entrance Fee, then we should turn our car around and get out of their Park and go somewhere else. When we reminded the Park Ranger/Management that it was a State Park that is governed by State Law and Regulations (that should be open to all Public) and reminded them that they did NOT inform anyone the public that the entire Park was closed for their private functions...they had no explanation. Thus, my family and hundreds of other Virginia Residents were denied access to our lawful rights to usage of the State Park...and had to turn around and depart.

Additionally, when we asked if the State Park offered any kind of Military Discount for entrance, particularly in light of the fact that this is the Memorial Day Weekend (celebrating the sacrifices of Military Personnel who have served, and in many cases died, protecting them)...we were told that the Virginia Governor was so tightwad (spendthrift) that he sees no reason to demonstrate thankfulness to Military by giving them a Discount on State Park Entry. We were told that Military Veterans get no benefits from Virginia (and government agencies like the Parks) for having served our country and the State.

Sky Meadows Park Rangers, Park Administrators/Managers, and the Festival Organizers should be totally ASHAMED of themselves for their rudeness, their unprofessionalism, for their inconvenience upon hundreds (maybe thousands) of Virginia Residents looking to use the Park this weekend; and ashamed of their attempts to extort $25/entry from already poor families adversely impacted by the terrible Virginia economy.

You had NO right to surrender our Access Rights to a Festival Charity event, on a uniquely-important Veterans Day Holiday. How dare you give favored treatment to Strawberry Festival organization, and screw the entire Public that wanted to use your Park !!!

If the Virginia Governor had any empathy for Veterans and for the Commonwealth's Residents, he would immediately terminate the employment of all these unprofessional agents of the Virginia Government who were manning the Sky Meadows State Park Entrance, and make a full and unqualified public apology for the State Park causing so much harm to visiting families. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU.
Written May 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Washington DC, DC48 contributions
Oct 2013 • Solo
The State of Virginia pastures beef cattle on Park property, and steps have been built into their pastures to connect with the Appalachian Trial. I was attacked and trampled by these cows---two days in intensive care and huge medical bills. The State of Virginia and the Parks system will take no responsibility if you are injured--the bills are all on you, regardless of how severe and long-lasting your injuries. The law protects the State. Be aware and beware.
Written January 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amy B
Washington DC, DC31 contributions
Sep 2019 • Couples
My husband and I went hiking here and it’s beautiful. Easy link up to the AT. Great space and nice to get away from the city for awhile.
Written September 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jordan L
Ellicott City, MD147 contributions
Jul 2018 • Couples
Stayed at the primitive hike-in campsite. The park itself is extremely beautiful and romantic. It reminded me of the scenery in Pride and Prejudice. Wildflowers, overlooks of farmland, starry nights, and bubbling creeks make it a perfect little place. It also has access to the AT.

There are a few cons that I must note. The Rolling Meadows trail was brimming with ticks. They crawled over our boots and onto our legs. I found one in the floor of my car. When we got home, my boyfriend found one in his beard. Check for them!

The walk-in becomes a pain in the rear after you've done it a few times. We saw a lady struggling with a massive cooler on the walk in. Don't underestimate it!

The pit toilets are pretty terrifying.

Other than that, it was a slice of paradise.
Written July 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Washington DC, DC106 contributions
Jun 2014 • Couples
Sky Meadows is like a hidden gem for DC people - about an hour away (well, without traffic - it took us nearly three to get there last weekend) it's a quiet rural oasis. What's more, the camping there is wonderful! There are only a handful of sites and you have to hike 1-1.5 miles to get to them, which means NO RVs!!! Perfect for tent camping, and very quiet and verdant.

The trails are very well marked and clear. If you do the whole outer loop, it's close to 10 miles I believe, but it's way less traveled so very nice to get away from people. That trail gives you great views, meadows, and forested paths, so it's got the best of all worlds. Your pooch will love it there! The biggest downside is the massive amount of ticks you will deal with afterwards. We found two on us, and so far 11 on the dog (and counting now that we've been back two days).

The check-in process for camping leaves something to be desired if you arrive after 4pm. The directions are enough to confuse anyone, and if you have no clue where you're going, good luck! We were lucky to find another person staying there that could tell us where to go. Once you know the set up, it's no problem... but for first timers, it's a bit nerve racking.

Virtually all of the sites in the Red area (individual campsites versus group sites) are great. Some are a bit better than others, but you can't go wrong. You can buy $5 of logs there which will be more than enough, and the pit latrines are clean enough. No potable water is here, so you must pack it all in. No showers, either.
Written June 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Front Royal, VA336 contributions
Apr 2012
For a limited time period, Sky Meadows State Park is offering a "Backpack Adventure" program where you sign out a backpack and there are activities for you and your children/grandchildren to do. There 4 different backpacks - history; birding; trees and flowers; archaeology. We chose "History". There was a scenario described, and then we chose the trail to make up the adventure. My grandchildren, ages 7 and 5-1/2, enjoyed the adventure, but I felt it was perhaps a bit too old for them. But they both agreed that it was their favorite part of their 3-day visit with us. The trail was well marked (paint on trees and posts) and our 5-1/2 year old was the "forward scout" and loved finding the markings! We took one of the shorter trails (1.2 miles) - so be forewarned that long pants and good sturdy shoes are a must!

A few suggestions about Sky Meadows and also the Backpack program:

1) Be sure to have dollar bills available to pay for parking. It is an untended gate, and they have very cleverly designed envelopes for the parking fee and pass to put in the car.

2) Suggest they have better markings for parking and no-parking spaces. The trail where we walked had neither, but we got a warning on our windshield that we had parked illegally. There was no signage to tell us this.

3) Take bug spray and a hat that you can liberally douse with bug spray. The gnats were awful!

4) Take snacks, water, etc. We had 2 backpacks - theirs and ours.

5) Be prepared to be adventurous with your thinking - especially with younger children.

6) Be aware that not all of the trails are in the main part of the park. We had to drive a little way to get to the right trail, which was fine.

7) Unless you like the super-slow ride home, do not take Rt. 50 into I-66. It's worth the time to backtrack on I-17 and pick up I-66 there. Took us FOREVER on Rt. 50's 2 lane road. If you like to stop and poke around old towns, then you may enjoy this route.

8) Strongly suggest to staff at Sky Meadows that they come up with an "adventure" (or more than 1) for younger children - perhaps around the farm equipment, the stuffed animals etc. that are in or near the information center. But LOVE the overall concepts of the programs, and the materials in each backpack were top-of-the line. A careful inventory of each backpack is made, and there are a few "expendable" items; but the others have to be returned or there is a fee charged.

9) Be sure to check yourselves very well for ticks when you get home.

10) Bring sunscreen - even with an overcast day, think we may have gotten a bit of sun as there wasn't a lot of shade on the trail.

All in all, a good adventure and definitely worth the time. They have picnic benches near the information center/gift shop. And kudos to the park staff who designed the backpack program.
Written April 5, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Benjamin B
Washington DC, DC669 contributions
Sep 2019 • Couples
We enjoyed sky Meadows State Park on a busy labor day weekend. They were lots of families and people with dogs. The map was the worst part. Both of what map on the website and the map you get at the visitor center were inaccurate in or at least on clear and their mileage. Thankfully it let us to overestimate the length of our hikes as opposed to underestimate. But they gotta get better maps, otherwise it was great. We had nice access to the Appalachian Trail. The The hiking trails were very well marked and no one could get lost. They were beautiful views of the Piedmont.
Written September 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Sky Meadows State Park

Sky Meadows State Park is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

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