GENERAL INFO: Rich in history, this 1,864-acre park has scenic views, rolling pastures and woodlands. Look into a bygone era by touring the Mount Bleak House to see how a middle-class farm family of the 1860s lived. Nature and history programs are offered during the spring, summer and fall. Hiking, picnicking, fishing and primitive hike-in camping for families and groups are favorite activities in this peaceful getaway on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park has 7 miles of bridle trails, 17 miles of hiking trails and a trailhead for the Appalachian Trail. Please click here to view a short video of the park.
Park Size: 1,864 acres.
Weather: Click here to visit the Weather Channel's site for this zip code.
AT-A-GLANCE: The pictographs directly below show park offerings. Click on those of interest or read below for more detail. Mouse-over the image for a short text description or click here to view a legend in which each pictograph's meaning is expressed.
LOCATION: The park is less than two miles south of Paris, Va., via U.S. Route 50 to Route 17 South; or seven miles north of I-66, Exit 23 on Route 17 North. The park's main entrance is on State Route 710.
Its address is 11012 Edmonds Lane,
Delaplane, VA 20144-0710.
Latitude, 38.988703. Longitude, -77.968913.
Drive Time: Northern Virginia, 45 minutes to one hour; D.C., over one hour; Richmond, two hours; Tidewater/ Norfolk/ Virginia Beach, three hours; Roanoke, two and a half hours
OVERNIGHT FACILITIES: This park offers year-round primitive hike-in tent camping. Reservations are required. The park has no no cabins or drive-to campsites. Those wishing to camp here will need to hike 1 mile from the overnight parking area. Bicycles can be used to get to the campground. Campers must keep all equipment on the site's camping pad.
Please note that the individual primitive hike-in tent sites are non-site specific.
TentPrimRed: 15 primitive, hike-in tent sites; no hookups; no vehicular access; non-potable water only; pit toilets. Set up on site with a RED sign.
BuddyPrimBlue - Two families wishing to camp together may reserve the “Buddy Site.” The Buddy Site is not suitable for group use. This site features two tent pads and a shared picnic and grill pad. It accommodates up to 12 and is available by reservation only. Set up on site with the blue sign.
SlaterGrpBrown(Sm) - Camp Slater is a small primitive tent group camp area that accommodates from 12 to 24 people. Set up on site with the BROWN sign.
WashingtonGrpGreen(Lg) - Camp Washington is a large primitive tent group camp area which accommodates from 18 to 36 campers. Set up on site with GREEN sign.
Total sites: 18
Sites: 15 individual primitive tent sites; 1; Buddy primitive family tent site, 1; Camp Slater primitive tent group site (Sm), 1; Camp Washington primitive tent group site (Lg)
Click here for park system fees.
TRAILS: The park has more than 17 miles of hiking trails and horse trails ranging from easy to difficult. In addition, the park offers access to the Appalachian Trail. The park is a three-day hike from Harper’s Ferry, W.Va., and two days from Shenandoah National Park. To protect our wildlife, all pets must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet. Vehicles are permitted only on paved park roads. Bicycles are allowed only on paved roads and designated trails. Horses are not permitted on hiking trails.
Visit the Explore Virginia Outdoors website for enhanced maps and video tours of Sky Meadows' trails.
WILDLIFE: Virginia State Parks are great places to connect with the wild world. Bring a camera and share your captures with the world. But please don't disturb or get too close to the animals. The park is, after all, their home. Here are a few recent natural encounters others have had at Sky Meadows.
View all wildlife encounter photos from Sky Meadows.
FISHING, BOATING: Freshwater fishing is available at the 3-acre Turner Pond. Fishing is permitted from the shoreline only. A valid Virginia State Fishing License, which can be purchased online or through local retailers, is required. Turner Pond is periodically stocked with a variety of fish including: largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, sunfish and bluegill. Watercraft are not permitted.
HORSES: No rentals, however the park has more than 7 miles of bridle trails for those bringing their own horses. State law requires that visitors carry a copy of a negative Coggins report with each horse brought to the park.
EVENTS: Click here to view park events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.
VISITOR CENTER, GIFT SHOP: The visitor center has nature and history exhibits and a gift shop. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The visitor center is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
NATURE, HISTORY PROGRAMS: The park offers interpretive programs, activities and special events that highlight the history, natural diversity and agricultural heritage of Crooked Run Valley. The program season begins in March and runs through December. Highlights of the season include: the Delaplane Strawberry Festival, held on the Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend; the Great American Backyard Campout, held annually on the fourth Saturday in June; and the Fall Farm Festival, celebrated each weekend in October.
PICNIC SHELTERS: Mary’s Shelter is a 20 by 40 foot covered picnic pavilion. It can accommodate up to 60 people at 10 picnic tables. It is universally accessible. Call 800-933-7274 to reserve this shelter, which has one grill and access to vault toilets.
In 1731, Lord Fairfax sold a 7,883-acre tract of land just south of Ashby’s Gap to James Ball. Ball died in 1754, and his land was divided among his daughter and five grandsons. One grandson sold his land to John Edmonds in 1780. Edmonds died eight years later, and his land was divided among his five children.
Isaac Settle of nearby Paris bought land from two of those children and in 1812 built a large brick house called “Belle Grove.” In 1842, he sold Belle Grove farm to his son in-law, Lewis Edmonds, who shortly thereafter sold 148 acres to Settle’s son, Abner, who built Mount Bleak House.
In 1868 Mount Bleak became the property of George M. Slater, who had been one of Mosby’s Rangers during the Civil War. Slater and his son lived there for 55 years.
The property changed owners several times in the 1900s. In 1975, Paul Mellon of Upperville, Va., purchased and donated a 1,132-acre tract to the Commonwealth for the development of a state park. Another 248 acres were acquired in 1987, thus providing a corridor to the Appalachian Trail. In 1991, Mr. Mellon donated another 248 acres, designated the Lost Mountain Bridle Trail Area.
The name Sky Meadows comes from former owner Robert Hadow, who named the property "Skye Farm" after an island in Scotland.
Friends members have diverse interests and backgrounds. Meetings are held quarterly. Email email@example.com for more information.
Master plans must be written for parks before they're built.
The plans are updated at least once every five years thereafter.
The plans cover the size, types, infrastructure and locations of facilities as well as the site's special features and resources.
Three public meetings are held during the initial development of each plan.
Click here (PDF) for this park's master plan.
skymeadows. Learn more about park offerings by calling 1-800-933-PARK or email resvs. Be sure to specify the park of interest. Click here to reserve a campsite or picnic shelter or to check cabin availability.