Many Virginia Thru hikers and Bikers stop to make their first jump and then camp at Skydive Orange that night on weekends on their way through hiking the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.

Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive, VA First Tandem Skydive - Skydive! Virginia's skydiving center, Skydive Orange, offers first Tandem skydives, Accelerated freefall & Static Line in a safety oriented environment. Skydive Orange is Virginia's most popular and closest school to learn to skydive and get your License to DC, MD, VA, NOVA -    Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive, VA

Hiking, Camping, National Parks near Skydive Orange, as recommended from some of our regulars. Here are various suggestions, comments, and links to the nearest parks, waterfalls, and hiking trails, or at least some input from some of those who have been there:


Naturally anything along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Although it is not necessarily that close to Orange.
The waterfalls that many people go to are the White Oak Canyon Falls. Close to Syria, VA, Its probably within an hour's drive from Orange. Here are some links to pages from my web site.

We are not very far from the Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive, VA's scenic byway.

about an 45 minutes away (20 South then 33 West) to Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park (I think that's the name)-the entrance is right off of 33 just after you cross over the top of the mountain going West...........great hiking, waterfalls, deer...

(national parks service website)

There is a state park at Lake Anna.  Also, Christopher Run Campground is about 20 minutes down 522 towards Mineral.

 The NPS web page will allow you to search for info
on Shenandoah NP  - Shenandoah NP has a dozen different
waterfalls that are all pretty cool this season and 500 miles of
hiking trails. We have something to suit every person. It would be
best to direct our skydiving students to the park, and then tell them
to talk to a ranger at the entrance station about a hike that will be
suitable for their particular group on that particular day. That's
just my personal opinion though... you just don't want to direct
someone to a trail that they might not be able to handle, ya know
what I mean? Also, in terms of campgrounds, Shenandoah NP has 5
campgrounds, 4 of which are on a first come first serve basis. The
fifth takes reservations and are for large groups only. Most fill up
pretty early on the weekends. There is also lodging available in the
park - reservation info is on the web page. The park also issues
backcountry camping permits to folks that are prepared to handle that
kind of adventure.

 I would point folks towards the park, and then tell them to
get more info on hiking trails once they arrive (or at an outfitter
who has hiking guidebooks beforehand). Some trails can be pretty
strenuous and shouldn't be recommended to everyone.
The above is all informed personal opinion and should not be
considered official National Park Service opinion, by any means.

Please help us make this page as complete as possible by emailing us YOUR SUGGESTIONS for folks looking for camping and park information in the Orange, VA Central Virginia area.

Hiking, Camping, National Parks

Three local area Orange official websites:

Town of Orange, Virginia's 22960 website

Official Orange County, Virginia website

Virginia State Tourism Corporation site


Bed & Breakfasts, Restaurants

Biking and Hiking Shenandoah National Park in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley

Since Shenandoah is so narrow, hikes tend to be short, either up or down the ridge from Skyline Drive and back. The grand exception is the the Appalachian Trail, which traverses the length of the park, never very far from Skyline Drive and in fact crossing it several times. Some areas of the park were once heavily inhabited, leaving a network of old footpaths and roads, out of which a hiker can make longer composite hikes. Many of these hikes pass by the ruins of abandoned cabins and farm buildings of the vanished mountain folk. Shenandoah also has many beautiful waterfalls that make extraordinary destinations. And of course, many hikes are to overlooks with magnificent views, of which Shenandoah abounds. 

Most trailheads are along Skyline Drive. The major exception is Old Rag Mountain on the north central edge of the park.

Five Hikes Away from the Crowds

In summer and fall, Shenandoah becomes a getaway for nature lovers near and far. Views are had from Skyline Drive and many of the tried and true trails become clogged with hikers seeking their own views by foot. However, Shenandoah's linear layout has its advantages when it comes to spreading out the crowds. No matter what time of year, the following five hikes are away from the crowds. After traversing these trails you'll be surprised they aren't on the busy list.

Bear Church Rock
This 9.0-mile round trip high country hike leads along the ridge of Jones Mountain to an incredible view from Bear Church Rock. The hiking along Jones Mountain is never steep for long and is level much of the way as it meanders through varied and beautiful forests to reach the granite slab of Bear Church Rock. The outcrops makes for a natural viewing platform of Fork Mountain, Doubletop Mountain and the crest of the Blue Ridge.

Directions: Pick up the Appalachian Trail at mile 55.1 of Skyline Drive. Head north on the Appalachian Trail then take the following trails to reach Bear Church Rock: Laurel Gap Trail, Cat Knob Trail, Jones Mountain Trail.

Dwyer Cemetery via Piney Ridge Trail
This interesting and easy 2.9-mile one way hike goes through a wildlife-rich transitional forest to the old Dwyer Cemetery. Bear and deer roam this ridge today; you may well see one or the other. Many downed black locust trees along with Virginia and pitch pine indicate a forest in transition reclaiming old fields. Keep along the ridge to reach Dwyer Cemetery. Many headstones have fallen over, others are unreadable. Still others are unmarked fieldstones. Trees are starting to invade the far side of the cemetery near a large, weather-beaten oak. The park service is not maintaining this graveyard.

Directions: Elkwallow Wayside is at mile 24.0 of Skyline Drive. From here, take the Elkwallow Trail to head north on the AT to Piney Ridge Trail.

Rocky Mount Loop
Leave the main crest of the Blue Ridge to access the summit of Rocky Mount and far reaching views on this 9.8-mile loop. The forest changes character before and after Rocky Mount, an outcrop with stunning views. Look over Twomile Run. At the head of the run is the Twomile Run Overlook, where you started, and the crest of the Blue Ridge. To your right, the Shenandoah Valley. Beyond the summit, the trail drops along the base of a huge granite slope, traversing a rock field to the waters of Gap Run. There is a real aura of isolation in this once peopled valley.

Directions: The Rocky Mount Trail starts at Skyline Drive mile 76.2. Take the Rocky Mount Trail to its end, returning on the Gap Run Trail.

Piney River Falls
Gently wind your way through an eye-pleasing, high country woods into the Piney River valley on old roads and take a short side trail to the falls on this 6.8-mile round trip. The Piney River Trail winds it way down to the valley, making very gentle switchbacks to reach the gorge of Piney River on your right. Cross the Piney River, passing many small cascades along Piney River beneath basswood, yellow birch and red maple. Piney River Falls is a 25-foot, three-tiered cascade that falls over mossy rock into a deep and wide pool. It's a good place to cool off after a hot hike.

Directions: The Piney River Trail starts near the Piney River Ranger Station, at milepost 22.1 of Skyline Drive. The Piney River Trail leads to the falls.

Buck Ridge/Buck Hollow Loop
Enjoy ridgetop and riverine environments on this 5.8-mile loop, traversing the narrow Buck Ridge Trail. Some views open up before the path dives steeply off the side of the ridge down to Buck Hollow. The trail is so steep that log steps have been installed to make the footing better. Return up the moist valley in a dense streamside forest. Look for signs of human habitation as you encounter a series of old roads in the valley. Look, too, for big trees that cloak the sides of Buck Hollow.

Directions: The hike starts at milepost 33.5 of Skyline Drive. Take the Hazel Mountain Trail to Buck Ridge Trail, returning on Buck Hollow Trail.


Biking and Hiking in Virginia's Piedmont Valley in Central Virginia

hike up a mountain, take a leisurely walk through the woods as you birdwatch, drive an historic route that connects battlefields and historic sites or bicycle on scenic byways, we invite you to explore the Piedmont up close on our trails.

Scenic Byways

motorcyclesRegardless of your ultimate destination, the roads traversing our area, many of them Virginia Scenic Byways, afford visitors abundant opportunities to experience the beauty of rolling hills, farming communities and breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Scattered throughout the Piedmont region, Scenic Byways are recognized for the spectacular landscapes and connections to important historical areas. In Fauquier County, roads like Route 688, Leeds Manor Road, that passes through quiet villages like Hume Orlean, Markham and Delaplane; Route 643, Meetze Road, with connections to Casanova, Catlett, Calverton and Midland and Route 55, John Marshall Highway, that connects Linden to Markham, Marshall and The Plains, offer “in the country” ambiance. Be sure to get off the beaten path and enjoy other smaller county roads and discover treasures that one should not miss. In Culpeper County, Routes 229,522 and15 offer stunning views of mountains and farmland. In Madison county, Route 231 rates as one of the top ten scenic routes in the state. Route 15 in Orange County winds through bucolic rural landscapes. Dozens of country roads wind through Rappahannock County, each offering a more incredible vista around every bend, miles of grazing pastures and orchards and opportunities for experiencing wildlife, the fiery pink of a Blue Ridge sunset. Pack a picnic lunch, take a blanket and a book…you can do everything or nothing at all in Rappahannock County. For a map of all Scenic Byways in Virginia, call 804-786-2838 or order online.

Historic Trails

The Journey through Hallowed Ground extends 175 miles from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, highlighting our nation's history from the American Revolution through the twentieth century.  Following Route 15, the trail passes the homes of prominent Americans, including two US Presidents, Civil War Battlefields, historic buildings and covered bridges. In Fauquier County, you can visit the Warrenton Historic District, Thorough Gap Battefield, and Old Jail Museum. In Culpeper County, walk through historic downtown Culpeper, tour the Burgandine House—the oldest in town, and take a driving tour of Civil War Culpeper.  In Madison County, be sure to see the Madison County Courthouse and The Residence at Woodberry Forest School. In Orange County, visit Montpelier, home and estate of President James Madison, the Exchange Hotel, and the Orange and Gordonsville Historic Districts. In Rappahannock County, see the historic towns of Sperryville and Washington and the Scrabble School.

Civil War Trails run throughout the embattled land of the Piedmont. These beautiful foothills were fought over, occupied, and marched upon throughout the conflict, and the Civil War Trails organization ensures that the history that happened here will not be forgotten. Follow the bugle signs to Culpeper County battlefields at Brandy Station, Kelly’s Ford, and Cedar Mountain and to the site where the “gallant” Major John Pelham died. At Montpelier in Orange County visit the site of a Confederate camp and tour the cabin and farm of slave-turned-freedman James Gilmore. In Madison County, visit the site of the Battle of James City and drive through countryside virtually unchanged since the Battle of Jack’s Shop, where J.E.B. Stuart was nearly captured by Union cavalry. Bugle signs in Fauquier County lead to the Spilman-Mosby House, constructed 1859-1861 by Judge Edward Spilman, and later owned by the famed Confederate cavalryman John S. Mosby, known as the “Gray Ghost.” Continue to follow the footsteps of the “Gray Ghost” at Sky Meadows State Park. Visit Delaplane (Piedmont Station), where Stonewall Jackson's Confederate troops boarded trains July 19, 1861 to travel to Manassas, the first time in history railroads were used to move soldiers to an impending battle.

Regional Parks

Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive, VA Mountain Run Lake Park in CulpeperThe region’s parks provide places to stop and rest or to get up and go. Fauquier County parks offer hiking and horse trails, including Sky Meadows State Park in Paris, Whitney State Park near Warrenton and Chester A. Phelps Wildlife Management in Sumerduck. The town of Culpeper parks, including Yowell Meadow Park, Mountain Run Lake, and Spilman Park, offer walking and nature trails, bird and wildlife watching and picnicking facilities. Madison County offers wonderful places to enjoy nature and camp. Orange County’s Lake Anna State Park has a marina for boating and places to fish, swim and camp. Lake Orange has boat rentals and a tackle shop where you can purchase bait and other fishing needs.

Birdwatching Trails

Skydiving on the blue Ridge Parkway near Humpback Rocks overlookThe Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail provides opportunities to explore the wild side of the Piedmont Region. Three separate loops call the Piedmont region home. The Front Royal loop, the Skyline Drive loop in Shenandoah National Park, and the Culpeper loop. In rural Rappahannock County, you will find stop one on the Front Royal loop at Caledonia Farms, a farmhouse constructed in 1812 and on the National Register of Historic Places. Here, the proprietor will assist birders with locating numerous species of birds and several species of butterflies. The Skyline Drive loop stretches the length of the famous Skyline Drive. To discover the park’s ample animal species, leave your car in one of the lots and follow the well-marked trails. You’ll be rewarded with hundreds of bird species, as well as a chance to glimpse white tailed deer, bear, and bobcat. The Culpeper Loop winds its way through the northern Piedmont and is worth exploring anytime of the year. Migratory birds pass through the wooded areas and some stay to breed each summer, while the woods provide an incredible display of vibrant colors during autumn.


Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive, VA


Explore the Trail: Virginia

One-fourth of the Appalachian Trail lies in Virginia. It varies from easy hiking to very difficult rock scrambling, from busy national parks to isolated wilderness areas.

Northern Virginia

In northern Virginia, the Appalachian Trail follows a long, low ridge, including a notoriously strenuous “roller-coaster” section south of Snickers Gap. It is less heavily traveled and is crossed by fewer roads than the Trail in Maryland. This is one of the best places on the A.T. for “spring break” hikes. Download Spring Break Hiking  (PDF) to find out more about hiking on the A.T. in March and April.

The northern Virginia section stretches 54 miles from the Virginia/West Virginia state line south to Shenandoah National Park.

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park, with 104 miles of well-graded and well-maintained Trail and climbs rarely exceeding 500 or 1,000 feet, is excellent for beginning hikers and is noted for its many vistas and abundant wildlife. A variety of side trails provides excellent opportunities for one- or two-day circuit hikes.

Nearby Skyline Drive has many waysides and concessions for resupply stops. The park gets very busy during weekends and in late October, during peak foliage-changing season. Park facilities close from late November through March; when snow shuts down Skyline Drive, the entire park may become inaccessible except on cross-country skis or snowshoes. Backcountry permits are required when camping in the park.

Central Virginia

South of Shenandoah, the A.T. parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway. The farther south it goes, the more difficult the hiking becomes; the treadway is well-graded, but includes a number of 2,000- and 3,000-foot climbs. Mature timber, high summits, and spectacular wilderness can be found in the George Washington National Forest, north of Roanoke. The Trail then leaves the parkway and travels west across the Great Valley of the Appalachians through the Jefferson National Forest to the Allegheny Plateau, a splendid wilderness trip.

Central Virginia features many noteworthy points, with views from unusual rock formations and outcroppings and some of the northernmost balds on the Trails. Noteworthy peaks include Humpback Rocks, Three Ridges, the Priest, McAfee Knob, and Dragon's Tooth. This section is more rugged and remote than the Shenandoah, but easier and more accessible than the Trail in Southwest Virginia.

The Central Virginia section covers 226 miles from the southern end of Shenandoah National Park south to Pearisburg.

Skydive Orange is about 1Hr 15 minutes drive from Staunton/ Waynesboro in Augusta County/Afton in Nelson County, Virginia, to come skydiving as a side trip off your Appalachian trail hike, you'll want to go through Charlottesville, VA in Albemarle County to the east and then north about 45 minutes to Orange, VA.

Southwest Virginia

Throughout the Mt. Rogers region in southwest Virginia, where the Trail moves into the southern Appalachians, the floral displays of rhododendron and azalea in June and July are outstanding. The state's highest mountain, Mt. Rogers, an area of spectacular highland meadows, routinely receives snowfall from October to May, making it considerably colder, wetter, and snowier than other areas of Virginia.

The northern portion of this section provides some of the A.T.'s best opportunities for solitude; toward the southern end the open meadows of the Mt. Rogers high country (5,000 feet and above) attract many visitors. At the southern border is the quintessential “Trail town,” Damascus, Virginia.

The Southwest Virginia section of the Trail covers 166 miles from Pearisburg south to Damascus.


(540) 943-6587

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Skydive Orange is located in Orange, Virginia.
































Lots of folks come to the piedmont valley of Virginia to go not skydiving too, actually... People are funny that way, don't you think?

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