Shenandoah National Park extends along the Blue Ridge Mountains in the U.S. state of Virginia. The Skyline Drive runs its length, and a vast network of trails includes a section of the long-distance Appalachian Trail. Mostly forested, the park features wetlands, waterfalls and rocky peaks like Hawksbill and Old Rag mountains. Shenandoah is home to many bird species, plus deer, squirrels and the elusive black bear. The park’s southernmost access point is just three miles from Waynesboro.

From spring to fall, you can enhance your trip along the Skyline with a stay at Big Meadows Lodge which has restaurants, cabins as well as more traditional rooms, and activites like live music and classes such as a basic outdoor survival skills class.

Whether you are looking for a scenic way to get from point A to point B, want to spend the day hiking and stopping at overlooks, or want to plan a serious vacation, Skyline Drive is a great way to reconnect with the outdoors.

The Waynesboro Water Trail is part of Waynesboros park system and utilizes the South River. The 6.5 mile stretch of the South River passing through Downtown Waynesboro was designated a Virginia Scenic River in July 2021. It possesses outstanding scenic, recreational, historic, and natural characteristics of statewide significance. The Water Trail has multiple access points that can be found at Ridgeview, Rife, Constitution, North, and Basic Parks so you can pick your desired distance on the river.

Open to kayakers, canoers, waders, and fishermen, and offering views of the mountains and the urban landscape, the water trail is also home to many species of fish and birds. Paddlers who dont have their own boats can rent kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards from Rockfish Gap Outfitters. This stretch of the river is perfect for beginners or those looking for an easy paddle. Paddlers can expect to encounter class I and class II rapids along the way and enjoy a different perspective of the River City. Those wishing to extend their journey can continue on the South River to takeout points in Crimora, Grottos, and Port Republic. Fishermen should refer to state regulations.

The Waynesboro Visitors’ Center, convienently located in downtown Waynesboro, has information on local hikes, the Blue Ridge Tunnel, local attractions, events and festivals as well as maps and travel guides all around the state of Virginia.

With ammenities like free Wi-Fi and restrooms, the Waynesboro Visitors’ Center is the perfect place to plan your trip or your itinerary in Waynesboro.

The Blue Ridge Tunnel trail system offers two access points to the tunnel:

The western trailhead is situated just east of Waynesboro at 483 Three Notched Mountain Highway and has 20 spaces and 2 oversized areas for small buses. The steep grade of the western trailhead may limit access to people with limited mobility.

The east trail is fully accessible, primarily flat and offers views of the active railroad line. The 56-spot parking lot can be found at 215 Afton Depot Lane.

At just over 2.25 miles one way, the crushed stone path offers the explorer a chance to travel back in time to touch the original pin scars from the 1850s. Today, the tunnel is more cave-like and holds year-round temperatures of 50 degrees. In the summer, the tunnel will feel refreshingly cool and in the winter, welcomingly warm. The tunnel gets completely dark in the middle, so visitors are encouraged to wear headlamps or carry flashlights (phone flashlights won’t quite cut it). Nearly 20 years in the making, the trail, which is open dawn to dusk, has something for everyone from railroad enthusiasts, hikers and bikers, history buffs, to cave dwellers. The tunnel is also a family-friendly and pet-friendly adventure!

The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is almost 2,190 miles long, passes through 14 states, 8 different national forests, 6 national park units and numerous state parks, forests, and game lands.

Waynesboro proudly wears the title of a designated Appalachian Trail Community, with the YMCA, Post Office, and other local businesses coming together to serve the hiking community. Whether you are “hiking through” the entire trail or just want to take a day hike, downtown Waynesboro is only three miles from the Appalachian Trail making it the perfect pit stop from your trail adventure.