Plan your stay in Virginia and make a list of all the top activities in the area that are not-to-miss experiences. When you visit Love Ridge Mountain Lodging there is something for everyone. From easy to technical mountain biking trails, picturesque hiking trails with amazing vistas, and the best fisherman’s catch.
ON THE WATER
ON THE SNOW
Along the Blue Ridge Parkway:
Bee Mountain from Love Gap (MP 16) – The Love Gap access to the Appalachian is lightly trafficked versus the access at Reed’s Gap which is increasingly popular. Bee Mountain is an excellent destination for a shorter hike (4.2 miles). Three Ridges Wilderness Area and Hanging Rock from Love Gap (MP 16). Those who continue past Bee Mountain will be rewarded at Hanging Rock with spectacular Blue Ridge Mountain views overlooking the Rockfish Valley. Large flat rock surfaces for picnicking
White Rock Trailhead (MM 19) – In three minutes, traveling South on the parkway, you arrive at the White Rock Trailhead (MM 19) which has several hiking options of various lengths. Love Ridge sits between three National Wilderness Areas and the George Washington National Forest. The closest quintessential hike is the ascent to Hanging Rock or the summit of Three Ridges Mtn.
Humpback Rocks Trail – (MP 4) – North on the parkway, this very steep but short trail leads to a magnificent vantage point with 360-degree panoramic views. Very popular. The nearby
Most hiking is in the George Washington National Forest which spans across three states – Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky – encompassing approximately 1.8 million acres of forest.
There is a great interactive map for day hiking within the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest.
Whether you prefer a smooth descent of the Blue Ridge Parkway or the more rugged terrain of Sherando Recreation Area’s Torrey Ridge, there is no better launchpad for your adventure. Love Ridge is along the Trans America 76 bike route and on the classic Blue Ridge Wrangler bikepacking route. Gravel, road, and mountain biking. You can have it all. Complemented with our onsite trails for a warm-up or so the kids can be occupied while you have your post-ride brew in the hot tub.
Road Biking – the best road riding with the least car traffic is to the south along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Mountain Biking – there are TONS of trails. Here are a few close by to get you started.
The Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail (Piney River Trail) is a rails to trails 7 mile long crushed gravel trail. Its relative flatness, access only for bicycles, horses, and pedestrians, and views (and swimming holes) along the Piney River make it a great family destination.
ON THE WATER
Waterfalls and Rivers
Crabtree Falls are the highest cascades east of the Mississippi. The increasingly steep switchback trail offers a number of viewpoints of the magnificent cascades that drop a total of 1200 feet. The first overlook requires almost no climbing.
White Rock Falls – South about 2 miles on the Parkway is a moderate loop about five miles long with beautiful falls and some nice wading pools.
Saint Mary’s Wilderness – A favorite in the summer for its series of swimming holes. The best way to access the waterfall trail is to park in the Vesuvius parking area for St. Mary’s Trail.
Shamokin Falls – Accessed off the Parkway from MP 10 a 2.2-mile loop to some nice falls on the northern side of Wintergreen Resort
The closest fishing areas are at Sherando Lake and Back Creek, both boasting a well-stocked trout population. Back Creek is a popular fly fishing spot for locals. Anglers young and old will enjoy Sherando’s easy access to great fishing with several varieties of trout, bass, bluegill, and catfish. Mossy Creek, among Virginia’s most renowned fly fishing areas, is less than one hour from Love Ridge.
Lakes and Rivers
Love Ridge’s Blue Ridge Mountain cabins sit at the headwaters of two major waterways– Back Creek which flows into the Potomac River and the Tye River which flows into the James River. Sherando Lake, a 25-acre gem, sits 5 miles from Love Ridge at the confluence of the North and South forks of Back Creek. Sherando’s beach, shady picnic areas, and excellent swimming, boating, hiking, biking, and fishing options make it an ideal destination for the whole family. There are many swimming holes to discover along the Tye and Piney Rivers in the George Washington National Forest.
ON THE SNOW
Fun awaits during every season of the year at Love Ridge. After the colorful shift of foliage during autumn, winter sets in and snow falls on the crest of the Blue Ridge. The eastern flank of the ridge is home to Wintergreen Resort, a world-class destination for skiing, snowboarding, and winter fun (try their snow tubing!). The four season resort is on the top of Wintergreen Mountain and is 12-minute drive from the cabins with the parkway open and 18-minutes when the parkway is closed for snow or ice.
When the snow falls, the Blue Ridge Parkway closes to vehicular traffic and becomes a multi-use trail shared by cross-country skiers, hikers and snowshoers. Love Ridge shares a border with the Blue Ridge Parkway, so you can easily hop on the Parkway in the non-motorized mode that suits you. We particularly enjoy the rolling terrain of the two mile stretch between Love Ridge and Reid’s Gaps. The parkway South of Love Ridge is a rarely traveled winter wonderland when closed to cars. Along with the endless hiking and mountain biking trails that draw visitors in the warmer months it’s a source of year round adventure.
A Resort With Something for Everyone
Wintergreen’s summit towers over the valley at 3,515 feet and offers diverse terrain. Whether you’re an advanced skier or snowboarder, or you’re new to the sport and want to take lessons and learn on the easy slopes, Wintergreen Resort has you covered. When you stay in one of our VA cabins, you’ll have premier downhill skiing and snowboarding virtually outside your door, as the resort is only a 12-minute drive away.
Since opening its first chairlift in 1984, Wintergreen has won over skiers and snowboarders with diverse terrain, a welcoming and family-friendly atmosphere, and top-notch snowmaking equipment. Wintergreen is the only ski area on the East Coast to have 100 percent of its terrain covered by automated snowmaking. Its snowmaking system, carefully calibrated by computers to maximize snow coverage, involves approximately 40,000 linear feet of pipeline, more than 400 snowguns and 45 weather stations. Their 400-plus snow guns allow them to supplement natural snowfall with additional snowpack, making skiing and riding even better throughout the season.
One of Wintergreen’s main draws is its convenient terrain layout (PDF), with advanced runs on the right side of the mountain, beginner slopes in the middle, and intermediate runs on the left side. Wintergreen’s design is perfect if you’re planning a day on the slopes with people of varying skill levels. Five lifts provide all-mountain access, with two high speed six-person lifts, a quad lift, double and triple lifts, and “magic carpet” conveyor belts for young kids and beginners.
Snowboarders and freestyle skiers will also love their terrain park, which features professionally-built jumps, rails, and slopestyle features.
Intermediate and advanced skiers/snowboarders can head off to the more challenging areas while meeting mid-day in the middle zone for some easy runs with your group’s beginning-level skiers and snowboarders.
If you don’t want to ski or snowboard, take an adrenaline-filled trip down their tubing run, appropriately called “the Plunge,” as it plunges downhill over 300 yards. Or, stay out of the wintry weather and spend the afternoon indoors at the spa doing yoga, relaxing in the steam room, and swimming in their massive indoor pool.
Affordable Fun for the Whole Family
In a sport that is increasingly expensive every season, Wintergreen stands alone among other ski resorts in keeping its lift ticket and ski lesson prices affordable. For safety reasons, lift tickets are capped at a certain quantity to control the number of skiers and snowboarders on the hill, so purchasing online beforehand is the best way to guarantee you’ll get a ticket for the day(s) that you want to ski/ride.
Ski and snowboard rentals are available right at the resort. Lessons are also available for all abilities and ages, ranging from 1-2 hour private lessons to family lessons, which include one adult and one child, with the option of adding more family members for an additional cost. Wintergreen aims to make winter sports enjoyable and accessible for families, including free lift tickets for children five years old and younger.
The Blue Ridge Parkway
Love Ridge borders the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile marker 16 (MM 16). The Blue Ridge Parkway is open to the public without any fee for use, in addition to several access points to the Appalachian Trail and many other hiking and biking trails, The Blue Ridge Parkway has some of the most arresting vistas in the Shenandoah Mountains including 20 Minute Cliff (MM 19) overlooking the Tye River Valley and the Priest Wilderness Area or Ravens Roost (MM 11). If you head north, in 16 miles you will arrive at the entrance to the Shenandoah National Park ($30).
Among the most well-known hiking trails in the world, the Appalachian Trail stretches from Maine to Georgia. From Love Ridge, you can hike/drive to the Love Gap trailhead (.5 miles) that connects to the Appalachian Trail and the Three Ridges Wilderness Area.
Saint Mary’s Wilderness Encompasses 10,000 acres west of the Blue Ridge Parkway. All levels of hiking experiences. The Saint Mary’s Fall Trail is unequivocally gorgeous, commensurately popular, and perfect for summer swimming.
The Priest Wilderness Approximately 6,000 acres located east of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The 5.7-mile trail has very rugged terrain and contains large rock outcroppings.
Three Ridges Wilderness Approximately 4,600 acres located east of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The 11 miles of trail are steep and rugged, offering elevations from 1000 to 4000 feet.
Birding and Wildlife
Love Ridge’s Virginia Birding and Wildlife trail lead visitors through a ridgeline eastern hardwood forest where eastern wood-pewee, white-breasted nuthatch, red-eyed vireo, wood thrush, black-and-white, hooded and worm-eating warblers, scarlet tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, and eastern towhee are regularly seen. From the open area around the cabins migrating raptors can be glimpsed passing south in the fall. Look for sharp-shined, Cooper’s, red-tailed, and broad-winged hawks as well as the occasional peregrine falcon or bald eagle. The wildflowers in the area attract a variety of butterflies including pipevine, black and spicebush swallowtails, great spangled fritillary, red-spotted purple, and eastern tailed blue. Other wildlife includes white-tailed deer, which are numerous, as well as less common species such as red fox, bobcat, and the occasional black bear.
We are only about a 45-minute drive away from the Grand Caverns a Natural National Landmark. Luray Caverns is about 1 hour and 30 minutes, and also has impressive features. Luray Caverns are the largest in the eastern United States.
The Blue Ridge Tunnel
The Blue Ridge Tunnel runs 700 feet beneath the convergence of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park. This 2 ¼ mile tunnel originally constructed in 1850 as a route for trains to traverse the rugged Blue Ridge, has recently been converted to a crushed stone path for walking and biking. Visitors can experience cave like conditions (about 50 degrees year round),
Founded in 1750, Wade’s Mill is the oldest continuously operating commercial grist mill in Virginia. Three floors of historic milling equipment gives visitors a chance to learn about the history and process of stone-ground milling. The historic mill and water wheel operates Saturdays and Sundays 10am-noon. Admission to Wade’s Mill is free. Products from the mill can be purchased in the onsite store. A great place to bring the kids for a picnic.
Geocaching is a fun activity to enjoy while hiking with kids. Participants hunt for the geocaches using GPS. A great way to make hiking fun and teach kids about navigation.
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Located with easy access off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Shenandoah Mountains in Virginia our VA vacation cabins & houses will delight your senses and restore your soul. Enjoy walks in the woods, bird watching, hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing and campfires.
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