Driving Time from Arlington: ~1 hour
Perfect for a Taste of the Country
Sugarloaf Mountain is a hidden gem in the Maryland countryside. Offering three hiking trails, this peaceful hiking spot is lesser known than others. Hop on the Northern Peaks Trail at the parking lot for a serene 5-mile walk with wooded paths and vista points, as well as spots for a picnic. Horseback riders will enjoy the 7-mile trail on the mountain. End your hike at one of the nearby wineries like Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyards or a visit to Soleado Lavendar Farm.
Shenandoah National Park
Driving Time from Arlington: 1 hour 15 minutes
Perfect for Seasoned Hikers and Leaf Peepers
Shenandoah National Park is a long, skinny park winding its way through the Blue Ridge Mountains and overlooking the Shenandoah Valley. It offers 200,000 acres of protected lands with waterfalls, scenic vistas and wildlife viewing. Start your park visit at the Dickey Ridge Visitors Center to get all of the best information on the condition of the trails, points of interest and facilities. Make sure to use the restrooms while onsite, as some facilities are only open seasonally. To catch great fall vistas, hike up to Mary’s Rock or take a stroll along the Appalachian Trail. Experienced hikers will want to try Old Rag, the park’s most popular and crowded hike, which is a 7-8 hour challenging rock scramble with stunning views up to the top. Hike Old Rag on weekdays or in the mornings to avoid the crowds.