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Five great places to hike within 2 hours of Farmville

Virginia is one of the best U.S. states for hiking.

From beautiful, scenic overlooks to waterfalls and wildflowers, the commonwealth has countless hiking destinations to offer. While it’s difficult to pick the best of the best, here’s five great hiking trails within two hours of Farmville.

HUMPBACK ROCKS

Located near Waynesboro, this phenomenal rock outcrop used to serve as a landmark guiding wagon trains over the Howardsville Turnpike in the 1840s. Now it’s a popular hiking destination which encompasses 800 acres along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

To reach the Humpback Rocks, hikers must partake in a strenuous 700-foot climb rewarded by breathtaking views of the Rockfish and Shenandoah valleys. Visitors will also enjoy the location’s outdoor farm museum, where costumed interpreters provide demonstrations of weaving, basket-making and gardening done by subsistence farmers that populated the region long ago. If you have bad knees, this may not be the hike for you.

BLACKROCK SUMMIT

Blackrock Summit, located along Skyline Drive near the Town of Grottoes, is an easy 1-mile hike that every family member will enjoy. Although the hike itself is short, the summit offers views to rival destinations that take all day to get to, providing sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The accessibility and shortness of this hike make it the perfect destination for a late-day trip that ends with watching the sunset.

APPOMATTOX-BUCKINGHAM STATE FOREST

Open from dawn to dusk, the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest is home to several trails that provide less-crowded hiking opportunities that immerse visitors in nature, including the Carter-Terry multiple use trail, which begins in the Holliday Lake State Park and makes a 12-mile loop through the forest.

The state forest also provides opportunities for picnicking, wildlife watching, biking, geocaching, hunting, fishing and horseback riding.

CRABTREE FALLS

No list of hikes is complete without a great waterfall, and no list of great waterfalls is complete without Crabtree Falls. Located in Nelson County just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Crabtree is the highest vertical-drop cascade waterfall east of the Mississippi River.

The falls feature numerous cascades, including one nearby the parking lot that hikers of all skill levels can enjoy. If you’re up for the challenge, venture the 3 miles of trail for astonishing views of both the waterfall and the Tye River Valley. Make it a day trip, or rent a cabin and enjoy this getaway for the whole weekend.

HIGH BRIDGE TRAIL

While Virginia has so many wonderful hiking trails to offer, one of the most unique and exciting trails is located right here in Farmville. The 31-mile-long trail is family friendly, and visitors from across the state are attracted to town to walk along the High Bridge, stretching 2,400 feet in length and overlooking the Appomattox River.

Off the main trail, High Bridge also features a series of smaller trails that visitors can take. After a long hike, step off the trail in town to have a burger at Walker’s Diner or enjoy a beer at Three Roads Brewing Company.

When embarking on a hike at any of these locations, remember to exercise smart hiking practices and bring any supplies you may need, including items like water, first-aid kits, snacks and more. Do not illegally park at trails, and remember to “leave no trace” when visiting parks and trails in order to protect Virginia’s wildlife and natural beauty. The seven principles of leaving no trace include:

• Plan ahead and prepare

• Travel and camp on durable surfaces

• Dispose of waste properly

• Leave what you find

• Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire)

• Respect wildlife

• Be considerate of other visitors