Natural Beauty Activities

Outdoor Parks

Bordered by sun-dappled mountains, lively rivers, and shimmering lakes, outdoor parks in Rockbridge County are, simply put, stunning. They're also light on crowds, which makes them prime spots for picnicking, relaxing and letting the kids range free.

Riverside Parks

For river views in Lexington, head down to Jordan's Point off Route 11 near Veteran's Bridge. A trade-and-transportation hub in the 1700s and 1800s, this grassy patch of land beside the Maury River is a breezy place to eat lunch and toss a Frisbee. The riverbanks here were the site of a stand-off between Confederate and Union troops on June 11, 1864. At Ben Salem Wayside, halfway between Lexington and Buena Vista, you can check out the historic river lock then enjoy a picnic lunch as kayakers and inner tubers float past.

What do the best scenic drives have in common? At least one roadside picnic area with an awesome view. Route 39 along the Maury River takes this rule to heart with the Goshen Pass Wayside, one of the prettiest picnic spots in Virginia. From the wayside's rocky shoreline, the view of the mountain-wrapped river will clear your mind and reinvigorate your soul (even if you're not sure you have one).

Parks with Lakes

Collierstown Road is a scenic country backroad that's lined with farms, creeks, and wildflowers. It ribbons to the lovely Lake Robertson Recreation area. With wooded hills, a small lake, and a campground, this secluded park is a pleasant place to hike, fish and spend the night. The lake is off-limits for swimming, but there is a pool if you want to take a dip.

Lake swimming is A-okay at Cave Mountain Lake Recreation area near Natural Bridge. Managed by the U.S. Forest Service, the park offers picnic sites, campsites and hiking trails.

City Parks

If the kids are getting cranky, drive to Richardson Park at the corner of Diamond Street and Lewis Street. The swings and slides will help burn off their fussiness. Families can also head to the playground at Kids Playce, at Wallace and Taylor Streets and Woods Creek Park, just off Highland Road between Ross Road and Lime Kiln Road.

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