Whether you are visiting for a day or two or enjoying a long staycation, Culpeper is an amazing place to get out and stretch your legs. There are copious trails and paths to explore, with something for every experience level.
For the experienced hiker, Old Rag Loop in Shenandoah National Park is a must-do. This nearly 9-mile loop takes you up and down 2,000 feet in elevation with plenty of spots for scrambling and climbing. It’s rated difficult, but for those willing to give it a go, the stunning views are a great reward.
Another great option in Shenandoah Park is Dark Hollow Falls, a moderate-rated hike. This trail is just under a mile and a half, but it serves a series of gorgeous waterfalls and cascades along the way. There are some steep areas, so be prepared, but don’t miss this trail.
Between the Lake and the Woods
South of Culpeper, Lake Anna State Park offers more than 15 miles of trails for hiking, biking and even horseback riding. The 11 trails pass through moderate terrain and lead hikers through mixed hardwood and pine forests. Most of the trails are rated easy, making them a great option for families. For those really looking to make a day or more of it, fishing, boating and camping are all easy to access as well in the park.
Walk in History
History buffs looking for an engaging but not exhausting trail should check out the Brandy Station-St. James Church trail, just west of the Culpeper Regional Airport. This flat walk is less than a mile but leads you through four wayside signs interpreting the 1863 battle at St. James Church. Part of the American Battlefield Trust, this walk invites you to imagine the landscape before you as it was during the Civil War.
Hike a Conservancy
North of Culpeper you can hit the Bull Run Mountain Green Loop, a popular 3.7-mile loop. Whether you want to hike, walk, run, or just mosey along birdwatching, you’ll enjoy an accessible, yet slightly challenging route. The Bull Run Mountain Conservancy maintains the area, working to promote proper stewardship of nature and wildlife. The organization also hosts educational programs for children and adults on the ecological, historical, and cultural features of the Bull Run Mountain.