|Sky Meadows State Park|
Fall in Sky Meadows State Park
|Nearest city||Front Royal|
|Area||1862 acres (754 ha)|
|Governing body||Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation|
Mt. Bleak-Skye Farm
Visitor Center at Mt Bleak-Skye Farm, April 2013
|Location||11012 Edmonds Ln., near Delaplane, Virginia|
|Area||1,618.3 acres (654.9 ha)|
|Architectural style||Federal, Vernacular|
|NRHP reference #||04000552|
|Added to NRHP||May 24, 2004|
|Designated VLR||March 17, 2004|
Sky Meadows State Park is a 1,862-acre (754 ha) park in the Virginia state park system. It is located in extreme northwest Fauquier County, Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near Paris, Virginia. It is about an hour outside of the Washington, D.C. metro region.
Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million.
Fauquier is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 65,203. The county seat is Warrenton.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, and extends 550 miles southwest from southern Pennsylvania through Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. This province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. To the west of the Blue Ridge, between it and the bulk of the Appalachians, lies the Great Appalachian Valley, bordered on the west by the Ridge and Valley province of the Appalachian range.
The park was formed when Paul Mellon donated 1,132 acres (458 ha) of land in 1975. The name Sky Meadows came from former owner Sir Robert Hadow, who named the property "Skye Farm" after an island in Scotland. It has expanded its borders twice since then—248 acres (100 ha) were added in 1987, containing the Appalachian Trail, and in 1991 Mellon donated an additional 462 acres (187 ha), bringing the park to its present size.
Paul Mellon was an American philanthropist and an owner/breeder of thoroughbred racehorses. He is one of only five people ever designated an "Exemplar of Racing" by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. He was co-heir to one of America's greatest business fortunes, derived from the Mellon Bank created by his grandfather Thomas Mellon, his father Andrew W. Mellon, and his father's brother Richard B. Mellon. In 1957, when Fortune prepared its first list of the wealthiest Americans, it estimated that Paul Mellon, his sister Ailsa Mellon-Bruce, and his cousins Sarah Mellon and Richard King Mellon, were all among the richest eight people in the United States, with fortunes of between 400 and 700 million dollars each.
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the Eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. The trail is about 2,200 miles (3,500 km) long, though the exact length changes over time as parts are modified or rerouted. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy describes the Appalachian Trail as the longest hiking-only trail in the world. More than 2 million people are said to take a hike on part of the trail at least once each year.
It is located near Paris, Virginia off US 17, one mile (1.6 km) south of US 50 and seven miles (11 km) north of Interstate 66.
Paris is now a small unincorporated community in Fauquier County, Virginia, United States. Located in Virginia's hunt country, it was established in a strategic spot at the eastern base of Ashby Gap along U.S. Route 17 and U.S. Route 50.
It starts in a valley between the foothills and the Blue Ridge Mountains, then has meadows and forests stretching up to the ridge of the mountain and the Appalachian Trail.
There is a basic walk-in campground, over 12 miles (19 km) of hiking trails and 6 miles (10 km) of bridle paths. The horse trails are east of US 17 and the hiking trails (and most of the park) is west of US 17.
A bridle path, also bridleway, equestrian trail, horse riding path, ride, bridle road, or horse trail, is a path, trail or a thoroughfare that is used by people riding on horses. Trails originally created for use by horses often now serve a wider range of users, including equestrians, hikers, and cyclists. Such paths are either impassable for motorized vehicles, or vehicles are banned. The laws relating to allowable uses vary from country to country.
With a combination of meadows, grazed fields, forest, scrub, and streams, it has a wide variety of ecological zones.
Most of the year, there are monthly "astronomy nights" where amateur astronomers bring their telescopes and use them to show attendees various celestial objects. Typically, an astronomer from the Smithsonian Institution is among the leaders.
The Smithsonian Institution, also known simply as the Smithsonian, is a group of museums and research centers administered by the Government of the United States. It was founded on August 10, 1846, "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge". The institution is named after its founding donor, British scientist James Smithson. It was originally organized as the "United States National Museum", but that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967.
Sky Meadows is a year-round bird watching site. It is known for a colony of red-headed woodpeckers that live in an oak grove just past the contact station. Depending on the time of the year, it is almost certain that this and the other six species of woodpeckers—downy, hairy, red-bellied, yellow-bellied sapsucker, pileated, and northern flicker—commonly found in this part of Virginia will be present.
The red-headed woodpecker is a small or medium-sized woodpecker from temperate North America. Their breeding habitat is open country across southern Canada and the eastern-central United States. It is rated as least concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s Red List of Endangered species, having been downlisted from near threatened in 2018.
The downy woodpecker is a species of woodpecker, the smallest in North America.
The hairy woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker, averaging approximately 250 mm (9.8 in) in length with a 380 mm (15 in) wingspan. With an estimated population in 2003 of over nine million individuals, the hairy woodpecker is listed by the IUCN as a species of least concern in North America. Some taxonomic authorities, including the American Ornithological Society, continue to place this species in the genus Picoides, while others place it in Dryobates.
Except for "astronomy nights", the park closes at dusk, and campers must be in the park and others out of the park at that time.
Mt. Bleak-Skye Farm is a national historic district located in Sky Meadows State Park. The district encompasses 23 contributing buildings including barns, 1 contributing site, and 3 contributing structures dating between 1780 and 1954. The oldest is the 1 1⁄2-story, Wayside Cottage dated to about 1780. It also includes the Timberlake farmstead (c. 1860), Federal-style Mount Bleak mansion (c. 1843), and the frame Meeting House (c. 1845).
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road in the United States, noted for its scenic beauty. The parkway, which is America's longest linear park, runs for 469 miles (755 km) through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties, linking Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It runs mostly along the spine of the Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains. Its southern terminus is at U.S. 441 on the boundary between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina, from which it travels north to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. The roadway continues through Shenandoah as Skyline Drive, a similar scenic road which is managed by a different National Park Service unit. Both Skyline Drive and the Virginia portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway are part of Virginia State Route 48, though this designation is not signed.
Falls Lake State Recreation Area is a North Carolina state park in Durham and Wake Counties, North Carolina in the United States. Near Wake Forest, North Carolina, it covers 5,035 acres (20.38 km2) along the shores of 12,410-acre (50.2 km2) Falls Lake.
The Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located at the border between Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, centered on the Cumberland Gap, a natural break in the Appalachian Mountains.
Skyline Drive is a 105-mile (169 km) road that runs the entire length of the National Park Service's Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, generally along the ridge of the mountains. The drive's northern terminus is at an intersection with U.S. Route 340 (US 340) near Front Royal, and the southern terminus is at an interchange with US 250 near Interstate 64 (I-64) in Rockfish Gap, where the road continues south as the Blue Ridge Parkway. The road has intermediate interchanges with US 211 in Thornton Gap and US 33 in Swift Run Gap. Skyline Drive is part of Virginia State Route 48, which also includes the Virginia portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, but this designation is not signed.
Hudson Highlands State Park is a non-contiguous state park in the U.S. state of New York, located on the east side of the Hudson River. The park runs from Peekskill in Westchester County, through Putnam County, to Beacon in Dutchess County, in the eastern section of the Hudson Highlands.
The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are U.S. National Forests that combine to form one of the largest areas of public land in the Eastern United States. They cover 1.8 million acres (7,300 km2) of land in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Approximately 1 million acres (4,000 km2) of the forest are remote and undeveloped and 139,461 acres (564 km2) have been designated as wilderness areas, which eliminates future development.
Claytor Lake State Park is a 472-acre (191 ha) state park in Pulaski County, Virginia. The park is located on Claytor Lake, a 4,500-acre (18 km2), 21-mile-long (34 km) reservoir on the New River formed by Claytor Dam, which is used to generate hydroelectric power by the Appalachian Power Company. The reservoir is named for W. Graham Claytor (1886–1971) of nearby Roanoke, a former vice president of Appalachian Power who supervised construction of the dam and creation of the lake.
Roan Mountain State Park is a Tennessee state park in Carter County, in Northeast Tennessee. It is close to the Tennessee-North Carolina border and near the community of Roan Mountain, Tennessee. Situated in the Blue Ridge of the Appalachian Mountains, the park preserves 2,006 acres (8.12 km2) of mostly hardwood forest. The park is in close proximity to 6,285-foot (1,916 m) Roan Mountain and the Appalachian Trail, both of which are owned and managed by the US Forest Service.
Grayson Highlands State Park is a state park located in Grayson County, Virginia, United States. It is adjacent to the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and lies within the Jefferson National Forest. The park was established in 1965 and contains a total of 4,502 acres (1,822 ha). The park hosts a number of outdoor activities including hiking, camping, mountainbiking, horseback riding, and backpacking. A 2.8 mile (4.5 km) portion of the Appalachian Trail runs through the park in addition to a number of other hiking and horseback riding trails. The state park is musically notable as the home for the Grayson Highlands Fall Festival as well as weekly jam sessions by local folk musicians, who draw upon the traditional styles of the Blue Ridge area. The park is also home to the Wayne C. Henderson Festival and Guitar Competition, a regionally important festival and guitarist contest named for local notable guitar-maker Wayne Henderson.
Vogel State Park is a 233-acre (0.94 km2) or 94 hectares state park located at the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest. It became one of the first two parks in Georgia when it founded a state park system in 1931. Much of the park was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s.
Blackacre State Nature Preserve is a 271-acre (110 ha) nature preserve and historic homestead in Louisville, Kentucky. The preserve features rolling fields, streams, forests, and a homestead dating back to the 18th century. For visitors, the preserve features several farm animals including horses, goats, and cows, hiking trails, and a visitor's center in the 1844-built Presley Tyler home. Since 1981, it has been used by the Jefferson County Public Schools as the site of a continuing environmental education program. About 10,000 students visit the outdoor classroom each year.
Delaplane is an unincorporated community in northern Fauquier County, Virginia, approximately 50 miles (80 km) due west of Washington, D.C. Delaplane is situated along U.S. Route 17, U.S. Route 50, and Interstate 66; bordering Upperville, Virginia to the north, Hume, Virginia to the south, Paris, Virginia to the west, and Rectortown, Virginia to the east. Delaplane, Virginia has a ZIP Code of 20144.
Edwin Warner Park and Percy Warner Park, collectively known as Warner Parks, are two major public parks in Nashville, Tennessee. They are part of the park system managed by the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation of Nashville and Davidson County. Percy Warner Park's front entrance is located at the end of Belle Meade Boulevard. The parks are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Warner Park Historic District. The district is primarily within Nashville along the southern edge of Davidson County, Tennessee, but it extends into Williamson County, Tennessee as well.
Mountain Lake Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. The wilderness area is located next to privately owned Mountain Lake, and consists of 8,314 acres (3,365 ha) in Virginia and 2,721 acres (1,101 ha) in West Virginia.
G. Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area, one of the richest botanical areas of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, is a 4,000-acre (16 km2) Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located primarily in Fauquier County, Virginia, with small encroachments into both Warren and Clarke counties.
Shenandoah National Park is a national park that encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the U.S. state of Virginia. The park is long and narrow, with the broad Shenandoah River and Valley on the west side, and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the east. Although the scenic Skyline Drive is likely the most prominent feature of the park, almost 40% of the land area 79,579 acres has been designated as wilderness and is protected as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The highest peak is Hawksbill Mountain at 4,051 feet (1,235 m).
The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County, Virginia, United States, is the pastoral setting for the annual State Fair of Virginia, which dates back 165 years to 1854. The fair is held in late September through early October and attracts over 230,000 attendees during its 10-day exposition of agriculture, education, and entertainment. It is just east of the theme park, Kings Dominion, which opened in 1975.
The Francis Land House, or Rose Hall, is a historic brick house in located within the Rose Hall District near Princess Anne Plaza in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It was the plantation home of the prominent Land family, a founding family of Princess Anne County, Virginia.
Shadow Mountain Trail is a trail 4.8 miles (7.7 km) long on the east side of Shadow Mountain Lake, near Grand Lake, Colorado. It is also known as, or is associated with, Echo Mountain Trail, Lookout Mountain Trail and Pine Ridge Trail. The trail was rebuilt in 1930 by the National Park Service; trail design reflects NPS Naturalistic Design of the 1920s to 1940s.
Gifford Woods State Park is a state park located at the base of Pico Peak in Killington, Vermont. The wooded park provides camping, picnic, and fishing facilities, and has hiking trails, including a portion of the Appalachian Trail. It preserves an area of old-growth forest that has been designated a National Natural Landmark, and is accessible via an interpretive trail. The park was established in 1931. Part of it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, for facilities developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
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