Bill Crabtree Jr., Virginia Tourism Co., Baltimore Sun
July 25, 2012
Distance from Baltimore: 98.1 miles, about two-hour drive
Why it's worth the gas: On the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Sky Meadows State Park offers access to the Appalachian Trail as well as hiking, fishing, picnicking, horseback riding, primitive camping, and nature and history programs.
Don't miss: Historic Mount Bleak House, a middle-class farmhouse that serves as the park's visitors' center.
Information: Admission and parking is $3 on weekdays and $4 on weekends. Go to www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/sky.shtml