Trip Itinerary 2
The Adventure Itinerary
Day 1 – Day of Arrival
Book a stay at Montfair Resort Farm or Misty Mountain Camp Resort. At Montfair, you can check into your cottage and immediately enjoy transitioning into vacation mode and an immersion into nature by taking a walk on the enchanting, serene grounds, exploring the trails by bike, sitting on your cabin’s front porch, fishing in a pond or putting in a canoe and gliding on the small lake. Then, cook a simple family meal in the convenient and well-equipped cottage kitchen.
At Misty Mountain Camp Resort, nestled among woodlands close to Crozet, stay in either a cabin or one of their RV or tent camping sites. Enjoy playgrounds, a jump pad, The Misty Mountain Mining Company (mine for fossils and gemstones from March – November), as well as a splash park and pool during the summer months. Wind down while roasting marshmallows around a campfire and listen to the evening sounds of the Blue Ridge unfold.
Day 2 – Hiking Adventures
**Pack a lunch and water bottles for this itinerary with a plan to eat at the Wildrock Pavillion or “al fresco” on the trail. (Remember to always leave no trace and pack out any trash!)**
Start your day with a 9 am reservation for a hike on the Wildrock Discovery Loop Trail at the Wildrock Nature Play and Discovery Center. (check the length of this trail) This .75 mile moderately difficult trail starts at the Wildrock Bird Sanctuary. It crosses two mountain streams, traverses two meadows and takes you through the center’s forests. Littles can enjoy some slow-paced meandering, while stalwart hikers can run and clamber through the streams and challenge themselves on hiking the hills.
All will enjoy reaching the official Wildrock homebase to sit in meditation, rest and enjoy the mountain view. Enjoy your picnic snack (or early lunch) at the Wildrock Pavilion.
Next head to Sugar Hollow, a true local gem and a back entrance into the gorgeous Shenandoah National Park.
From Rt. 810, head west on Sugar Hollow Road and go past farmland, open fields and woodlands that eventually follow the Moorman’s River to the Sugar Hollow Reservoir Dam. The historic Sugar Hollow Dam, built in 1946, will be on your immediate left and is worth a stop, to take in the view and the workings of the dam. Follow the road up a hill that then turns into a dirt road and ends at a parking lot.
There are two great hikes at Sugar Hollow that will keep kid’s senses thoroughly engaged! You will find a plethora of native Virginia plants, as well as the soothing sounds of the river and birdsong among the forests. A treasured spot for Albemarle County and its residents, Sugar Hollow is enjoyed year-round, with a bounty of native ephemerals dotting the woods along the paths in the spring; cooler air and places to “dip a toe” during the heat of summer; vibrant foliage, the scent of fallen leaves and crisp, autumn skies throughout the fall months; and amazing ice formations during the quiet of winter’s beauty.
For ages 12 and under – face the river at the parking lot and the trail to your right is the North Fork Moormans RIver Trail. The North Fork Moormans RIver Trail is our favorite for kids 12 and under. The trail is mostly flat and easy to navigate with multiple, shallow stream crossings. You can hike up to Snake Hole – a fun, accessible swimming hole – in about twenty minutes.
For ages 12 and up – face the river at the parking lot and to your left is the South Fork of the Mormons RIver Trail, which leads to the very loved Blue Hole swimming hole. This is an intermediate trail that is ideal for ages 12 and up, or kids with more stamina. The hike down to the swimming hole is steep, but worth it for a cool dunk on a sweltering day.
Before your dinner plans, stop by Henley’s Orchard to purchase fresh-picked, in-season fruit from their famous “Shed”. Henley’s, a fourth generation orchard, offers over 15 varieties of peaches and 25 varieties of apples using a low-spray method to help protect the environment.
A long day of fun, outdoor explorations may leave everybody hungry, making a family dinner the perfect last stop before retreating to your comfortable accommodations and a cozy evening. We recommend visiting Crozet Pizza for their diverse pizza menu, as well as salads and delicious sandwiches made with fresh and local ingredients.
Once back at your lodging, you will be lulled and serenaded into a restful sleep with the sounds of bullfrogs, crickets and owls carrying through the fresh, mountain night air.
Day 3 – History, The Natural World and River (or Equestrian) Time
Arrive at the River View Farm to learn about the hundred-year history of the Carr-Greer farm through an interpretive kiosk, brochures, self-guided walks and seven miles of trails. A few years after Emancipation, freedman Hugh Carr established River View Farm, where he successfully raised tobacco, wheat, corn and livestock. He became the largest black landholder in the Hydraulic Mills-Union Ridge area. After his death, his daughter Mary Carr Greer, a well-known agricultural extension agent, made River View a model for both black and white farmers.
The Ivy Creek Natural area encompasses the River View Farm and is a 219-acre preserve with two miles of shoreline and eleven different trails. Children will delight in the time for river play, exploring The School Trail with labeled flora (guides are available at each endpoint of the trail) and, on the weekends (April through Thanksgiving), farm history and environmental learning opportunities in The Barn.
For afternoon adventures, the Rivanna River beckons for more outdoor time to keep you moving!
The Rivanna River Company offers guided or self-guided canoe, kayak, tubing and paddleboard excursions. Trips can be scheduled for short, one-hour trips to 3.5 hour excursions.
The Rivanna runs 46 miles from its headwaters near Charlottesville to its confluence with the James River in Fluvanna County. On its journey from the Blue Ridge foothills out into the Piedmont plain, the Rivanna meanders through a world of natural scenery that delights the senses and restores the spirit. In recognition of its special beauty and ecological importance, the Virginia General Assembly named the Rivanna the first designated Scenic River in the Commonwealth.
Prefer land adventures to water? Both Morning Star Stables and Star B Stables offer family- and kid-friendly affordable horseback trail riding adventures that are accessible to beginners. Morning Star is in Raphine, Virginia and Star B Stables is near Staunton, Virginia. Ride through the bucolic countryside in the historic Shenandoah Valley and experience the connection you can have with a horse and the land.
Head home grounded and rested from your soothing, tactile and authentic outdoor experiences, with the gift of memories with family and friends tucked away for future times to come.
A Mix of Rural Life Experiences and Outdoor Activities
Country and Downtown Adventures