We all have childhood memories of our favorite times outdoors – swimming in a lake at camp, playing baseball with the neighborhood kids, or climbing trees to pick apples for a sweet snack.
Seems parents try harder and harder each year to wow their children – thus the explosion of attractions that feature themed everything.
But what happened to good old-fashioned fun and an appreciation for nature that lasts a lifetime? We can help you reconnect with the trips void of all the noise and chalk full of endless fun.
Now is the time to begin planning a weekend fall getaway down Skyline drive in the Shenandoah Mountains to soak in the vibrant fall foliage of fire reds, yellows, and deep oranges, as Proud American Traveler has previously reported.
Be sure to pack a backpack, water, lunch, and a map to test your hiking skills with Shenandoah’s Old Rag trail in Virginia.
If you have small children you will want to avoid the temptation to go on one of the many side trails available because they have steep cliffs, and challenging boulders to overcome.
The hike can be completed in one day so no need to pack overnight supplies unless you want to fall asleep under the cool air and starry skies.
Discover the wildlife all around you!
Spending an afternoon at the creeks is a must for families!
One of the most abundant species you will see – and some of the most fun for kids to catch – are the crawdads.
These freshwater crustaceans look like mini lobsters. You can pick them up by the body but beware of their nasty pinch.
My son finds out every year what that feels like the hard way!
Keep a look out for other creatures in the area, such as the eastern box turtle with its yellow and black shell, or the blacknose dace fish that are prevalent in the Shenandoah river.
If you happen to catch a glimpse of the endangered Shenandoah salamander, just observe them with your eyes not your hands – which will be a big feat for a curious 9-year-old boy.
Saddle-up for an extra dose of fun!
Want to release the cowboy within you, and fulfill a child’s dream?
Get to Jordan Hollow Stables to enjoy a scenic horseback ride through some of the most beautiful terrain in the mountains.
You don’t have to be an experienced rider either to hop on one of their majestic beasts and have the time of your life.
Stay in the middle of a national treasure!
At the end of the day you can retire to one of the many camping sites Shenandoah National Park has to offer such Mathews Arm Campground that is in close proximity to Overall Run Falls, the tallest waterfall in the park.
Backcountry camping is always an option too if you are a more seasoned camper, just be sure to check out the permits needed from the park service prior to hitting the trails.
Some of us wouldn’t trade a mattress or roof over our head for all the fresh air and woodland beauty in the world.
For a person such as this, Big Meadows Lodge is a perfect compromise.
Choose from a rustic cabin, smaller rooms, or a suite all perfectly placed in the middle of an open meadow.
Many families have been transitioning this summer to more outdoor based getaways and have been loving the results.
There is no better bonding than when a family works together in the great outdoors to create their own vacation experience.