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5 Fun Fall Outdoor Activities in the Charlottesville Area

Fall is undoubtedly the best season. The weather is perfectly crisp, the temperature is not too hot or too cold, and everything feels cozy and nostalgic. This time of year is also the best time to explore the great outdoors and enjoy the wonderful sights that nature has to offer. Although there are, sadly, no tailgates or stadium-packed football games this year, there are still plenty of great, safe, covid-friendly outdoor activities to do in the Charlottesville area.

Drive through Skyline Drive

If you have a free day, grab some friends and drive through Skyline Drive at the Shenandoah National Park. This is a scenic highway that looks like an amazing sea of orange, red, and yellow foliage during the fall. The path is about 105 miles long and takes approximately 3 hours to complete. This activity is perfect for those days when you want to go on a mini road trip and belt out some fall songs in your car.

Wind through a corn maze
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Just 30 minutes north of Charlottesville is Liberty Mills Farm – home to the largest corn maze in Virginia! Tickets are $12 per person and provides admission to all four maze trails. The farm also has a pumpkin patch and dessert shop!

Pick apples at Carter Mountain

Carter’s Mountain is a classic fall destination for Cville residents and UVA students. Apple picking is one of their most popular activities, but they also have a pumpkin patch and a bakery. Their apple cider donuts are a staple and fan favorite that you must try. While this place does get pretty busy even with COVID-19 restrictions, they offer a scenic drive-thru of the farm as another option to enjoy the mountainous view.

Hike the Blue Ridge Mountains

Hiking a great way to kill two birds with one stone: exercise and hangout with people (while staying safe of course). The most popular trail in the greater Charlottesville area is Humpback Rock. Almost every student at UVA hikes it before they graduate, and there is a reason why. The view is breathtaking, and it’s a fun challenge for those who are not hiking experts (like me). Many people prefer going for the sunrise and sunset, but the hike is still fun during the day too. After jumping on the Humpback bandwagon, you should also check out Sugar Hollow, Crabtree Falls, and Riprap Trail.

Stargaze on the Lawn

Last but not least, the best landmark on grounds is the perfect place to appreciate the outdoors. The Rotunda is still glorious as ever at night, and the lawn is pretty peaceful. I remember sitting on the lawn at Rotunda Sing my first year and just staring up at the bright twinkly stars. It’s truly the little things that count, especially during present times of hardships, and the lawn always serves as a reminder of how nature can be simply relaxing and beautiful.

Shirley is a fourth year at the University of Virginia. She loves coffee, books, and plants. She also hopes that you'll enjoy her articles!
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