Consider spending an evening hiking under the stars.
Considering Northern Virginia’s abundance of scenic and diverse trails, you’ve probably been on your fair share of hikes. However, there a couple of local guided hikes that will allow you to see the region in a—literally—new light. Shenandoah National Park and the Capital Hiking Club host evening hikes that take groups on paths along Skyline Drive and Great Falls, respectively, allowing for exploration of these well-known landmarks after dusk and under the stars.
Shenandoah National Park twilight hikes
A little off the beaten path, Shenandoah National Park’s twilight hike along Skyline Drive is $20 per person. Hikers meet in front of Big Meadows Lodge at 6:30 p.m. before taking the 2-mile, three-hour hike, which begins at 7 p.m., for a tour of one of the most scenic areas in the state. The twilight hikes will be held on Aug. 12 and 26.
Capital Hiking Club moonlight hikes
For something closer to home, consider making the hike from the C&O Canal to Great Falls on Sept. 1 with the Capital Hiking Club. The hike begins at 8:30 p.m., and participants are asked to meet at the parking lot across from the Old Angler’s Inn 10-15 minutes beforehand. The 4-mile hike doesn’t require registration and lasts about two hours. Participants will trek along some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the region with excellent views of the Potomac River.
Both hikes end around 11 p.m., making them great date ideas or solo missions for those looking for breathtaking outdoor experiences.