Threaded by the gurgling waters of its namesake Hazel River, this Virginia country retreat is quite literally on the doorstep of the Mid-Atlantic region’s only national park and some of the area’s best hikes and outdoor experiences. Sitting on a three-acre parcel shaded with a canopy of oak, poplar and sycamore trees, the Hazel River Retreat’s main Boulder Lodge is accessed via a wooden footbridge over the creek, welcoming guests with its wood-burning fireplace and country-chic pair of bedrooms. Another smaller cabin plus guest studio nearby extend the property’s ability to accommodate larger groups or family gatherings.
An easy drive from the Washington, D.C., metro region (2 hours) and area hubs like Charlottesville (1 hour) and Richmond (2 hours), Hazel River Retreat represents an ideal weekend getaway for regional residents or perhaps individuals looking for an income-generating vacation-rental opportunity.
Beyond the lure of its cabin comforts, the landscape here bursts with fall color as well as spring blooms of dogwoods, azaleas and mountain laurel. The Hazel River Trail, part of neighboring Shenandoah National Park, is accessible just up the road from Hazel River Retreat, while Old Rag Mountain, one of the area’s most popular and spectacular hikes, is mere minutes away.
Along with the various outdoor attractions in Shenandoah National Park—intersected by the scenic curves of Skyline Drive—Rappahannock County is home to a number of welcoming wineries, craft breweries, B&Bs and more. Notably, the town of Sperryville hosts the charming Hopkins Ordinary Bed & Breakfast, a five-room Southern-style B&B with its own alehouse in the basement. Sharp Rock Vineyards is a bucolic family-run farm and vineyard alongside the Hughes River that welcomes hikers near the trailhead for Old Rag.
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