Explore the Great Outdoors in the Mid-Atlantic July 31, 2020 by MATPRA Admin (Mid-Atlantic Region, July 31, 2020) —Whether you’re looking to hit the trails to hike to scenic viewpoints, race down paths on mountain bikes, or traverse the region’s expansive system of waterways, outdoor recreation enthusiasts will find no shortage of activities throughout the Mid-Atlantic states. For more information on any of the following, contact the destination marketing organization listed below. For general information on the Mid-Atlantic, visit MATPRA.org. DELAWARE Delaware’s Quaint Villages Spend the day exploring Delaware’s Quaint Villages’ open spaces with a trip to Killens Pond State Park in Felton, search for migratory birds along the 12-mile wildlife drive at Smyrna’s Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge or travel over 40 miles of hiking trails waiting to be discovered at Blackbird State Forest. Delaware’s Quaint Villages (Kent County, DE), Danielle Jonigan, VisitDelawareVillages.com, [email protected] Greater Wilmington The Greater Wilmington and Brandywine Valley region is home to more than 3,054 acres of public gardens. Its numerous state and city parks offer many opportunities for hiking, fishing, camping and bird watching. For cyclists, the 7.9-mile Jack A. Markell Trail connects the Wilmington Riverfront to historic New Castle. Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau, Jennifer Boes, VisitWilmingtonDE.com, [email protected] MARYLAND State of Maryland Maryland’s outdoor collection includes riding the “rail trails” in Western Maryland, camping on the beach among wild horses at Assateague Island on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and venturing out on the Chesapeake to go crabbing with an actual waterman. Maryland is not short of great golfing, hiking, biking, paddling and mountain climbing. Maryland Office of Tourism, Matthew Scales, VisitMaryland.org, [email protected] Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Our more than 87 miles of parks and trails beckon hikers, bikers, and boat launchers. Sandy Point State Park is ideal for swimming, fishing, crabbing, and picnicking. Public sails and cruises put you in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay. Top off walking and garden tours with al fresco dining. Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County, Susan Seifried, VisitAnnapolis.org, [email protected] Calvert County Enjoy a safe, outdoor experience during Annmarie Sculpture Garden’s Enchanted Summer. Use the downloadable map to find all 50 fairy houses hidden in the forest. Find QR codes along the trail to meet our virtual fairyland characters. Participate in the Wild Rumpus Relay and take home an ArtLAB-To-Go craft. Calvert County Department of Economic Development, Hilary Dailey, ChooseCalvert.com, [email protected] Cecil County Explore 80 miles of scenic trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Paddle and fish the shorelines of State Parks, five rivers, C&D Canal, and Chesapeake Bay. Bring your own boat, book a ride on a tour boat, or rent boats and paddle boards. Dine at a waterfront eatery and watch the sunset burst across the horizon. Cecil County Tourism, Sandy Turner, SeeCecil.org, [email protected] Charles County Kayak the newest national marine sanctuary that will protect the remains of more than 100 abandoned steamships and vessels built as part of America’s engagement in World War I. Located along an 18-square mile stretch of Potomac River coast in Charles County, MD. Charles County Government, Department of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism, Catherine Herbert, ExploreCharlesCounty.com, [email protected] Kent County (MD) Find your “wild side” in Kent County, MD! Explore quaint waterfront towns on a bike ride, embark on a sunset cruise, relax on an intimate beach, kayak, fish or sail in secluded areas. Sip and savor homegrown wines, harvest ripe grapes or horseback ride through the rural landscape. Kent County Tourism, Jana Carter, KentCounty.com, [email protected] Montgomery County (MD) Montgomery County, MD’s Agricultural Reserve, what locals call the “Ag Reserve,” features 93,000-acres of farmland. Visit an array of pick-your-own-farms, wineries, breweries, orchards, historic sites and outdoor experiences. From the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain, hikers can look out over the county’s pastoral patchwork of farms and villages. Visit Montgomery, MD, Cory Van Horn, VisitMontgomery.com/ag-reserve/, [email protected] Wicomico County With more than 1,500 acres of parks and trails and more than 1,000 miles of waterways, Wicomico County is an ideal place to enjoy the outdoors. Visitors can enjoy activities including camping, hiking, cycling, birding, fishing, hunting and more. Guests can also visit the free Salisbury Zoo. Wicomico County, Vanessa Junkin, WicomicoTourism.org, [email protected] PENNSYLVANIA Allegheny National Forest So Big, So Green. The lands of the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) are open, with more than 513,000 acres to explore. Known for miles of hiking, biking, mountain biking, fishing, and ATV trails to explore. It’s the ideal place for family camping and getaway cabins. More nature, less people. Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, Linda Devlin, VisitANF.com, [email protected] Bradford County The Susquehanna River flowing through Bradford County, Pennsylvania, offers outdoor recreation fans miles of clear, clean water for fishing, boating, kayaking and swimming. Accessible from points throughout the county, adventurers of every skill level enjoy time spent pursuing their favorite activities surrounded by the lush scenery of Pennsylvania’s northern tier! Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency, Morgan Christopher, VisitBradfordCounty.com, [email protected] Endless Mountains Ricketts Glen is known for the 24 named waterfalls flowing down from the Allegheny Plateau to the Appalachians. Hike the Falls Trail System and explore the Glens, whose waterfalls cascade through rock-strewn clefts. Old growth timber and diverse wildlife make Ricketts Glen State Park one of the most scenic areas in Pennsylvania. Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, Morgan Christopher, EndlessMountains.org, [email protected] Huntingdon County The Raystown Lake Region transforms anyone into an outdoor enthusiast. There are opportunities aplenty to enjoy freshwater swimming, paddling, fishing, boating, tubing, jet-skiing or paddleboarding. Lace up your hiking boots to ascend to the 1000 Steps of the Standing Stone Trail, Trough Creek State Park’s Ledges Trail or descend underground to spelunk at Lincoln Caverns. Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau, Liza Gutshall, RaysTown.org, [email protected] Lancaster County Wide open spaces await you in Lancaster County, from our parks & trails to recreational activities and farmers markets to roadside stands – as well as our world-famous Amish farmlands and covered bridge driving tours. We also have fabulous outdoor dining, picturesque wineries, and amenity-filled campgrounds. Discover Lancaster, Joel Cliff, DiscoverLancaster.com, [email protected] Lehigh Valley From hiking, horseback riding, and biking, Lehigh Valley is a thrill-seeker’s choice. Surrounding Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton are miles of adventures crossing railroads, rivers, and canals. Board Pennsylvania’s only mule-drawn canal boat. Be whisked away from the routines of everyday life, and step outside and discover the natural landmarks. Discover Lehigh Valley, Alicia Quinn, DiscoverLehighValley.com, [email protected] Montgomery County (PA) With almost 100 miles of trails, dozens of parks, and 50 golf courses, Montgomery County, PA has plenty to do outdoors this summer from ziplining, to places to walk, bike, hike, and run, to fishing and other water sports, to outdoor dining and picnic spots. Visit Montgomery, Rachel Riley, www.valleyforge.org/things-todo/outdoor-activities/, [email protected] Potter County – Tioga County The Milky Way shines so bright at Cherry Springs State Park, it literally casts your shadow! Named the best place on Earth for stargazing by the Travel Channel and designated a Gold Level Park by the International Dark Sky Association, visitors travel from around the globe to witness this amazing phenomenon. Visit Potter-Tioga, Morgan Christopher, VisitPotterTioga.com, [email protected] VIRGINIA Fairfax County History abounds in Fairfax County, even in the great outdoors. Learn about George Washington’s connection to Great Falls National Park, kayak past George Mason’s home, hike trails that lead to wineries on historic land, or meet & greet baby animals at a local farm that preserves life from the 1920s-1950s. Visit Fairfax, Ali Morris, FXVA.com, [email protected] Fredericksburg Region (Spotsylvania, Stafford and Fredericksburg) Riding your bike on the canal path in Downtown, kayaking at Widwater State Park, taking relaxing on a pontoon boat on Lake Anna or challenge the kids on the rope course or miniature golf at Wilderness Resort are just a few options for outdoor adventure in the Fredericksburg area. Fredericksburg Region, Debbie Aylor, VisitFred.com, [email protected] Hampton If you are looking for a walk in a park, or along the beach, Hampton has the perfect place for you to exercise outdoors. Lace up your sneakers and explore one of our trails. Each trail has its unique trait, so we are sure you will find one you love. Hampton Convention and Visitor Bureau, [email protected], VsitHampton.com/5-trails-to-enjoy-in-hampton/, [email protected] Harrisonburg Visit Harrisonburg, VA and explore the natural beauty of the Shenandoah National Park and George Washington National Forest. Enjoy hiking, biking, rock climbing, and fishing with or without a guide. Downtown Harrisonburg offers exquisite local cuisine, outdoor dining and hand-crafted beer, perfect for unwinding after a day on the trail. Harrisonburg Tourism & Visitor Services, Jessica Williams, VisitHarrisonburgVA.com, [email protected] Lynchburg Lynchburg’s 40 miles of urban trail system crisscross throughout the city. It’s paved and dirt paths cross the Percival’s Island Natural Area along the James River, and wind their way beside the Blackwater Creek, providing plenty of opportunity to hike and bike while siting the area’s flora and fauna. Lynchburg Office of Economic Development & Tourism, Krista Boothby, LynchburgVirginia.org, [email protected] Lexington & Rockbridge Lexington, VA is the southern gateway to the Shenandoah Valley. Visitors have convenient access to our “big backyard” – Blue Ridge Parkway, Appalachian Trail, George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, the James and Maury Rivers – where outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels can hike, bike, paddle, fish and camp. Lexington & Rockbridge Area Tourism, Patty Williams, LexingtonVirginia.com/outdoors, [email protected] Newport News At 7,711 acres, Newport News Park is nine times bigger than New York’s Central Park. Here you can test your skills at the 18-hole championship disc golf course; go on an adventurous geo-caching excursion; hike along one of the 30 miles of trails; or cycle on a 5.3-mile bike path. Newport News Tourism Development Office, Rebecca Cutchins, Newport-News.org, [email protected] Norfolk Tour the world’s largest naval base from the water on an open-air Victory Rover cruise, explore the Virginia Zoo, relax at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, the largest botanical garden in the state of Virginia and dine outside at dozens of restaurants with water views. VisitNorfolk, Sarah Hughes, visitnorfolk.com, [email protected] Orange County (VA) Explore pick-your-own farms, hiking & biking trails, lakeside fishing, and more. From kid-friendly adventures to vineyard getaways, we have crafted day trip ideas that will have you breathing in fresh air from the great outdoors in no time. There is no better way to celebrate summer than reconnecting with nature. Orange County, Virginia Tourism, Lori Landes-Carter, VisitOrangeVirginia.com, [email protected] Prince William County Spend the day on the Water in D.C.’s Countryside. Walk on water at the Neabsco Creek Boardwalk. Hike, sail or camp along the Potomac River at Leesylvania State Park or spend an afternoon kayaking on the Occoquan River. Enjoy panoramic water views at Tim’s Rivershore while enjoying traditional seafood fare. Prince William County Office of Tourism, Nicole Warner, VisitPWC.org, [email protected] Shenandoah County A hike along 178 miles of canopied trails, a guided horseback ride through the George Washington National Forest or a tube float along a bend of the long and lazy North Fork of the Shenandoah River are just a few great ways to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Shenandoah County Tourism, Jenna French, VisitShenandoahCounty.com, [email protected] Virginia’s Blue Ridge Virginia’s Blue Ridge is a year-round mountain destination with 1,000 miles of trails and four beautiful seasons. From paddling the Upper James River to hiking the Appalachian Trail and exploring America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital on two wheels, you’re sure to have an unforgettable metro mountain adventure! Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Taylor Spellman, VisitVBR.com, [email protected] WEST VIRGINIA Pocahontas County Pocahontas County, West Virginia boasts open spaces, pristine scenic beauty and unprecedented outdoor adventure. From kayaking or tubing along the Greenbrier River, to downhill mountain biking at Snowshoe Mountain Resort, or hiking one of the many trails in the Monongahela National Forest, there’s endless outdoor adventure waiting for you in Nature’s Mountain Playground! Pocahontas County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Chelsea Walker, NaturesMtnPlayground.com, [email protected] About the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance The Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA) is a cohesive unit of regional tourism partners encompassing Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The group serves travel journalists by creating a regional resource that ignores geographical boundaries to better promote common threads, offering story ideas about the MidAtlantic region as a whole. For more information, visit MATPRA.org.