Noted for its 400 miles of hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and horse trails, including part of the Appalachian Trail, Mount Rogers NRA includes 117,000 forested acres. Included is its namesake, Virginia's highest peak at 5,729 feet. Nearby White Top is the state's second-highest point at 5,520 feet. Most of the land, however, flanks Iron Mountain, a long ridge running the area's length. Ranging the extensive upland meadows are wild ponies, introduced to keep the grasses mowed.

Not all of this expanse is pristine; as part of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, it's subject to multiple uses such as hunting and logging. Nevertheless, you'll find three preserved wilderness areas and plenty of backcountry to explore, with mountain scenery that's some of the best in Virginia.