Happy Trails - Gypsy Hill Park

Gypsy Hill Park

Staunton, VA
Staunton Parks and Recreation (540) 332-3945

I remember still the thrill of the train ride in Gypsy Hill Park when I was my childrenís age. It has been there at least 47 years and whatís amazing is that my kids enjoy it as much as I did! Even though theyíve seen the roller coasters in Hershey Park, itís still truly exciting for them and it delights me as well. The train circles four times. You cross a creek, go through a small tunnel, and see lots of smiles. The cost to ride is $1.00, regardless of age. The train runs on Saturdays from 10 AM until 6 PM and Sundays from Noon until 6 PM.

Although the train is the drawing feature for my family, Gypsy Hill Park is much, much more. There are many attractions, the lake with swans, ducks, geese, and fountains; a nice family size swing; playgrounds that are not too big and offer lots of shade; tennis courts; horseshoe pits; volleyball nets; several baseball fields; and plenty of picnic spots scattered throughout. There is also a LARGE swimming pool with not so large prices ($2.00 for over 13ís and .50 - $1.00 for less than 13ís), and a nice outdoor stage available for any impromptu performances as well as the regular "Jazz in the Park" free concerts every Thursday at 8:00 p.m. If you prefer, Military Bands play every Monday night at 8:00 p.m.

The worst part of Gypsy Hill Park is finding it. You can end up winding around the city and wondering if you are lost - but just stay on 250!!! Complete directions are: Follow I 64 West and get off in Staunton onto 81 North. Get off at Exit 222 and follow 250 West. Donít give up. Wind with it. Just before the park entrance there is a big old school on the left. Signs at the parkís entrance are small so stay alert. Cars are allowed to circle one way around the entire area. The train is near the middle of the park and parking is easiest from the far side.

Right after getting off 81 you will see the Museum of American Frontier Culture.
This museum is wonderful if you go when no school buses are in the parking lot.
Itís $8.00 for adults, and $4.00 for 6 - 12 year olds; unfortunately, they are not reciprocal with the VMNH/ASTC network.
The Staunton Visitors Center is attached to the museum entrance.
It is easy to access, and offers information on other fun things to do in the area.
Top recommendations are: Walking Tours of Historic Staunton.
Tours are easy to follow and offer a free map.
Check out the train station.
See the Statler Brothers Complex (free tour once daily at 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday).
If you want a "blast from the past" lunch, Wrights Dairy Drive-In offers curbside service, reasonable prices, fun kidís meals, fun interior, and great root beer floats.

Mary Wilson...
Email: mary@trailz.org

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