Located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the Appalachian Mountains between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny ranges lies the Northern Shenandoah Valley and Potomac Highlands. Rich in natural beauty and history, the area fosters rural yet easily accessible communities to the Baltimore and DC metropolitan areas. Much of the region lies within vast tracts of national forest and wilderness.
The formation of Hampshire County was authorized by an Act of the General Assembly of Virginia effective May 1, 1754. Before Hampshire's creation, Winchester was the county seat for the entire area. A county government on the South Branch would make it easier to defend the frontier against the Indians, coming across the western mountains at the beginning of the French and Indian War.
The Hampshire County School District, located in the scenic eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, provides high quality educational opportunities for its 3,469 students. Students attending Hampshire County Schools have consistently outperformed the national norm group on the SAT-9 for Total Basic Skills.
Hampshire County has the highest percentage of state owned public hunting in the state. Nathaniel Mountain Public Hunting & Fishing Area covers 8,798 acres with 21 miles of trails and 4 miles of streams. Short Mountain Public Hunting & Fishing Area offers 8,000+ acres and includes part of North River. Edwards Run Public Hunting & Fishing Area is approximately 400 acres with a spring-fed 'Fly Fishing Only' trout stream and stocked 2-acre trout pond. Springfield Public Hunting & Fishing Area has approx. 10,000 acres in scattered tracts.
Hampshire Park, a public park with covered picnic areas, bathroom facilities, sports fields and playground equipment, is the site of the county 4H camp. Central Hampshire Park and Romney Public Pool provide additional recreational opportunities.
Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad offers a 3-hour scenic excursion along the South Branch of the Potomac River. The water is so clear you can usually see fish resting. In "The Trough" look up to the cliffs where bald eagles nest. Other highlights of the area include Pliska Winery, Schneider's Winery, The Bottling Works Museum & Gift Shop and Ice Mountain/Nature Conservancy Preserve.
Winter offers downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice skating, sleigh rides and much more. Kayaking and hiking are popular spring activities. Sightseeing is wonderful all 4 seasons in the Potomac Highlands. Let the country roads take you home to the place you belong!