I hiked 1/3 of the Appalachian Trail and all of it through Virginia. Some of the better hiking is closer to the Southwest of VA. I believe the AT goes through Dragon's Tooth, which I enjoyed quite a bit. If you're looking for something closer to NOVA, then Shenandoah National Park was nice, lots of wildlife very used to people. Saw a few bears. But too many people in my opinion, especially in the summer.
I hiked the AT as well. I agree wholeheartedly with the suggestions so far. Some of my other favs were MT. Roger's area (Whitetop Mountain and Buzzard Rock), Tinker Cliffs, Spy Rock, and various sections of the Shenandoah National Park. Aside from the AT, I also generally like Big Levels and St. Mary's Wilderness. BB
I never knew there were this many "Hikes" until I perused these links........maybe you'll find one here that you haven't hiked yet....it also gives the complete description along with "Topo Maps" and photos.....:D
Three Ridges Hike is great for backpacking and located right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Blue Hole is a nice hike for a few hours if you want to go for a swim and jump off the rope swing. Of course, save Blue Hole for spring, summer or fall.