Here's how to rent a cabin in the Charlottesville area, near the intersection of Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Contact Montfair Family Resort (open all year; cabins, camping, horses, large lake), RFD No. 2, Box 383, Crozet, Va. 22932; 804-823-5202.

For primitive cabins (April-Oct.) with outdoor cooking facilities on Lewis Mountain in Shenandoah National Park, write Virginia Skyline Company, PO Box 727, Luray, Va. 22835. 703-743-5108.

For cabins on Rocky Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway, write: National Park Concessions, Meadows of Dan. Va. 24120.

Hope you're lucky and contact the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club at 1718 N St. NW, 638-5306, for access to its limited number of rental cabins on the Appalachian Trail.

Send for rural information books: "Farm, Ranch and Country Vacations," or its companion, "Adventure Travel," both by Pat Dickerman. Send $6.95 for each book to Farm and Ranch Vacations, 36 E. 57th St., New York, N.Y. 10022.

Call the Virginia State Travel Service at 906 17th St. NW, 293-5350, for information on cabins or almost anything else in Virginia. They also have a Highway Information Station on Rte. 66, at the rest stop just before Manassas.

If you want to go farther, contact the West Virginia State Park System for its extensive state-wide cabin rental program. Toll free, 1-800-624-8632.

If you stay in the mountains near Charlottesville, here are some things to do:

Take a swim in Albemarle County's public mountain swimming lakes (our favorite is Mint Spring Lake, near Crozet), or cast a line in the public fishing lakes. After your swim, stop at Wayland's orchards in Crozet.

Travel half an hour from Crozet (20 miles North of Charlottesville) to the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway and see the Interior Department's living mountain farm exhibit. It's history at its most touching. Also, there are hiking trails are all over the Parkway.