Results 1-10of 19 Reviews
July 18, 2005
From journal Week in McGaheysville, VA/Washington D.C.
July 19, 2003
When you hear "Shenandoah National Park", one automatically thinks of the famous and historic "Skyline Drive" which runs from Front Royal to Waynesboro, Virginia.
Skyline Drive officially starts in the north at Front Royal, VA, however there are three other entrances to the park. Thornton Gap (mile 31.5) is accessible via U.S 211, Swift Run Gap (mile 65.7) via U.S. 33 and the south entrance at Rockfish Gap (mile 105.4) via I-64 and U.S. 250. The Swift Run Gap entrance is the closest to McGaheysville, as it is only 14 miles away.
Skyline Drive is a 105 mile ridge top adventure that twists and turns along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Signature stone walls line most curves and overlooks along this scenic drive. Spectacular vistas of the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountain ranges can be seen from the road or one of the 75 overlooks that are located throughout the park.
Nestled amongst the rocky cliffs and the ancient hemlock trees, mountain laurel and azalea bushes were bursting with brilliant colors Memorial Day weekend. Their vibrant colors could be seen for miles and I always commented how beautiful they were. One bush in particular stood out since it was a rich, "hot pink" color against a grayish-brown mountainside slab of rock. My husband said it was the prettiest one in the park and always gave me advance notice that "my favorite bush" was just ahead. Bluets could also be spotted alongside the road, sprinkling a blueish-purple color amongst the dark green grass.
Deer are plentiful inside Shenandoah and can be seen alongside the road or amongst the forest trees. Be extremely careful while driving as they decide to cross the road without any warning!! They certainly don’t look for oncoming traffic!! We lost count after seeing 60 plus deer one day while driving through half of the park. Big Meadows (mile marker 51) is a popular area for spotting deer during the day, but they can be found in larger numbers around dusk. Big Meadows hosts several ranger programs throughout the day that provides a better understanding of the Shenandoah ecosystem. One of the most popular programs, Twilight at Big Meadows, is a one mile stroll where you have the opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat as nightfall approaches. This program meets at the Byrd Visitor Center at 7pm on Monday and Thursday nights and takes about 1.5 hours.
Numerous trails start on Skyline Drive and the Appalachian Trail covers 101 miles in Shenandoah (look for the white mark on the trees).
There are seven picnic areas, two main restaurants, and four snack-bar/souvenir stores in this 105 mile span. Restrooms are not frequent, but can be found at all visitor centers and picnic areas.
Shenandoah is a vacation "bargain"! For only $10, you can spend seven days hiking trails, viewing wildlife, or simply being a "car tourist"; driving and absorbing the sights along the scenic stretch of highway known as Skyline Drive.
From journal Spending Time in Shenandoah
Front Royal, Virginia
November 21, 2010
by Chris & Carinne
July 26, 2010
March 24, 2006
From journal Fun in Virginia... Despite the Timeshare Pitch
September 15, 2004
From journal My First Trip to Virginia
June 10, 2004
The speed limit on this drive is 35mph, so take your own time and drive. We encountered several deer, turkeys, and several marsupials. You could park your car near the overlook and take your own time to appreciate the nature's beauty.
There are numerous hikes one could take; they range from less than a mile round trip to 14 miles round trip. These hikes take you to waterfalls and some give a good view for sunrise/sunset viewing.
The skyline drive has several campgrounds like Big Meadows, Matthews Arm, and Lewis Mountain. There are three visitor centers on the Skyline drive providing all the information one needs plus some have a grocery store and gas station. Dickey Ridge Visitor Center at Mile 4.6, Byrd Visitor Center entrance at Mile 51, Humpback Rocks Visitor Center down south.
There are several entrances to Skyline drive at Front Royal Mile 0 in the north, Thornton Gap entrance at Mile 31, Byrd Visitor Center entrance at Mile 51, Swift Run Gap at Mile 65, and Rockfish Gap at Mile 105 on South.
Last but not the least, pick up a guidebook from any of the visitor centers. These books contain lot of information about the overlooks, hikes, trails, waterfalls, etc. and also the facilities available through out the drive, and also contain handy maps.
From journal Vacation in Shenandoah Valley
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
January 16, 2001
One of the nicest views is found right after Marys Rock Tunnel. Trees frame the valley below. This is a good viewpoint, among the dozens found in the park, for a picnic.
From journal Beautiful Shenandoah
Warwick, United Kingdom
May 21, 2002
From journal Shenandoah N.P
Cleveland , Ohio
August 10, 2000
From journal A Drive to the Smokies: Shenandoah N.P.