Shenandoah National Park* http://www.nps.gov/shen/ * Shenandoah National Park, 3655 US Hwy 211 East, Luray, Virginia 22835 * 540.999.3500
What a beautiful day for a beautiful drive through Shenandoah National Park. Having roughly 1/2 a day to explore, I decided to drive from the Front Ryal (North) Entrance Station down to Big Meadows (Dark Hollow Falls) and then make my way down hwy 33 at Swift Run Gap back towards civilization. I figured a nice day hike and absorbing the panoramic overlooks would be a nice afternoon in the park, and I was right. Much natural beauty, scenic overlooks, abundant wildlife, and fabulous hiking trails. There are Park service gift shops and information centers all along the route as well as places where you can get food. The scenic roadway, also known as “Skyline Drive” follows the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains for 105 miles. The National Park empties out on its southern entrance into the Blue Ridge Parkways which stretches 469 miles to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Skyline Drive is a narrow mountain road with beautiful vistas and wildflowers along the shoulders and hosts over 75 scenic overlooks with each of their own unique panoramas. Shenandoah hosts over 500 miles of trails for the hiker – detailed maps can be obtained at the visitor centers and www.snpbooks.org or downloaded from the above Park Service link. The park like all parks are a sanctuary and home to numerous plants, animals, and historic objects. Excellent park, will definitely be back. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 5/23/08.