Virginia at its Finest Shenandoah National Park

The entire state of Virginia is rich in natural beauty, but the splendor gets kicked up a few notches when one enters the spectacular Shenandoah national park. . This natural wonder is a delight for the senses, and there is so much to see and do that visitors find themselves returning year after year.

Located a scant 75 miles from the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C., Shenandoah national park could not be further removed from the stresses of political life.  Driving along the beautiful Skyline Drive, visitors on their way to the park can leave those daily stresses behind them and commune with nature.  From fish filled streams and secluded campsites to spectacular vistas and well maintained hiking trails, Shenandoah national park is a delight for any nature lover.

Any time of year is a great time to visit Shenandoah national park, but the fall season is particularly beautiful.  The magnificent autumn colors are on full display here, and leaf peepers from throughout the country make the annual trek to this beautiful park.

Those hiking through the park in the fall season will have plenty of chances to see those beautiful autumn leaves.  The park is home to move than 500 miles of hiking trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail which passes through the park.  Better still many of the trails can be accessed right from Skyline Drive, making it easy to get in a day hike or overnight trek.

There are many short trails throughout the park that are perfect for beginning hikers or those with limited time in the park.  The rewards of these short hikes are many, including spectacular waterfalls and panoramic vistas.

Of course there are plenty of opportunities for longer hikes as well, and seasoned hikers may even want to try hiking all 101 miles of the park’s section of the Appalachian Trail.  There are many rugged trails perfect for experienced hikers, as well as those easy trails for the less adventurous.

Visitors whose idea of a great adventure is catching the perfect fish can head to one of the many waterways that run throughout Shenandoah national park.  These mountain streams are home to many different varieties of game fish, including eastern brook trout and others.  Anglers hoping to catch the big one should be aware that fishing regulations within the park are strictly enforced, so they are advised to stop by the park office prior to heading out.

Hikers and fishermen who want to spend a bit more time on their favorite pursuits may want to check out the many camping opportunities within Shenandoah national park.  There are four campgrounds in the park – Mathews Arm at the 22.1 mile mark, Big Meadow at mile 51.2, Lewis Mountain at the 57.5 mile mark and Loft Mountain at mile 79.5.  Those who plan to camp should contact the park to make reservations and get the information they will need for their stay.

Those who want to sleep off the beaten path will find plenty of opportunities for backcountry camping as well, but it is important for those adventurous types to be prepared.  Free permits are available from the park, and they are required for backcountry camping.

With so much to see and do it is no wonder Shenandoah national park has become such a popular destination for those around the country and around the world.  From camping and backpacking to day hikes and fishing trips, there is plenty of fun for the entire family.