Shenandoah National Park is located in the northern part of central Virginia. It is managed by the United States National Park Service, and it was established in 1935. Shenandoah is a popular destination for those who enjoy the outdoors, and it provides thousands of acres that are perfect for nature-lovers.
Wildlife and Terrain
Some guests enjoy bird-watching or just walking through the beautiful forest. Deer, bobcats, foxes, raccoons, and black bear are abundant in Shenandoah, though the bear tend to live in the dense areas of the forest. The topography of the Blue Ridge Mountains is described as rough and rugged, and the highlands exceed 4,000 feet in some locations. Hikers are warned that the mountains are often ten degrees cooler than the hills and valleys. They are encouraged to layer their clothing during the cooler months.
Things to Do
Shenandoah National Park is a good place to go camping. The park has four main campsites, and they are open from spring through fall, usually from April until October or November. Most sections of the park allow backcountry camping for those who would like to set up camp in the designated wilderness areas. Shenandoah also has three sets of cabins and lodges.
The area has more than five hundred miles of hiking trails. Some trails are short and easy, while others are longer and more difficult. Dogs are allowed to walk on most of the hiking trails, though they must be kept on a leash. Hikers are encouraged to rent GPS park rangers or attend a hike scheduled by a forest ranger. Old Rag Mountain is one of the most popular spots for hikers.
Other activities in the park include horseback riding and bicycling. Visitors are permitted to ride bikes on Skyline Drive and in the paved areas, but bikes are prohibited on grass, unpaved surfaces, and on the trails. Bikers are warned to take extra precaution because some sections of bike trails have low visibility and bikers will share the road with cars. Bike-riders are advised to ride with reflectors and white lights. If the weather is foggy, the rider should have lights on both the front and back of the bike as an extra safety measure.
Flying fishing in the park’s streams and rivers is another popular activity. Numerous varieties of fish live in the water, and trout is one of the most popular types of fish in the area.
Places of Interest
Skyline Drive is one of the most well-known places in Shenandoah. The drive is more than 100 miles long and it runs length-wise through the park. Skyline Drive is an especially popular destination for those who set out to view the mountains, hills, and beautiful foliage during autumn.
Shenandoah National Park is also home to several beautiful waterfalls. Visitors are allowed to park on Skyline Drive and hike downhill to view the various waterfalls. Overall Run Falls, South River Falls, and Rose River Falls are just a few of the park’s waterfalls.
Rapidan Camp is also popular with visitors. It was the summer retreat of Herbert Hoover, a former U.S. President. Hoover’s house at Rapidan is furnished in a historical style that is consistent with how it would have looked when the president stayed there. The site is an exhibit that educates visitors about Hoover’s administration and the time he spent in office.