Shenandoah National Park’s peaceful woods, flowing waterfalls and breathtaking views provide the perfect setting for outdoor fun. Park visitors can hike, wander along Skyline Drive or spend some quality time with their families.
The park’s 200,000 acres of protected land present a wonderful natural setting for recreation, meditation and more. Its 500 miles of paths include 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail, which extends beyond the park, from Maine through Georgia.
Just the Beginning
But that’s just the beginning. If you’re a hiker, you’ve got a choice of some amazing trails and outstanding views, with treks for every level of interest and ability. And the park itself offers a variety of other diversions, including some very good dining options, notably Big Meadows Lodge and Skyland, plus several food and grocery stops within the park. There’s a variety of interesting activities, with plenty of things to do for children and adults, including hikes, walks and talks centered around the park’s natural geology, wildlife and foliage. The park also maintains an up-to-date online activity calendar, listing current and upcoming events. The National Park Service offers the Ranger Programs for hands-on exploration and education, conducted by actual park rangers during the spring and autumn seasons.
Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historic Park is a 30-minute drive from Shenandoah National Park. Named a national park in 2002, it’s dedicated to preserving the historic Civil War battlefield, site of a decisive Union victory in October 1864. Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park, the location of abolitionist John Brown’s 1859 insurrection and the Bolivar Heights Battlefield, where the largest surrender of Union troops occurred during the American Civil War in 1862, is 47 miles away from Shenandoah National Park. The nearby Blue Ridge Parkway‘s 469 miles link Shenandoah National Park to the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina through mountain ridges and across mountain gaps and tunnels, into deep valleys and scenic cities, including Asheville North Carolina and Roanoke Virginia. It’s an ideal route for sightseeing and viewing the region’s stunning natural and man-made wonders.
For golfers, the Shenandoah Valley offers a number of beautiful and challenging courses. Lakeview Golf Course, for example, provides a great golfing experience for all levels of talent and proficiency, from novice to scratch golfer. In addition to its Mountainview and Lakeview courses, driving range and chipping and putting greens, there’s a well-stocked pro shop with equipment and attire for sale and rental.
Need speed? If you’re a two-wheel motor-race fan, nearby Shenandoah Speedway runs a slate of thrilling motocross competitions from April through October.
Shenandoah Valley, with its rich agricultural heritage, is also the home of several award-winning wineries. Along with tours and tastings, some also offer live music, food and entertainment.
Dining outside the park is also inviting. The Coach & Horses Tea Room in nearby Winchester serves lunch and high tea (by reservation), with Colonial style and charm. Staunton’s Zyndoa‘s inspired southern cooking puts a contemporary spin on the classics. Its produce and livestock are primarily sourced from the Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont regions, and seafood from the Chesapeake Bay. The elegant restaurant also spotlights local wines and offers pre- and post-performance seatings to accommodate the audience of the nearby Blackfriars Theater at the American Shakespeare Center. Blue Apron Restaurant & Red Rooster Bar serves lunch and dinner, with seasonal variations to take advantage of the availability of local produce and current offerings.
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