Shenandoah National Park in Virginia makes for a great getaway for the whole family. It may not live up to the other mighty National Parks that I have been to but it surely has a good dose of mountains, valleys, and views for nature lovers.
If you are a first-time visitor here is everything you need to know about Shenandoah National Park.
The park is split into three sections – North Section (Front Royal to Luray), Central Section (Luray to Elkton), and the South Section (Elkton to Waynesboro).
There are four entrance stations into Shenandoah National Park which you can check out here.
Skyline Drive is the main road that runs the span of Shenandoah’s 105 miles from north to south.
Mile markers are designated on the Skyline Drive.
The park is open year round but facilities may operate seasonally.
Things to do at Shenandoah National Park
Drive along the Skyline Drive.
This scenic route takes you through the park with multiple overlooks to pull over. The road is narrow and winding with a speed limit of 35 mph so take your time here.
Hike into Shenandoah National Park.
To truly experience the park’s natural beauty, step into the forest on one of the park’s 500 miles of trails. It is the best way to see Shenandoah’s amazing views, and waterfalls. The Appalachian Trail also runs through the park.
The Stony Man Trail is a must do hike especially because it rewards you with gorgeous mountain views. It is 1.6 miles round trip and the path to the top is shaded and super green considering you go during summer. It is a relatively easy hike with some elevation gain.
Dark Hollow Falls (1.4 miles round trip) is a popular trail in the park that takes you to a waterfall. This 70-foot cascading waterfall is a popular spot in the park, and it is crowded. You can avoid the crowd if you go beyond the waterfall and continue on the trail to Lower Dark Hollow Falls.
Whiteoak Canyon is my favorite trail that takes you to six waterfalls. Most of the falls are smaller cascades but nevertheless, they are beautiful. The swimming holes at the base of each waterfall make for a great spot to sit or get into the water.
Bearfence Trail is another hike that gives you sweeping views of the mountains. There are few sections that involve a bit of scramble over a rocky section which makes the trail more adventurous.
Lastly, sit and enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset.