Shenandoah National Park

Posted in North America | April 15, 2010 | Comment Now

Shenandoah National Park is located in the state of Virginia (it touches as many as eight counties) in eastern United States. Shenandoah national Park is a hot tourist destination with a footfall of over million people every year. Total area of the park, which was set up in 1935, is 805 square kilometres.


Shenandoah National Park features segments of Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. The park is long and narrow in nature and is flanked by Shenandoah River and valley to the west and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont to the east. Hawksbill Mountain at 1,235 metres is the highest peak in the park.


Higher elevation areas of the park experience mild winters and cool summers. Temperatures in January range from about –7 degrees C to 4 degrees Celsius while the corresponding figures in July 14-24 degrees Celsius. Snow and ice are common in the winter.


Pine is the predominant tree in southern part of the park while hemlocks and mosses are found in northeastern part. Oak, chestnut, maple, hickory, tulip poplar, milkweed, daisies, mountain laurel, ferns and occasional prickly cactus are also spotted. American chestnut was once the predominant tree found in Shanandoah National Park. The trees and wildflowers in the park bloom to their best during spring.


Black bear, White-tailed deer, bobcat, raccoon, opossum, groundhog, gray fox, eastern cottontail rabbit and occasional mountain lions can be spotted here.


More than 200 types of birds are spotted in Shenandoah National Park out of which thirty are perennial inhabitants. Carolina chickadees, Red-tailed Hawks, wild turkeys, Peregrine Falcon and barred owls are to name a few.


The park is home to thirty two types of fish including brook trout, longnose, blacknose dace and bluehead chub.

  • Skyline Drive (169 km long trail designated as National Scenic Byway runs the entire length of the park along the mountain ridges. It is the most popular drive in the park, particularly for its natural spectacle during fall)
  • Appalachian Trail
  • Old Rag Mountain (offers breathtaking views in Virginia)
  • Waterfalls (Whiteoak Canyon, Rose River Falls, South River Falls, Dark Hollow Falls)
  • Mill Prong Trail
  • Dark Hollow Falls Trail
  • Dark Hollow Falls

  • Stony Man Trail (great place to watch sunset)
  • Driving the Skyline Drive
  • Hiking
  • Bicycling
  • Horse riding
  • Camping

Shenandoah National Park has five major campgrounds and most of these remain open from April to October-November. Some of the campgrounds are: Mathews Arm Campground, Big Meadows Campground, Loft Mountain Campground, Lewis Mountain Campground and Dundo Group Campground.

Visitor Centres:
  • Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center is also located at Big Meadows.
  • Dickey Ridge Visitor Center
  • Loft Mountain Information Center
Reaching Shenendoah National Park:
  • By road:
    Via Route 211, Route 522, Route 33, Blue Ridge Parkway and I-64
  • Get around:
    By hiking trails. There is no public transportation in the area.

Per Vehicle: $10 Dec-Feb, $15 Mar-Nov (1-7 days)

Per motorcycle: $10 (1-7 days)

Per person (visiting by bicycle, bus): $5 Dec-Feb, $8 Mar-Nov (1-7 days)

Annual pass: $30

Interagency pass: $80

  • Skyland Resort

  • Lewis Mountain Cabins
  • Big Meadows
  • PATC Cabins (six of them in the park)
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