“Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own.” – Charles Dickens

 

Planning on visiting Shenandoah National Park on our way to Washington DC we had to take a pass because Skyline Drive was closed for snow and ice. A day before we left DC the status for Skyline Drive changed to fully open, and off we went to Shenandoah entering the park by way of the Front Royal Entrance.

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Skyline Drive bisects the park and runs north and south following the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains for 105 miles.

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According to the park there are 75 scenic over-looks and with the 35-mile per hour speed limit there is plenty of time to take it all in. Fog, clouds and rain threatened but we stopped quite a lot for a gander and a picture or two.

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Rarely exceeding much more than 3,000 feet in altitude, and some views scattered with houses, we found the vistas beautiful nonetheless.

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We choose to enter the park from the north because of the closer location of the two visitors centers than from the south. Typically we prefer to catch the park film and visit with the rangers about their favorite trails before exploring on our own. Boo, we found both visitor centers closed for the season!

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Skyline Drive is also a portal to some 500 miles of trails in Shenandoah. Seasoned hikers it didn’t take long before we had to get out of the vehicle.

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Short on time and suckers for waterfalls we decided to hike the Dark Hollow Falls Trail. At 1.5 miles it’s the shortest waterfall hike in the park. A little more technical trail in winter, with ice making parts of the rock path slippery, we carefully picked our way to the Falls. Totally worth it!

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Visited March, 2015

Next Up: Cuyahoga Valley National Park