Skyline Drive is a 105-mile scenic road that runs the entire length of Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, generally along the ridge of the mountains. The scenic drive is particularly popular in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. Annually, over two million people visit the Skyline Drive, which has been designated a National Scenic Byway. The road and park is managed by the National Park Service.
Skyline drive is just 75 miles from the bustle of Washington, D.C.,and Silver Spring, MD. We lived in Maryland from 1990 to 2002, so we have visited the park and drove along Skyline Drive a couple of times. The best time of the year is the mesmerizing autumn colors of the trees and shrubs. The first time we drove in Skyline Drive was around the first week of October, 1994. The park was very crowded and was not much fun but the fall colors were fantastic and spectacular.
Our second visit was around springtime in mid April of 1997. The wild flowers and shrubs are in bloom and no crowds. The Shenandoah National Park is your escape to recreation on week ends if you live in the tri-state area of Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland. There are cascading waterfalls, spectacular vistas, quiet wooded hollows, hiking trails, look-out areas and picnic areas.
If you are a city dweller and want a change, just meander ( drive not more than 35 miles per hour) along Skyline Drive, then have a picnic with the family in several picnic areas along the drive. Stop at the several look out areas and take some photographs. Here's a short video of the park.
There are a couple restaurants in several rest areas if you forget to bring some food. There are also overnight accommodations or camping in the Park. The park of protected lands are haven to deer, songbirds, and other wild plants and animals. We drove Skyline from the Front Royal Entrance and exited at Thornton Gap near Highway 211. This is only about 1/3 of the 105 miles of scenic roads. After that we proceeded to tour the Luray Caverns in Luray, Virginia. Our tour of the Luray Caverns will be the topic in my next posting.
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