Shenandoah National Park
Whether you're a local or you're staying in the area, each week we'll feature day trip ideas starting in the region
A mere 75 miles from metropolitan Washington is Shenandoah National Park, Virginia’s premiere destination for camping, backpacking and more! The 196,000 acre park features over 500 miles of trails, 75 overlook sites and four reservation friendly campgrounds. Celebrating 75 years as a National park, Shenandoah is a must see destination for any local Virginian or visiting traveler.
Once you’ve entered the park with your $15 pass for seven days or your $30 annual pass, you can’t help but drive along 100 miles of scenic mountain top road. With over 75 overlook points and dozens of parking lots, Skyline Drive is the only way to get around in Shenandoah, by vehicle at least. Convertible enthusiasts and motorcycles lovers can drive for hours and enjoy the absolutely stunning view all year round.
If walking or talking with a knowledgeable park ranger is your idea of fun, attend one of the countless programs around the park for all the information you can handle. Offered year round at several locations, park rangers share their expertise and answer visitor question on nature walks and hikes of variable difficulties. Topics include wildlife habits, park history and in depth plant life discussions.
Whether it’s a weekend in one of the four permanent campsites or two weeks of back country backpacking, camping in Shenandoah is easy for everyone. Campsites can be reserved online or by phone and spots do fill up quickly during the summer. Back-country adventurers must submit an itinerary and expected return time for ranger approval, but once you’re on the trail explore to your hearts content.
With over 500 miles of trails and 100 of those on the Appalachian Trail, avid hikers will have more options than they can choose. Beginners can enjoy hour long to full day hikes that require little more than sturdy shoes and a willing attitude. Hardcore hikers have the option of three levels of difficulty and can hike for as long as their pass is valid.