Sunday, June 17, 2018

Places to visit in Virginia - Shenandoah National Park

Explorer Lens

In my last post, I talked about my visit to Virginia Safari Park, which is one of the top attractions in Virginia. If you have missed it, please check out that post here.

So after a successful, memorable and fun trip of the Safari Park, it was time to visit the top natural destination of Virginia, “Shenandoah National Park”.

Shenandoah National Park lies along the Blue Ridge Mountains in north-central Virginia.
The park stretches for 105 miles along the scenic Skyline Drive from near the town of Front Royal in the northeast to near the city of Waynesboro in the southwest.

Main Attractions
The main attractions of the park are -:
1. Skyline Drive
2. Hiking
3. Camping
4. Waterfalls
5. Wildlife, which includes deer, black bears, foxes, birds and other animals.

My experience
I started the scenic drive from the northern entry point of the Park, which is situated near the town of Front Royal.
The entry fee is $25 per vehicle and is valid for a week from the start date.

We got a map which had the information about different scenic points where you can stop your vehicle and enjoy the endless natural beauty of the lush green mountains

As it was sunset time so I was very excited to get some stunning view of the Park and I was not at all disappointed. The sky was covered with layers of orange, blue and white, and the sun rays falling on the mountains covered in the blanket of green, made the whole view breathtaking.

We drove for around 20 miles and experienced the stunning views but now it was time for something else, the “FOG”.
Yes, as we drove ahead the endless fog welcomes us and the visibility at some points became just nil.
Driving through the fog was like sailing through a cloud, a lifetime experience indeed.

We took a U turn from 30 miles as it was getting dark and too much foggy.

And last but not the least, we were fortunate to see the wildlife too.
There were two instances of spotting a black bear, one when an adult black bear was crossing the road and the second was of a young one ambling on the sides of the road.
We also saw a deer and a different species of bird which was of a size of a vulture.

It was definitely a successful, super thrilling, adventurous, beautiful and memorable visit to “Shenandoah National Park”.

Tickets & Fees
The entry fee for the park is $25 for a car for 7 days.

The Skyline has two entry points, one near the town of Front Royal in the northeast and other one near the city of Waynesboro in the southwest.

There are no food junctions, cafes, restaurants or any facility where you can get food.

I was staying in the town of Front Royal where there are a lot of decent motels available. Also there are lodges along the skyline drive.

Now time for some gyan from Explorer Lens
1. Visit the park during either sunset or sunrise to experience those amazing views.
2. It gets foggy in the evening so plan your visit accordingly.
3. Don’t plan for the complete 105 miles stretch of the Skyline, until you are not short of time.
    As the speed limit is only 35 miles/hr so it will easily take you 5 hours to cover the complete
4. There are black bears all over the park, so if you are planning for camping or hiking, do take all the
    safety measures beforehand.

Explorer Lens / Author & Editor

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