First of all, Happy Inauguration Day! Politics aside, what a great day in our nation’s tradition and history. Watching it all on TV from my couch. 🙂
Yesterday Tommy, Violet, my mom, and I decided to take a day trip and made a small drive (Google Maps said it was 1 hour, 20 minutes without traffic) to Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park. According to the website the Skyline Drive runs 105 miles north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park and is the only public road through the park. National Park Service rules ask that vehicles in the park obey the 35 mph speed limit as to enjoy the scenery, but also to be mindful of the wildlife (deer, bears, rattlesnakes, etc!) that may be nearby, and for safety as there are many sharp turns along the drive.
There are 75 overlooks that offer gorgeous views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west or the rolling piedmont to the east. We entered the park from the North Entrance and drove south along the Drive. (There are four entrances visitors can enter the park from). We stopped to look at several of the overlooks with stunning views.
After driving for about 45 minutes, we decided to park our car at Hogback Overlook and walk a trail that was partly on the Appalachian Trail to one of the many water falls in the park. Unfortunately we didn’t make it all the way down to the waterfall, but we enjoyed a 2 hour hike! The first leg of the hike being downhill, the second leg all uphill – needless to say we all slept really well last night!
In addition to hundreds (about 500!) of trails, several water falls, and numerous outlooks and picnic areas there is so much to do along Skyline Drive – bird-watching, camping, horseback riding, fishing, and biking to name a few. In the grand scheme of things, a 1 hour and 2o minute drive to this national park is nothing and is guaranteed to be a fun and enjoyable time.
We definitely plan on going back to hike more trails with Violet and perhaps camp for a day or two when the weather gets warmer!
Be on the lookout for Wednesday and Thursday posts about some of the “local” food we enjoyed on this great day trip of ours!