You’ve got a passion for the outdoors. You love animals. You like getting your hands dirty and appreciate physical exercise. You have a driver’s license.
If these things sound like some kind of job requirements, they might well be. There definitely are jobs that involve these characteristics and skills. But that is not what this post is about at all. Those things listed above are simply what’s required for a fun visit to Shenandoah National Park in central Virginia.
What Sets Shenandoah National Park Apart
Shenandoah National Park is a long and narrow park protecting a section of the Blue Ridge Mountains, including some valleys and various waterfalls. It’s a marvelous destination if you like to be outside and experience nature at its very best. Home to a thriving population of black bears and deer, this national park offers one-of-a-kind wildlife viewing opportunities—you’re almost guaranteed to spot a bear, or several bears, when driving Skyline Drive in the morning or evening. In fact, this park is home to one of the world’s densest black bears populations.
This is also one of the “wildest” national parks in the United States. Although it may not seem like that when you’re cruising down Skyline Drive, about 40% of Shenandoah National Park’s area is officially designated wilderness. Clearly, if you want to immerse yourself into the wild, you can do it in Shenandoah.
With about 500 miles of hiking trails and spectacular vistas, the park is a hiker’s dream destination. The park is traversed by a 100-mile section of the iconic Appalachian Trail, which runs along the crest of the Blue Ridge, roughly paralleling Skyline Drive. Other trails lead you to expansive views atop rocky peaks, into wooded hollows or to incredibly scenic waterfalls.
Lastly, when you add to the mix a long and fascinating history of farming, you’ve got yourself a varied and unique place to visit.
The twenty Shenandoah National Park photos below will prove to you the visit-worthiness this great national park. Get ready to pack your bags and don’t forget your hiking boots and camera!
20 Shenandoah National Park Photos