Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park, located in Virgina, encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a long and narrow park and has the hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the east and the Shenandoah river and valley on the west.
There are many waterfalls in the park including 93 ft high "Overall Run" and 86 ft high "Whiteoak Canyon" (pictured).
The park was founded in December of 1935, only a few hundred years after Europeans first came to the area. They were not the first to notice the calming beauty of the wooded hills, however. Tribes came to the park seasonally to collect berries and forage for other foods and supplies. Sadly, after Europeans arrived many of the native wildlife disappeared due to hunting and the destruction of their habitats. Among the animals to leave the area or have a massive decline in numbers include the American bison, elk, beaver, river otter, the eastern timber wolf, the cougar, the turkey, the black-bear, and the bobcat. The national park is a safe haven now for these animals in Virginia, as the last place in the state where the larger and smaller animals can live without great danger of traffic or hunting. Hunting and trapping is illegal in the park, and it is further recommended to keep a distance of a few hundred meters from any wildlife encountered in the park.
There are plenty of walking trails where you can view black bears and timber rattlesnakes! Just make sure to keep your distance! One popular trail is Stony Man Trail. It is best to walk this trail in the late afternoon to so you can watch the beaming sunset.
1. Where can I see wildlife?
The best location to see wildlife is Big Meadows. Cars aren't allowed in the meadow area so there are plenty of animals to see.
2. When is the park open during the year?
The park is open year-round. The only part closed will be portions of Skyline Drive- during hunting season (mid - November through March).
3. Where can I camp?
Go to www.Recreation.gov for reservations.
- Mathew's Arm
- Big Meadows
- Lewis Mountain
- Loft Mountain
4. What waterfalls are there for me to see?
5. What is there to do there?
There is so much to do! Hiking, bicycling, fishing, horseback riding and camping! A few of the main attractions are:
- Skyline Drive
- Rapidan Camo
- Big Meadows
- Wildflower Weekend