Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park

by Sandra Merville Hart

Shenandoah National Park, established in 1935, is visited by over 1,000,000 each year. Just 75 miles from Washington D.C., President Herbert Hoover kept a vacation home in Rapidan Camp while in office from 1929 to 1933.

Spectacular views of cascading waterfalls, the Shenandoah River, and rolling hills are found in 75 overlooks in the park.

Four campgrounds, a lodge, and rustic cabins give visitors a variety of options to spend a few days enjoying the beauty of nature.

The only public road in the park is Skyline Drive, a 105 mile drive along the Blue Ridge Mountains. The winding hills make this a challenging bike ride, but the rangers suggest those riding bikes starting before 10 am to avoid high volumes of traffic.

If your family likes to hike to waterfalls, try Cedar Run/Whiteoak, Rose River Falls, or Dark Hollow Falls. Nice family hikes include Fox Hollow Nature Trail or Stony Man Nature Trail. Take a picnic lunch to Big Meadows, Pinnacles, or South River.

Little Stony Man Cliffs is a popular spot for beginners to learn about rock climbing and rappelling. Fishing for brook trout in one of the many streams is a fun activity many enjoy.

Some of the wildlife living in Shenandoah are black bears, woodpeckers, gray foxes, bobcats, raccoons, white-tailed deer, salamanders, turtles, barred owls, snakes, warblers, and red-tailed hawks.


Flynn, Sarah Wassner. National Geographic Kids: National Parks Guide U.S.A., National Geographic Society, 2012.

McHugh, Erin. National Parks: A Kid’s Guide to America’s Parks, Monuments, and Landmarks, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc., 2012.

Palmerlee, Danny; Bendure, Glenda; Friary, Ned; Karlin, Adam; Matchar, Emily; Sainsbury, Brendan. Discover USA’s Best National Parks, Lonely Planet Publications, 2012.

“Shenandoah: National Park, Virginia,” National Park Service, 2014/12/17





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