- DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2005)
- Intrinsic QualitiesScenic
- Length105 miles
There are few places in the United States more beautiful than Shenandoah National Park, and the Skyline Drive National Scenic Byway runs right through the heart of it. This Byway is able to capture all of the natural beauties of the area, including the vast mountains and pristine Shenandoah River. There are many recreational activities available as well throughout this National Park that visitors can take advantage of. If you are taking a trip to this beautiful National Park, Skyline Drive is the perfect way to experience it all.
Story of the Byway
Shenandoah National Park is one of the true gems in the United States, and the Skyline Drive is able to capture so much of its beauty. Running 105 miles long through the heart of the Park, this beautiful road was designated as a National Scenic Byway in 2005 for its beautiful views, historical significance, and recreational opportunities. Just about anyone can find something that interests them throughout this drive, whether it be doing some activity along the Byway or just taking in the beautiful scenery on this beautiful road. The history of how the Byway is created is also fascinating and can be taught throughout the drive or at the Byrd Visitor Center that contains all of the information you need.
There are endless reasons as to why the Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park are the most beautiful places in the entire nation. The Byway is located on the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so the views are immaculate. With many different streams and lakes throughout the Park, the pristine waters will take your breath away. Another reason why this is such a great area for a road trip is the recreational activities that are available for visitors. Whether it be camping, fishing, hiking, or anything else, there is always something that you can find to have fun throughout the entire Park. If hiking is how you want to spend your time in the National Park, a portion of the Appalachian Trail is located within Shenandoah. Even if you are not into hiking, there are dozens of scenic overlooks throughout the Skyline Drive that visitors can park at and experience the beautiful views. For those who want to experience the wildlife of the area, there are hundreds of species of birds that can be seen here in addition to black bears, foxes, deer, owls, and wild turkey. The Skyline Drive passes through multiple campsites that visitors can take advantage of, but if you are looking for more of a luxurious stay, there are accommodations for that as well. Skyland is in the highest point right along Skyline Drive and it is one of the premier hotels in the entire area. Since the road is 105 miles long and the speed limit is 35 the entire way, visitors are most likely going to have to take multiple days just to experience what this wonderful Byway and Park have to offer.
National Parks are always worth the trip out to them; however, the Skyline Drive is a wonderful option to experience the entirety of the park. If you do not have the time to spend multiple days camping in the park, one can just take a drive along the Skyline Drive and enjoy everything the park has to offer from your car. You can spend a night at Skyland and then get up bright and early to enjoy the rest of the park and Byway the next day. The opportunities are truly endless along the Skyline Byway from recreation to relaxation, and it is worth the trip.
Skyline Drive is 105 miles long and takes about three hours to travel completely through. There are mileposts along the route that can help visitors locate their way through the drive. The mileposts begin at 0.0 at Front Royal and end at 105 at the southern end of the park.
Points of Interest
Shenandoah Park contains a 101 mile portion of the Adirondack Trail along the ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Byrd Visitor Center
Here you can learn about the creation of Shenandoah National Park and all of the wonders that it contains. With multiple exhibits and tours, this is the perfect spot to start your trip along the Byway.
Stay the night at the highest point along Skyline Drive at Skyland. Here visitors can rent one of the many rooms to relax and recharge during their journey.
Travel through Shenandoah
Start your journey at the northernmost point of the Byway in Front Royal at the intersection with Interstate 66. Here you can find Dickey Ridge Visitors Center, which will give you all the information you need as you begin your trip along Skyline Drive. Leaving from there, you will begin to see the beauty of Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains along this road.
As you continue on your trip and take in the beautiful views with your windows down, you have the opportunity to stop at one of the many overlooks and rest areas. One of the first ones that you can stop by is the Hazel Mountain Overlook and Pinnacles Area. From there, you can book your reservation in the Skyland Resort, which is one of the best ways to experience the Park if you are not camping.
After that, you really have endless possibilities along the road. You will pass by dozens of different overlooks and parks along the way and will have plenty of opportunities to get out and hike on some of the most beautiful trails in the entire country.
Your journey will end at milepost 105, and the Humpback Rocks Visitors Center will be there if there is any more information that you need for any future travels!
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