Deep in the wilderness of northeastern Virginia, there is an Appalachian sub-range known as the Blue Ridge Mountains. When seen from a distance, they look blue and hazy. One section of these mountains located right next to Shenandoah Valley is unlike the other parts because it’s a national park. 

Shenandoah National Park is in northeastern Virginia and is 72 miles from Washington, DC. Shenandoah is probably most famous for the Skyline Drive. It is a 105-mile-long scenic road that drives through the park. On the drive, there are 75 scenic overlooks where you can look at the great views of Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Eventually, Skyline Drive connects with Blue Ridge Parkway, which leads from Shenandoah to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee.

There are over 500 miles of trails in Shenandoah! You could hike the Whiteoak Canyon trail and see many cool waterfalls, forests, rivers, and canyons. You could hike to the top of the highest point in Shenandoah, Hawksbill Peak. You can take a short hike to Dark Hollow Falls. You could Hike up Stony Man Mountain. You could also be extreme and hike the Appalachian Trail, which runs through the park. But these are just some of the trails in Shenandoah. There are so many others as well!

There are also many animals to look out for in Shenandoah, such as black bears, deer, raccoons, squirrels, bats, skunks, turkeys, hawks, owls, salamanders, bobcats, mountain lions, and even wolves! If you lived in the 1700s, the park would have much more Bison, elk, beavers, otters, bears, turkeys, wolves, and cougars were abundant until they were majorly hunted. After some reintroduction of the bears, turkeys, wolves, and cougars their numbers are coming back.

My favorite thing at Shenandoah is Hawksbill Peak, the highest point in the park. It’s a 1.7-mile-long trail that leads to the top of Hawksbill at 4,051 feet. The view is amazing from the top. You can see for miles! Some days, you are even above the clouds!

Shenandoah is an amazing national park. From here, Shenandoah is about 17 hours away, so it would probably be a three or four day trip. But to see everything, it would take one or two weeks. It would be a great spot to add to a Washington, D.C., or East Coast road trip. Shenandoah is a national treasure that everyone can enjoy.

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