Welcome to Shenandoah National Park, a true gem in Virginia! Its pristine beauty and awe-inspiring landscapes makes it a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Take a deep breath of the fresh mountain air and be prepared to be mesmerized by its breathtaking views.
Explore Shenandoah National Park
You don’t need to be an experienced hiker to enjoy the tranquility of this place. Maybe you just want to relax and have a picnic with friends and family, or maybe you want to explore the trails and soak in its natural wonders. Whatever your preference, Shenandoah has something for everyone.
We had an unforgettable time during our visit to this majestic park and we’re sure you will too. So, don’t miss the opportunity to experience this natural paradise for yourself!
Shenandoah National Park Entrance Fee
There is an entrance fee for the park so keep that in mind for when you plan your trip. Here are the current fees:
Single Vehicle: $30
Single Motorcycle: $25
Single Person (on foot or bicycle): $15
Annual Pass: $55
If you have the America the Beautiful National Parks Pass like we do, you won’t have to pay any entrance fees for any National Park you visit! If you plan on visiting multiple parks, it is definitely worth the price.
What to Do In Shenandoah National Park
If you’re short on time and looking to make the most of your visit to Shenandoah, I’ve got you covered with some of the top easy hiking trails. Take a look at these suggestions and get ready to experience all that the park has to offer in just a day or two.
Day Trip #1
1. Check Out Big Meadows
Big Meadows is one of the most popular sections of the park. This vast, sprawling meadow is beautiful in the early spring and fall.
The Big Meadows visitor center has an amazing view of its namesake, plus a great historical exhibit showing the history of the park’s creation.
2. Dark Hollow Falls Trail
Dark Hollow Falls is an easy waterfall trail for the whole family just a short distance away from the Big Meadows Visitor Center. This 1.4 mile loop can be a bit steep and rocky on the way back up, but it is well worth the hike! The gorgeous Dark Hollow Falls awaits you at the bottom.
This hike can be done by most people I would say, as long as you are ok with steps!
3. Skyline Drive
If you’re tired of hiking, no worries at all! You can actually experience the entire park by taking a scenic drive on this 105 mile road that goes through it all. The views are incredible and it’s a great way to relax and take in the beauty of the park without ever leaving your car.
After hiking and taking in the sights on foot all day, a drive through could be the perfect way to end your visit at Shenandoah.
This day trip into Shenandoah covers some of the most popular areas in the park. If you want to explore more of the over 300 square mile park, check out day trip #2!
Day Trip #2
1. Enter the Park through the Front Royal Entrance
If you want to start at the very beginning of Skyline Drive, enter the park through the Front Royal entrance accessible of Route 340. You can stop at a few scenic overlook and enjoy the twisty roads until you find the visitor center.
2. Visit the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center
Visit to talk to rangers about trails, browse the bookstore/gift shop and see exhibits about the park.
3. See Mary's Rock Tunnel and Hike the Trail
Drive down to Mary’s Rock Tunnel and check it out at the overlook. You can hike the Mary’s Rock trail too. It’s a moderate to difficult 3.7 mile (round trip) trail that gives you a rocky viewpoint of the valley.
4. Hike the Limberlost Trail
If you’re looking for an easier trail, skip Mary’s Rock and try out Limberlost Trail instead. It’s an easy, flat 1.3 mile (round trip) trail that will lead you through tall oaks, and mountain laurel. This trail is also fully accessible.
So there you have it! Whether you’re cruising Skyline Drive or exploring one of the hundreds of miles of trails Shenandoah National Park has to offer, you will have a spectualar time in nature.
We had an amazing time at our first ever National Park visit and I cannot wait to visit and review many more as we travel so keep an eye out for more travel posts!
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