Close this search box.

Choose Your Adventure in Shenandoah National Park!

Here in the Blue Ridge, we are lucky to have one of the country’s most beautiful and accessible national parks right in our backyard. Shenandoah National Park is bursting with cascading waterfalls, spectacular vistas, fields of wildflowers, and quiet wooded hollows. With over 200,000 acres of protected lands that are haven to deer, songbirds, and black bears, there’s so much to explore and adventure to be had!

The Shenandoah National Park Trust is proud to be the official philanthropic partner of Shenandoah National Park. Just 75 miles from the bustle of Washington D.C., Shenandoah National Park is an outdoor paradise. You don’t have to travel far to find outdoor opportunities in the Blue Ridge!

Regardless of the adventure you choose, Shenandoah National Park has an opportunity for you!

Photo NPS / N. Lewis

The 105-mile-long Skyline Drive offers a variety of opportunities. For avid cyclists, Skyline Drive is available for biking, as is the fire road to historic Rapidan Camp. There are bicycle repair stops along Skyline Drive that are funding by a grant from the Shenandoah National Park Trust.

Photo NPS / M. O’Neill

If you’d rather enjoy Skyline Drive from 4-wheels, there are 76 overlooks to enjoy, all with different perspectives and vegetation.  You can stop and take photos or set up an easel to make a painting or drawing of your surroundings. And, you can enjoy the work of professional artists through the Artist in Residence Program and be inspired by the views of the Blue Ridge.

If you want to explore further, there are many popular recreational opportunities awaiting you, including fishing, backpacking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and birdwatching, all of which will lead you into the heart of Shenandoah!

Photo: NPS

All streams in Shenandoah are open to catch and release fishing. Shenandoah National Park is home to over 90 mountain streams, with over half of those containing native brook trout. If you would like to join a guided fishing trip in Shenandoah, please visit this list of businesses that have permits to operate within Park boundaries.

Photo NPS / M. O’Neill

If you are interested in long distance hiking or backpacking, the backcountry of Shenandoah is the place for you! The Appalachian Trail spans the entire length of the Park, crossing through backcountry and Skyline Drive. The Shenandoah National Park Trust is proud to fund trail maintenance projects that help keep these trails accessible for everyone.

Photo NPS / B. Kuhns

While there are myriad rock faces and outcrops in the Park, many are closed to protect vegetation. We suggest a hike at Old Rag for a rock scramble experience like no other! Make sure to book your ticket to hike Old Rag, a new reservation system implemented this year to help preserve the mountain for generations to come.  Check out the list of authorized businesses that have permits to operate rock climbing operations within the Park.

Photo NPS

The Stables at Skyland offers guided trail rides, and there are also over 180 miles of trails that are open for horses for those who’d like to bring their own horse. Here are a list of recommended trail rides to explore Shenandoah on horseback!

Photo NPS / N. Lewis

If binoculars and birds are what bring you to the Park, you’re in luck. The park is home to over 190 resident and transient bird species, including roughly 30 rare bird species that call Shenandoah home as year-round residents. Check out these recomended hikes for birdwatching!

If you prefer warm weather adventures, come join us in Charlottesville for the Banff Mountain Film Festival and enjoy tales of adventure and excitement until the weather gets warmer!  Banff tickets are available through the Paramount Theater box office. The Shenandoah National Park Trust is proud to present the Banff Center Mountain Film Festival for the 7th year in a row, to benefit the Shenandoah National Park. Last year, the Trust provided over $450,000 in grants for youth education, historic and cultural preservation, and trail maintenance. The Trust also donated over 1,000 acres to expand the Park. If you’re interested in the work we do in the Park, check out our 2021 Impact Report for projects and funding that the Trust provided last year.

Cover photo: NPS / N. Lewis

Share this post:

Discover more in the Blue Ridge:

Join our newsletter!

Subscribe to receive the latest from Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine sent directly to your inbox.