With 105 miles of scenic roadway, more than 500 miles of marked trails, an alpine meadow, cascading waterfalls, and sweeping views of the Shenandoah Valley and Virginia Piedmont, Shenandoah National Park is a pinnacle of outdoor recreation in Virginia. The Park offers an escape into fresh mountain air and opportunities to learn about everything from history to wildflowers to bears and beyond!
There are many ways to experience Shenandoah – no matter your ability level or traveling companions (including kids and canines!), you can find the perfect trail for your hiking adventure. Whether you’re looking for waterfalls, historic sites, high peaks, or a peaceful walk in the woods, Rangers and volunteers at the Entrance Stations and Visitor Centers can help you plan your hike.
If you’re a cyclist, you can challenge yourself on the ever-changing elevations on Skyline Drive or enjoy a leisurely ride down a section of the Rapidan Fire Road at Big Meadows. Bike repair stations, provided through funding from the Shenandoah National Park Trust, are available for use at Elkwallow, Skyland, and Loft Mountain.
For those who don’t want to pedal through the Park, horseback riding is available at the Skyland Stables, or you can bring your own horse and ride on designated trails.
After your ride, you can catch a ranger-led program at the amphitheater or Byrd Visitor Center!
Night owls can enjoy an evening or night sky program – the Park hosts a Night Sky Festival at Big Meadows in late August, complete with telescopes and talks from astronomy experts!
In addition to incredible opportunities for all sorts of adventures, Shenandoah National Park offers spectacular locations and subjects for practicing photography and other arts. This year, Shenandoah will be a temporary home for five Artists-in-Residence who will teach visitors about their crafts and help their audiences think deeply about their connection to the Park.
While cruising along Skyline Drive or trekking through the wilderness, you might spot whitetail deer, rare bird, or even a black bear! You’ll want to attend a Bear Aware program at one of the visitor centers so you can be safe and smart during your time in the Park.
After enjoying a full day in Shenandoah, refuel (on both gas and food!) and shop at the Elkwallow, Big Meadows, or Loft Mountain waysides. If you want to stay a bit longer, you can cozy up at the Big Meadows or Skyland Lodge for a good meal and a drink.
When you realize that one day simply isn’t enough to experience everything Shenandoah National Park has to offer, plan your next visit and make sure you spend the night at one of the Park’s campgrounds, in the backcountry, or at one of the historic Lodges or Cabins in the Central District!
You can plan your trip around upcoming events, hosted by the Shenandoah National Park Trust, the Park, or other Park partners, or around times when wildflowers are blooming or the trees are showing off their fall foliage.
If you can’t make it into the Park but want some adventure, Shenandoah offers Virtual Visits for everyone, and the Shenendoah National Park Trust is hosting the Banff Mountain Film Festival on March 5th & 6th at Charlottesville’s historic Paramount Theater.
The Trust is proud to present the Film Festival for the 8th year in a row to benefit Shenandoah National Park. Through donations last year, the Trust was able to provide over $500,000 in grants for youth education, historic and cultural preservation, and trail maintenance, as well as over one hundred of acres of land that expanded the Park’s boundaries.
If you want to learn more about the Trust’s work in Shenandoah or join their community of Park supporters, check out their 2022 Impact Report, visit their website, or reach out to one of their team members!
No matter how you choose to experience Shenandoah, you’ll make memories that will last a lifetime!