by Patressa Kearns
Skyline Drive has nearly 70 scenic overlooks, all of them charming. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but here are five contenders:
- Thornton Hollow Overlook, mile 27.6 – A view to the east and the Virginia Piedmont, but mostly a stunning view of Shenandoah National Park land and lots of color-changing trees. An intriguing wayside at this overlook discusses how you can never experience the exact same view twice—which is true!
- Stony Man Overlook, mile 38.6 – A classic choice, as it’s the longest overlook on Skyline Drive and also the most popular. There’s plenty of room for lots of people and lots of cars. Looks out into the beautiful and famous Shenandoah Valley. To your left you’ll see the old man in the mountain, Stony Man himself.
- Franklin Cliffs, mile 49 – The hills here are up close, the slopes dramatic. Fall colors on south-facing aspects are significantly different from those on the north-facing ones.
- South River Overlook, mile 62.4 – There’s a beautiful maple tree on the overlook’s north end that’s like the JumboTron for the color you see in the distance from the overlook itself. Views are to the east, onto the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont.
- Eaton Hollow Overlook, mile 70.3 – Nice view of the wilderness of the Park itself—Two Mile Ridge, Two Mile Run, Rocky Mount, Beldor Hollow—and the colors afforded by the Park’s own forests—oaks, hickories, some evergreens.