Media Advisory: Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park are open. Visitor Centers opened this morning at 9:00 a.m. The lodges and restaurants are gearing up to be fully operational by this evening. Trails and campgrounds are open!
Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year in Virginia, so now is the perfect time to make plans to get away to Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. There are many ways to discover the beauty — you can take an autumn road trip atop Skyline Drive, listen to the leaves crunch underfoot as you hike in the woods, or savor local foods and wines. This weekend’s weather forecast calls for mostly clear skies and temperatures in the high sixties.
Tis The Season…for Leaf Peepers!
Foliage is hitting its peak so get ready to see a kaleidoscope of color. Traditionally, the most vivid colors arrive during the second and third weeks of October. Look for a color show that features neon-red maples; sumacs, with their tropical-looking leaves brightening to spring green right before they turn color; Virginia creeper, which turns the most luscious scarlet; even poison ivy turns a pretty color. Golden-yellow birches and hickories stand out against the still-green evergreens and apples. Hawthorns, hollies, and dogwoods are displaying their bright red berries. Leaves have already changed on the highest peaks and but this process is still rippling down to the lower elevations.
Craving Solitude at Shenandoah?
Make plans to visit mid-week, when the visitor traffic dips. Also keep in mind that crowds are noticeably thinner on the southern end of Shenandoah National Park. Consider a Skyline Drive from milepost 65 to the southern terminus near Waynesboro/Staunton – it will reward you with yellows, oranges and reds, all situated against backdrops of rock and stone. Special bonus: in this rocky area of the park, look for hawks and falcons soaring overhead on the still-warm rising air from the Valley floor.
So Close To The Shenandoah Valley
Tucked to the west of Shenandoah National Park is the valley of the same name. This picture-perfect destination offers with spectacular views of mountain ranges to both the east and the west. History buffs will want to wander through the Civil War Battlefields or watch history come alive through costumed interpreters at the Frontier Culture Musem. Intrepid exployers can voyage underground at Luray Caverns, Shenandoah Caverns, and Endless Caverns. Visit any of the area’s charming downtowns for shopping and dining. Linger a while – stay in a mountain lodge, a rustic cabin, or an inn. Learn more about what to see and where to stay at VisitShenandoah.org. Before you head back home, stop by one the region’s many farmer’s markets, orchards, pumpkin patches, or vineyards to bring some Shenandoah’s bounty back home.
To reach Shenandoah National Park directly, call 540-999-3500. The phone number for the lodging concessionaire (DNC Parks & Resorts) is 877- 847-1919.