No visit to this area in Virginia feels complete to us without a visit to Shenandoah National Park and an excursion down the Skyline Drive. Wow! What a beautiful place! We first visited here in the early 90's and we loved it the first time.
The Shenandoah National Park is a long, narrow park that runs along the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. The Skyline Drive zigzags north and south 105 miles through the middle of the park and is the only public road in the park.
There are only four access points along the 105 miles of Skyline Drive including the entrances at each end. Thankfully, the Swift Run Gap entrance on Hwy 33 is only 6 miles from where I am sitting in the BoggsMobile at Bible Holiness Church in Elkton, Virginia.
With an access point so close, it is easy for us to drive up there even when we only have a few minutes to enjoy it. There is one drawback. Shenandoah National Park does have an entry fee, like many of the National Parks and the fees are raising again soon.
The fee for one car with up to four adults is $25 and is good for seven days. I think that is going up to $30.
If you are disabled, you can get a lifetime Access Pass that allows entrance into the National Parks for free. There is no charge for that pass.
If you are 62 or older you can purchase a lifetime Senior Pass for a one time fee of $80. That price jumped from $10 in August of 2017.
The weather was cool, windy, rainy and foggy this past week when we meandered along the Skyline Drive. It was not a great time for long spectacular views of the valley or sensational pictures, but we loved every minute of the day.
It was relaxing to drive along, stopping at the overlooks and walking along some of the trails. We love rain and fog anyway and these mountains bring out the best of that type of weather.
Tell me, what is not to love about this?
Well, not much to see at this overlook below, but it sure was fun getting there!
We saw two Black Bear along the drive. One of them was very thoughtful to pose for my picture as he hopped up on the wall next to the road, although he did look away at the last moment.
There were two bear when I raised my phone for the picture above. The first bear over the wall stuck his face up over the wall and looked right at us. Only his face and ears were above the wall about six feet to the left the bear you see. It was so cute.
Unfortunately I was a little slow on the draw with my phone.
We saw small groups of deer along the road and crossing the road for several miles one stretch. We only captured pictures of a few of them. With the heavy fog it was unsafe to stop next to the road very much.
There was a tree across one trail and the vine system growing throughout the tree was amazing.
101 miles of the Appalachian Trail are also in the Shenandoah National Park. You KNOW that Kelly Jo and I are big hikers and we had to hike some of the Appalachian Trail, right?
The Appalachian Trail is another wonder in itself. We may have to walk the whole 2190 miles some year.