CELEBRATING 100 YEARS, OUR NATIONAL PARKS CONTINUE TO WELCOME MILLIONS INTO NATURE’S PRISTINE BEAUTY LIKE THE SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK AT OUR BACK DOOR.
N AT U R A L
Since its formation in 1935, the 200,000-acre Shenandoah National Park (SNP) has become one of America’s most deeply beloved natural treasures, and for good reason. There’s Skyline Drive, winding its way through 105 miles of 4,000-foot Blue Ridge peaks, opening on eastward views of the Piedmont and westward visions of the Shenandoah Valley. There are over 500 miles of hiking trails, including 101 miles of the iconic Appalachian Trail, and 80,000 acres of designated, backcountry wilderness. Streams, creeks and rivers slice through the park, creating more than 15 showcase waterfalls. The historic Big Meadow and Skyland lodges offer restaurants and luxury amenities unparalleled for the setting. Meanwhile, Loft Mountain’s primitive campground provides some of the best stargazing, sunrises and sunsets on the East Coast. The list goes on; and with such an abundance in attractions, it’s no wonder the park logs around 1.3 million visitors a year. And this year, with the U.S. National Park Service celebrating
WORDS BY ERIC J. WALLACE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY TONY HALL (ABOVE) AND CAMERON DAVIDSON (PAGE 60), PHOTOS COURTESY OF VIRGINIA TOURISM CORPORATION 58