Day 1 - 1 May 2019
Content: After about 6 hours of driving from New Jersey to Virginia, we arrived at Thornton Gap Entrance Station. We paid the $30 entrance fee, which gives you Shenandoah National Park access for 7 days.
Day 1 - 1 May 2019
Content: Once we entered the park, we headed south at the fork which took us to Mary’s Rock Summit parking area and a sign that read PANORAMA in giant letters. This sold us and we decided to explore a potential hike with a view. We are so glad we did because it was one of our favorite areas of the entire park and we kind of stumbled upon it by accident.
Content: We hiked the North Rock trail, which was a 3.6-mile round trip hike that took about 2.5 hours. It was an easy-to-moderate hike with mostly dirt paths with some rocks.
Content: Love the North Carolina pulled pork & hush puppies. Plenty of food for a good price. Quaint and friendly little place if you dine in, great for a date or family meal.
Content: The perfect farmhouse bed and breakfast in an idyllic setting. Fantastic location to hiking in Shenandoah, wineries, and breweries. Fantastic hospitality, delicious breakfast, with a great respect of privacy as well. We can’t remember the last time we slept this well! Highly recommend!
Day 2 - 2 May 2019
Content: Hawksbill Summit, which happens to be the highest peak in Shenandoah National Park at 4,051 ft. The hike was 2.8 miles and would take us almost 3 hours with lots of photo stops along the way and at the top. Besides it being a hot day, the hike was moderate-to-strenuous in nature with some tough ascents.
Content: Once we finished the hike, we were on a mission to get some lunch. We had very limited options so we drove to Skyland, a service area near Mile Marker 40 and very close to the highest point on Skyline Drive. A great place to recharge, have some food (although it is expensive), refill your water bottle and take in some great views of the mountains. We ordered a falafel and a portobello wrap with fries that all cost $26.
Content: After we ate, we wanted to find another moderate hike and decided to keep driving North to Stony Man, one of the park’s most famous and popular hikes.
Content: Little Stony Man was not too far away and was just as good of a hike with awesome views, despite being about 800 ft shorter. The hike was very nice, it took us about 1 hour round trip and it was a little less than 1 mile in length. The views at the top were awesome and lots of fun to photograph.
Content: Excellent pizza! The customer service was exactly what we would want too. The cooks were personable and attentive. We did take out so that affords a person a view into the kitchen cooking and prep area, very clean. They were cleaning while I was picking up my order :) I will absolutely go back again. Delicious pizza and garlicky cheese bread sticks, total yum.
Day 3 - 3 May 2019
Content: We got back into the park by 10am today and were excited to go find some waterfalls. Also, since it was our last full day at the park we wanted to explore the southern part of Shenandoah so we drove down to Swift Run Gap Entrance Station and continued south. We chose Doyles River Falls and Jones Run as our first hike but we modified the hike and made it a little shorter. The full loop is 7.8 miles and takes anywhere between 6-8 hours to complete. We wanted to do something shorter but still get to see the three beautiful waterfalls along the hike.
Content: We drove to the Browns Gap Parking lot and started our hike by going down the Fire Road across the road from the parking area. This essentially cut through a good part of the Appalachian Trail loop and shortened our hike by about 2 miles.
Content: Once we got back to the parking area, we decided to drive to the Loft Mountain Wayside, a dining area within the park for lunch. From there we found one small hike that we would do before we headed back to Linville.
Content: We chose the Powell Gap hike which was 0.5 mile round trip and took all of 45 minutes. It is very easy to miss the actual “lookout” area as there are no signs on the trail. The trail keeps going for miles and eventually becomes the Appalachian Trail.
Content: We enjoyed the hamburgers here. There was no kids menu and little selection of anything but burgers. The fried Oreo were interesting and it was a good experience.
Day 4 - 4 May 2019
Content: We think 3 days felt like a great amount of time to spend in Shenandoah. The blue ridge mountains are unlike anything we’ve seen on the east coast and we can’t wait to go back!