The Skyline Drive, part of Shenandoah National Park, runs 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains starting in the north of the Shenandoah Valley at Front Royal to Waynesboro, where it meets the Blue Ridge Parkway. The drive provides access to numerous trails, including the Appalachian Trail, and is also used for biking and horseback riding.
Almost 1.4 million people a year visit Shenandoah National Park for its scenery and wildlife.
Your 1st Day: Waterfalls & Valley Views Along Skyline Drive
Driving south along the Skyline Drive from the north entrance, make Dickey Ridge your first stop. The staffed visitor center offers a film and exhibits that will familiarize you with the many recreational and educational opportunities available. There is a picnic area nearby.
White Oak Canyon
Get out of the car and hike to this magnificent spot. With six waterfalls ranging from 35 to 86 feet in height, each fall ends in a swimming hole. Trails to the upper falls are strenuous. For those seeking a shorter hike, the two mile trail to the lower falls is ideal.
The only accessible trail in the park. Originally designed to allow visitors to view the hemlocks; today the trail serves as an example of the devastation of the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid. Visit the Limberlost Trail to see the impressive mountain laurels and the regeneration of a forest.
Skyland Resort was first called Stony Man Camp, and was begun in 1886 by George Freeman Pollock, Jr. Influential in establishing Shenandoah as a national park, Pollock chose the perfect spot for his summer retreat. At 3,680 feet, which is now the highest point on the Skyline Drive, enjoy breathtaking views of the Shenandoah Valley.
Your 2nd Day: Rich Wildlife, Grand Caverns & the City of Waynesboro
Since discovery in 1878 by a tinsmith and a local photographer, Luray Caverns has become the most popular cave in Eastern America. Guided tours lead visitors through cathedral-sized rooms with ceilings 10 stories high. Enormous chambers are filled with towering columns, shimmering draperies and crystal-clear pools.
The visitor center at Big Meadows features interactive exhibits relating to the park’s history. After the visitor center meander through the meadow and observe a variety of birds and other wildlife.
Waynesboro’s pedestrian-friendly environment is home to businesses like specialty and service providers, museums, arts and cultural centers, unique restaurants and lodging opportunities. The South River runs through downtown, one of only two urban fisheries in Virginia. While in Waynesboro be sure to see:
- Shenandoah Valley Art Center
- The Waynesboro Heritage Museum
- The Plumb House Museum
- The Wayne Theatre