Winding through the midst of Virginia’s most famous valley is the breathtaking Skyline Drive in Shenandoah Valley. This road transports visitors through a leisurely path along the ridge of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains with dozens of scenic outlooks along the way. Covered with untouched wildflowers year-round, the region’s pristine wilderness promises glimpses of deer, black bears, and wild turkeys. And, Skyline Drive is the perfect way to experience Shenandoah National Park.
Unparalleled Views of the Shenandoah Valley
An epic route, Skyline Drive is the Shenandoah National Park’s only public road, extending 105 miles.
Roadside makers guide travelers to the many wonderful places to stop along the way. Aside from the 75 different scenic overlooks, there are many other places to stop and take in the view. While exploring this route, you can also stop to hike the various Shenandoah National Park hiking trails, have a picnic, or marvel at the power of a waterfall. You can pick up a map of Shenandoah Skyline Drive at any of the visitor centers throughout the park. With a speed limit of 35 mph, the road allows travelers time to pass through while enjoying the stunning scenery.
If you’re a birdwatching hobbyist, there are few places as ideal as the Shenandoah Skyline Drive. The Big Meadows Amphitheater, in the picnic grounds near milepost 51, is home to the Birds of Prey program, which hosts educational shows throughout the summer season. Knowledgeable rangers help guests meet these majestic birds up close and show you some of their natural wonders. If you are looking to see these creatures in their natural habitats, ask a park ranger to suggest trails or mountaintops where peregrine falcons nest, and you may catch some of their astounding acrobatics along the way. You can also learn more about the park biologists’ efforts to help relocate coastal peregrine falcons chicks to mountaintops in the park.
The Historic Rapidan Camp
One of the national park’s historic gems is the country retreat of President and First Lady Hoover, known as Rapidan Camp. This cottage, built in 1929, has been beautifully restored so visitors can enjoy not only its historic significance as a representation of mountain life in that era but also of the president himself. Tours are led by rangers throughout the summer months, leaving from the Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center in the park. While driving along Skyline Drive, make a pit stop at the visitors center for a peek inside this unique, historic US landmark.
Find out about other intriguing places to visit and scenic drives when you request access to our complimentary Shenandoah Valley Vacation Guide.