My Trip to Shenandoah National Park

August 18, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Hey Everyone! Hope your doing great this week. I just got back from a weekend trip to Shenandoah National Park.  This trip I took with my wife and Forrest the Wonder dog. This trip was for me an excuse to get away with my wife for the weekend and spend some time away from our phones and just relax.  We took our little Teardrop Camper that we got a five or so years ago. It's a great little camper. We have camped on and off through the years and have always used tents but the camper was meant to get two old folks off of the ground.  I still like my hammock for camping in the backcountry but this little camper is great for a weekend away. Almost glamping in a way. Compared to all of the campers in their tents this weekend it was a definite upgrade to what they were doing. Car camping is great because you can get away to a location like a National or State park you can sleep under the starts but you still have the amenities of a bathroom.

Shenandoah is a National Park that is not too far away. We could have got there in four in a half hours if we drove by interstate but we decided to take the backroads there and it took us an hour longer but well worth it to see small little towns and the countryside instead of traffic on Interstate 95. Shenandoah is located in the mountains of Virginia along Skyline drive. The northern part of the park is only 75 miles from Washington DC.  
Skyline drive is an extension of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Really the same road they just change the name to Skyline Drive when you enter Shenandoah.  It is a long Park that goes right up the ridge line of the mountains. It has over 500 hiking trails and the Appalachian Trail that runs from Georgia to Main runs right through it. So we left home and took the drive that was about five and a half hours and arrived at the park entrance. There is a fee to get into the park but if you have an annual pass to the parks that will get you in and save you 30 bucks. The pass is good for 7 days if you don't have the pass. There are several Campgrounds in the park and we stayed at one that was on the southern end of the park called Loft Mountain Campground. 

The Loft Mountain Campground is a National Park Campground. We have never camped with our trailer (I must really get a name for the trailer) at a National Park Campground before. The fee was a little expensive for what you get at 30 dollars per night. But the campground was very clean especially the bathrooms. It was set up really nice and you didn't feel crowded there were plenty of trees and growth to make you feel like you were camping in the wilderness. Shenandoah is known for its bear population and there are strict rules for keeping food locked away. We did not see any bear but did have a family of deer that regularly roamed the campground eating leaves from the foliage around the campsites. They would get within 10 feet of you before they scurried off.  The campground also had a camp store that sold camping supplies and also had coin operated showers available.

We arrived in the afternoon on Friday and set up camp and hung out at the campground. We played cards and took Forrest for a walk around the campground. The next morning we got up and made breakfast then headed out to Skyline Drive.  Skyline Drive runs north and south through the park for over 100 miles. At 35mph speed limit it can take you a while to navigate the whole park on the drive. There are two visitor centers one is about midway and the other is at the northern part of the park. There are little stores and restaurants called Waysides that you can stop and shop and eat at. And there is one gas station in the middle of the park. We drove along Skyline drive stopping at overlooks along the way to take photographs. Skyline drive was built in the early 30's by the Civilian Conservation Corp. And the park was established in 1936 I believe.  It is a slow and winding drive through the park with many overlooks. Be on the lookout for bicycles while driving . There are many cyclist making their way up and down the hills.  We even saw a bicycle built for 4 with a family of 5 pulling a trailer for the smallest of the family. It was quite a site to see this young family cycling up the hills. Later in the day when we were at camp this family came into the campground and stayed just adjacent from us. We grilled some chicken for dinner that night and after eating it started to get stormy as a front was coming trough. We spent the night in our camper watching a movie. Yes it has a TV in it and a Blue-ray DVD player. The rain cooled off the air and made for a pleasant sleep. We woke and had breakfast the next morning and packed up camp and headed home. 

Shenandoah National Park is a pretty park and must be amazing in the fall when the leaves change. There are waterfalls and all kinds of beautiful scenery to see. Make it a point to visit this Park you won't be disappointed .  Until Next week Get outside and shoot.


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