After our time in Williamsburg (recaps here, here, here and here) we made the easy drive to Shenandoah National Park. This is the 13th National Park we’ve visited!
Virginia is so beautiful !
After reading about the entrances and how busy the north entrances can get – we realized the Swift Run Gap entrance would be the closest and the best for us and it worked out really well.
Shenandoah runs North and South following Skyline Drive which is 105 miles long. Swift Run Gap Entrance is around mile 65.
We were so excited that even though we missed the peak of color – it was still looking so pretty!
There’s at least 5 campground areas in Shenandoah. I’m so glad the Lord worked out for us to stay at Big Meadows which was the closest campground to Swift Run entrance. I didn’t realize how big the park was and depending on the entrance – it could have taken hours to get to a campground! Skyline is a slow (and beautiful!) drive.
Here we are arriving at the top where there really is a Big Meadow:
This campground didn’t have hook ups but it was great !!! We loved it right away:
After settling, getting some firewood, and picking up some trail maps at the camp store area – we went right away to our first hike ! We chose Stony Man Trail which was a short and easy 1.6 mile loop to this very pretty summit:
Then we were on to Hawksbill – the highest peak in the park. It was labeled as a “fairly steep” 1.7 circuit and it really was fairly steep! I LOVE hiking – the quiet, being surrounded by nature, the fresh air, the strenuous exercise with the burning lungs and legs. It feels so great even when I’m sweating up a storm and it’s so hard!
This was the highest peak in the park at 4051 feet – very pretty but we all thought Stony Man was a better view !
After dinner the girls and I caught the sunset while standing on the Appalachian Trail which runs right next to the campground:
What a FULL and beautiful day at Shenandoah! We really really love this park!
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