Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

North American National Park #46 - Shenandoah, Virginia
North American National Park #46 – Shenandoah, Virginia

The story behind Shenandoah National Park is an interesting one. In 1930’s, all of the great national parks in the US were out west, yet most of the population in the US was in the east. The park was created by taking the land of over 1,000 people by eminent domain, as almost all the land east of the Mississippi River was held privately. The fact that the park was only 70 miles from Washington DC didn’t hurt either.

The park runs along the mountain range. The defining characteristic of the park is the Skyline Drive. It is a road which runs the entire length of the park from north to south along the top of the mountain. You can explore almost everything in the park from along the road, and as the park is extremely long an narrow in shape, there isn’t a whole lot on either side of the road which would require a very long hike.

The park includes several lodges including the Skyland Resort, around which the park was originally built.

Located less than 2 hours from Washington, Baltimore, and Richmond, it is one of the more accessible national parks in the United States.