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Shenandoah National Park
IUCN Category II (National Park)
Location Virginia, USA
Nearest city Front Royal
Coordinates 38°32′0″N 78°21′0″W / 38.533333°N 78.35°W / 38.533333; -78.35Coordinates: 38°32′0″N 78°21′0″W / 38.533333°N 78.35°W / 38.533333; -78.35
Area 199,017 acres (805.39 km2)
Established December 26, 1935
Visitors 1,076,150 (in 2006)
Governing body National Park Service

Shenandoah National Park encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the U.S. state of Virginia. This national park is long and narrow, with the broad Shenandoah River and valley on the west side, and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the east. Although likely the most prominent feature of the Park is the scenic Skyline Drive, almost 40% of the land area 79,579 acres (322.04 km2) has been designated as wilderness and is protected as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The highest peak is Hawksbill Mountain at 4,051 feet (1,235 m).



The park passes through parts of eight counties. On the west side of Skyline Drive they are, from northeast to southwest, Warren, Page, Rockingham, and Augusta counties. On the east side of Skyline Drive they are Rappahannock, Madison, Greene, and Albemarle counties. The park stretches for 105 miles (169 km) along Skyline Drive from near the town of Front Royal in the northeast to near the city of Waynesboro in the southwest.


Few remnants of the families that once inhabited the area that became the park have survived; this cemetery is located near Hawksbill Mountain, and is easily visible from Skyline Drive

Creation of the park

Shenandoah was authorized in 1926 and fully established on December 26, 1935. Prior to being a park, much of the area was farmland and there are still remnants of old farms in several places. The state of Virginia slowly acquired the land through eminent domain and then gave it to the U.S. Federal Government provided it would be designated a National Park.[1]

In the creation of the park and Skyline Drive, a number of families and entire communities were required to vacate portions of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Many residents in the 500 homes in eight affected counties of Virginia were vehemently opposed to losing their homes and communities. Most of the families removed came from Madison County, Page County, and Rappahannock County.

Detailed map of Shenandoah National Park

Nearly 90% of the inhabitants worked the land for a living. Many worked in the apple orchards in the valley and in areas near the eastern slopes. The work to create the National Park and Skyline Drive began following a terrible drought in 1930 which destroyed the crops of many families in the area who farmed in the mountainous terrain, as well as many of the apple orchards where they worked picking crops. Nevertheless, it remains a fact that they were displaced, often against their will, and even for a very few who managed to stay, their communities were lost. A little-known fact is that, while some families were removed by force, a few others (who mostly had also become difficult to deal with) were allowed to stay after their properties were acquired, living in the park until nature took its course and they gradually died. The last to die was Annie Lee Bradley Shenk who died in 1979 at age 92. Most of the people displaced left their homes quietly. According to the Virginia Historical Society, eighty-five-year-old Hezekiah Lam explained, "I ain't so crazy about leavin' these hills but I never believed in bein' ag'in (against) the Government. I signed everythin' they asked me."[1] The lost communities and homes were a price paid for one of the country's most beautiful National Parks and scenic roadways.

Segregation and desegregation

In the early 1930s, the National Park Service began planning the park facilities and envisioned separate provisions for "colored guests," as African Americans were described in contemporaneous government documents. At that time, in Jim Crow Virginia, racial segregation was the order of the day. In its transfer of the parkland to the federal government, Virginia initially attempted to ban African Americans entirely from the park, but settled for enforcing its segregation laws in the park's facilities.[2]

Mount Marshall and Hogsback Mountain covered in clouds in winter.

By the Thirties, there were several concessions operated by private firms within the park, some going back to the late 19th Century. These early private facilities at Skyland Resort, Panorama Resort, and Swift Run Gap were operated only for whites. By 1937, the Park Service accepted a bid from Virginia Sky-Line Company to take over the existing facilities and add new lodges, cabins, and other amenities, including Big Meadows Lodge. Under their plan, all the sites in the parks, save one, were for "Whites Only." Their plan included a separate facility for African Americans at Lewis Mountain -- a picnic ground, a smaller lodge, cabins and a campground. The site opened in 1939, and it was substantially inferior to the other park facilities. By then, however, the Interior Department was increasingly anxious to eliminate segregation from all parks. Pinnacles picnic ground was selected to be the initial integrated site in the Shenandoah, but Sky-Line continued to balk, and distributed maps showing Lewis Mountain as the only site for African Americans. During World War II, concessions closed and park usage plunged. But once the War ended, in December 1945, the NPS mandated that all concessions in all national parks were to be desegregated. In October 1947 the dining rooms of Lewis Mountain and Panorama were integrated and by early 1950, the mandate was fully accomplished.[2]


Skyline Drive

Shenandoah National Park at one of its many scenic overlooks.

The park is best known for Skyline Drive, a 105 mile (169 km) road that runs the entire length of the park along the ridge of the mountains. The drive is particularly popular in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. 101 miles (162 km) of the Appalachian Trail are also in the park. In total, there are over 500 miles (800 km) of trails within the park. Of the trails, one of the most popular is Old Rag Mountain, which offers a thrilling rock scramble and some of the most breathtaking views in Virginia. There is also horseback riding, camping, bicycling, and many waterfalls. The Skyline Drive is designated as a National Scenic Byway.

Backcountry camping

A backcountry camping ground.

Shenandoah National Park offers 196,000 acres (790 km2) of backcountry and wilderness camping. While in the backcountry, campers must use a "Leave No Trace" policy that includes burying excrement and not building campfires. Back country campers must also be careful of wildlife. For example, campers must suspend their food or other scented items in a tree with a pulley in order to keep it away from bears.


Campgrounds and cabins

Most of the campgrounds are open from April to October-November. There are five major campgrounds:[3]

  • Mathews Arm Campground
  • Big Meadows Campground
  • Lewis Mountain Campground
  • Loft Mountain Campground
  • Dundo Group Campground


There are three lodges/cabins:[4]

Lodges are located at Skyland and Big Meadows. The Park's Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center is also located at Big Meadows. Another visitor center is located at Dickey Ridge. Campgrounds are located at Mathews Arm, Big Meadows, Lewis Mountain, and Loft Mountain.

Rapidan Camp, the restored presidential fishing retreat Herbert Hoover built on the Rapidan River in 1929, is accessed by a 4.1-mile (6.6 km) round-trip hike on Mill Prong Trail, which begins on the Skyline Drive at Milam Gap (Mile 52.8). The NPS also offers guided van trips that leave from the Byrd Center at Big Meadows.

Shenandoah National Park is one of the most dog-friendly in the national park system. The campgrounds all allow dogs, and dogs are allowed on almost all of the trails including the Appalachian Trail, if kept on leash (6 feet or shorter).[5]

Streams and rivers in the park are very popular with fly fisherman for native brook trout[6].


Whiteoak Canyon
Rose River Falls
South River Falls
Dark Hollow Falls

Many waterfalls are located within the park boundaries. Below is a list of significant falls.[7]

Falls Height Location Description
Overall Run 93 ft (28 m) Mile 21.1, parking lot just south of Hogback Overlook The tallest waterfall in the park. 6.5 mile (10 km) round trip hike
Whiteoak Canyon 86 ft (28 m) Mile 42.6, Whiteoak Canyon parking area Whiteoak Canyon has a series of six waterfalls, the first (and tallest) is 86 feet (28 m). Not all the falls are easily accessible from the trail.
Cedar Run 34 ft (10 m) Mile 45.6, Hawksbill Gap parking area Difficult 3.4 mile (5 km) round trip hike
Rose River 67 ft (20 m) Mile 49.4, parking at Fishers Gap Overlook A 2.6 mile (4 km) round trip hike. Can also be done as a longer loop hike.
Dark Hollow Falls 70 ft (21 m) Mile 50.7, Dark Hollow Falls parking area 1.4 mile (2 km) round trip hike. The closest waterfall to Skyline Drive and the most popular. No pets allowed on this trail.
Lewis Falls 81 ft (25 m) Mile 51.4, parking lot just south of Big Meadows, next to a service road 2 mile (3 km) round trip hike.
South River Falls 83 ft (25 m) Mile 62.8, park at South River picnic area 3.3 mile (5 km) loop hike to an overlook above the falls. There is also a rocky, 1 mile (2 km) round trip spur trail that goes to the base of the falls.
Doyles River Falls 28 and 63 ft (9 and 19 m) Mile 81.1, Doyles River parking area A 3 mile (5 km) round trip hike to see both the upper and lower falls. Be sure to go a little past the lower falls viewing spot for a better view. Can also be turned into a 7.8 mile (13 km) loop trail that also goes by Jones Run Falls
Jones Run Falls 42 ft (13 m) Mile 84.1, Jones Run parking area A 3.6 mile (6 km) round trip hike. Can also be turned into a longer loop hike that goes by Doyles River upper and lower falls

Hiking trails

Dark Hollow Falls Trail

Dark Hollow Falls is another scenic trail of the Skyline drive which ends up in waterfalls. It is located near the Byrd Visitor Center. The trail is at the edge of a stream which enhances the enjoyment. During the hike, birds, butterflies, deer and occasionally black bear and timber rattlesnake can be seen, but these have not been known to harm any visitors.[8]

Visitors who hike down to see the waterfall call it a worthwhile experience. The trail is a steep hike down about ¾ mile, with no restrooms or emergency shelter. Those who make this hike should be prepared, preferably carrying a bottle of water, and avoiding the hike altogether if there is any prediction of rain. The return trip up to the parking lot is very steep, and may be exhausting for some, especially older persons and those not accustomed to physical activity.

Stony Man Trail

This is one of the most scenic trails in the skyline drive. It ends up at a cliff and offers a beautiful overlook. It is ideal to watch sunset. Pets and horses are not allowed in this trail.[9]


Deer at Tanner Ridge Overlook.
Deer at Piney Ridge.

The climate of the park, and in turn also its flora and fauna, is largely typical for mountainous regions of the eastern mid-Atlantic woodland, and indeed a large portion of common species are typical of ecosystems at lower altitudes as well. On southwestern faces of some of the southernmost hillsides pine predominates and there is also the occasional prickly pear cactus which grows naturally. In contrast, some of the northeastern aspects are most likely to have small but dense stands of moisture loving hemlocks and mosses in abundance. Other commonly found plants include oak, hickory, chestnut, maple, tulip poplar, mountain laurel, milkweed, daisies, and many species of ferns. The once predominant American Chestnut tree was effectively brought to extinction by a fungus known as the Chestnut blight during the 1930s – though the tree continues to grow in the park, it does not reach maturity and dies back before it can reproduce. Various species of Oaks superseded the Chestnuts and became the dominant tree species. Gypsy moth infestations beginning in the early 1990s began to erode the dominance of the oak forests as the moths would primarily consume the leaves of oak trees. Though the Gypsy moths seem to have abated some, they continue to affect the forest and have destroyed almost 10 percent of the oak groves.[10]

Ranger programs

Park rangers organize several programs from spring to fall. These include ranger-led hikes, as well as discussions of the history, flora, and fauna.[14]

See also

A view from Skyline Drive


  1. ^ a b "Shenandoah National Park." Retrieved on September 22, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Engle, Reed (January 1996). "Shenandoah National Park - Segregation / Desegregation". National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  3. ^ Shenandoah National Park - Campgrounds (U.S. National Park Service)
  4. ^ Lodging & Dining: Shenandoah National Park, Luray, Virginia
  5. ^ "Official SNP Pet Policy." National Park Service. Retrieved on September 22, 2007.
  6. ^ Slone, Harry (1991). Virginia Trout Streams-A guide to fishing the Blue Ridge watershed. Woodstock, Vermont: Backcounty Publications. pp. 37–54. ISBN 0881502073. 
  7. ^ Nicole Blouin, Steve; Bordonaro, Marilou W (1996). Waterfalls of the Blue Ridge. Menasha Ridge Press. ISBN 0897321901. 
  8. ^ Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail » Mountain Trail » Skyline Drive » Dark Hollow Falls Trail, Shenandoah National Park
  9. ^ Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail » Mountain Trail » Skyline Drive » Stony Man Trail, Shenandoah National Park
  10. ^ "Shenandoah National Park - Forests". National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  11. ^ "Shenandoah National Park - Mammals". National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  12. ^ "Shenandoah National Park - Birds". National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  13. ^ "Shenandoah National Park - Fish". National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  14. ^ Shenandoah National Park - Ranger Programs (U.S. National Park Service)

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Shenandoah National Park [1] is a United States National Park located in the state of Virginia. The park is one of the most popular touristic destinations in the eastern part of USA visited by well over one million people a year. Although hundreds thousands drive along Skyline Drive in mid-late October to admire vibrant fall foliage, the park is no less spectacular (and a lot less crowded) in spring when the wildflowers and trees are in full bloom.



The oldest rocks in the Blue Ridge Mountains were created over a billion years ago as magma deep within the earth's crust moved upward. Over eons it cooled, fractured, and was joined by younger metamorphic rocks formed from sedimentary deposits. All were altered and eroded to shape today's granite peaks and sylvan hollows.

Around 8,000-9,000 years ago, but seconds in geologic time, the first traces of humans were recorded on the land that would become the park. Native Americans seasonally visited the area to hunt, to gather nuts and berries, and to find sources for and to make their stone tools.

Europeans first experienced the beauty of these mountains less than 300 years ago. First came hunters and trappers, and soon after 1750 the first settlers moved into the lower hollows near springs and streams. Over the next century and a half many hundreds of families built homesteads, mills and stores and planted orchards and crops. The mountains were logged and minerals were mined. Vacation resorts were established to allow guests to experience the mountain views, healthy water, and cool breezes. And American Society became urban, industrial, and yearned for special places for recreation and refuge.

In the early 20th century the first calls for National parks in the east were heard in the United States Congress. It would be two decades before Shenandoah National Park was authorized and another ten years before it was established. During that time President and Lou Henry Hoover established their Summer White House on the Rapidan River, the construction of Skyline Drive began, the Civilian Conservation Corps was established and moved into the park area, and over 450 families of mountain residents were relocated from the Blue Ridge.

With the establishment of the park in December 1935, the CCC began to build visitor facilities throughout the mountain, areas that were initially racially segregated. The core of the park's development was completed by the beginning of WWII and, to a great extent, the mountains were released to nature.

View from Stony Man mountain.
View from Stony Man mountain.

Shenandoah National Park includes 300 square miles of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the central Appalachians. The park rises above the Virginia Piedmont to its east and the Shenandoah Valley to its west. Two peaks exceed 4,000 feet. The range of elevation, slopes and aspects of mountain and hillsides, rock and soil types, precipitation conditions, and latitude interact to create a mix of habitats.

The park’s biota and natural features include: well-exposed strata of the Appalachians, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world; diverse animal and plant populations and habitats; migratory bird stop-over points; and forested watersheds that perpetuate numerous streams flowing from uplands to lowlands.

Shenandoah is the largest fully protected area in the mid-Appalachian region.

Flora and fauna

Shenandoah serves as a refuge for many species of animals otherwise pressured by human activities, development and other land uses. There are over 200 resident and transient bird species, over 50 species of mammals, 51 reptile and amphibian species, and 30 fish species found in the park.


The Atlantic Ocean, and in particular the Gulf Stream, plays an important role in Virginia’s precipitation regime. Winter storms generally track from the west to the east and in the vicinity of the east coast move to the northeast paralleling the coast and the Gulf Stream. This shift to northeast results partly from the tendency of storms to follow the boundary between the cold land and the warm Gulf Stream. When sufficiently cold air comes into Virginia from the west and northwest, frontal storms can bring heavy snowfall. Thunderstorms occur in all months of the year, with a maximum in September and minimum in February. Storms and high runoff conditions can occur year-round in Shenandoah. Most locations receive 100-150 cm of precipitation per year. The average annual precipitation at Big Meadows is 132 cm, which includes about 94 cm of snow. South to southwest winds predominate, with secondary maximum frequency from the north. Lower elevation areas of the park experience modified continental climate, with mild winters and warm, humid summers. The mean annual temperature in the lowland area at Luray averages 12 degrees C, and average annual precipitation is 91 cm, with about 43 cm of snow.

Higher elevation areas of the park experience winters that are moderately cold and summers that are relatively cool. The mean annual temperature at Big Meadows averages about 9 degrees C. Mean maximum daily temperatures in July average about 6 degrees C cooler at Big Meadows then in the lowland areas of the park. Temperatures in January range from about –7 degrees C to 4 degrees C and in July from about 14-24 degrees C. Snow and ice are common in the winter, but they usually melt quickly, leaving the ground bare. Occasional major snow or ice storms can cause considerable damage to the trees within the park.

Route 211.
Route 211.

There are several ways to get into the park:

  • Route 522 - the North (Front Royal)
  • Route 211 - crosses the park in the northern part at Thornton Gap.
  • Route 33 - crosses in the southern part
  • Blue Ridge Parkway & I-64 - the South (not far from Waynesboro)


Shenandoah National Park is one of the NPS units that charge an entry fee. The following fee types are available:

  • 1-7 days per vehicle: $10 Dec-Feb, $15 Mar-Nov
  • 1-7 days per motorcycle: $10
  • 1-7 day per person (e.g. visiting by bicycle, bus): $5 Dec-Feb, $8 Mar-Nov
  • Annual pass (may be signed by up to two people): $30
  • Interagency pass (valid for many other national parks year round): $80

Get around

The best way to enjoy the area is by taking any of the numerous hiking trails along the road. There is no public transportation in the area and the only way to get to the trails is by vehicle or by bicycle.

  • Dickey Ridge Visitor Center. Located at mile 4.6 on Skyline Drive. Facilities: restrooms, information desk, exhibits, videos, sales, publications, maps, backcountry permits, and first aid.  edit
  • Harry F. Byrd, Sr. Visitor Center. Located at mile 51 on Skyline Drive. Facilities: restrooms, information desk, videos, sales, publications, maps, backcountry permits, and first aid.  edit
  • Loft Mountain Information Center. Located at mile 79.5 on Skyline Drive.  edit


Driving the Skyline Drive

The Skyline Drive, which is designated a National Scenic Byway, runs 105 miles north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is the only public road through the park. You can enter the drive at four places: Front Royal near Rt. 66 and 340, Thornton Gap at Rt. 211, Swift Run Gap at Rt. 33, and Rockfish Gap at Rt. 64 (where the drive continues south as the Blue Ridge Parkway). The maximum speed limit on the drive is 35 mph and it takes about three hours to travel the entire length of the park. To help drivers locate points of interest in the park, the drive features concrete mileposts on the west side of the road. The mileposts begin with 0 at Front Royal and continue to 105 at the southern end of the park. All park maps and information use these mileposts as a reference. For example, Big Meadows, the largest developed area in the park is located near the center of the park, at milepost 51. The drive features seventy five overlooks with stunning views. The drive also leads through Marys Rock Tunnel (just south of Thornton Gap entrance from Route 211, near milepost 33).


With over 500 miles of hiking trails, including over 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail, the park is also a premier destination for hikers.

  • An especially popular hike is Old Rag (6 hours, 7.2 miles; elevation gain: 2,510 feet), a loop that covers forests, hollows, and rocky top. The peak, at 3,291 feet, has great views of the park and the surrounding countryside. The trail is strenuous, with a rock scramble at the end. To reach the trailhead, travel north from Madison about 13 miles on Route 231, and turn left on Nethers Road. A small parking area at the trailhead fills up early, but a much larger parking area is available less than a mile down the road.
  • Another popular and gentler hike is Stony Man (1.5 hours, 1.6 miles, pets not allowed), one of the most scenic trails in the skyline drive that ends in a cliff with a beautiful overlook. The walk passes over the summit of Stony Man Mountain, at 4,010 feet. The trailhead begins at mile 39.1 of Skyline Drive, just inside the north entrance to Skyland.
  • A hike near Stony Man is Little Stony Man (1 hour, 0.9 miles), a climb with breathtaking views. The trailhead begins at mile 41.7 of Skyline Drive. Alternatively you can reach Little Stony Man from Stony Man by using part of the Appalachian Trail, then walk down Little Stony Man, and return to the beginning of the Stony Man walk via the Passamaquody Trail.
  • The most popular waterfall trail leads to the Dark Hollow Falls (1.5 hours, 1.4 miles, pets not allowed; elevation gain: 440 feet). The trail descends steeply to the head of the falls and then to the foot. The return trip to the parking may be exhausting to some. The trailhead begins at mile 50.7 of Skyline Drive, just north of the Big Meadows. The hike can be turned into a loop that reaches the Rose River Falls for a 3-hour hike through woods and along several streams with cascades and waterfalls.


There are maps, books for sale at the visitor centers. There you can also buy bundles of T-shirts and baseball caps with the Park logo and a range of souvenirs of the area.


The park has 6 picnic grounds and an uncountable number of spots where people can eat their own food, but build fires only in designated areas with grates. There are camp stores at or near all designated camp grounds, and only a few places where food is being served:

  • Elkwallow, Mile 24.1, Skyline Drive. Limited range of sandwiches and grilled food. No seating spaces indoor but there are picnic tables outside.  edit
  • Skyland, Mile 41.7, Skyline Drive. This is part of the Skyland complex and offers dining with a view.  edit
  • Big Meadows Wayside, Mile 51.2, Skyline Drive. Offers eat-in and take-away food. Country food and cakes.  edit
  • Big Meadows Lodge, Follow signs from Skyline Drive mile 51.2. Dining room service in a rustic setting.  edit
  • Loft Mountain, Mile 79.5, Skyline Drive. Seating inside and outside.  edit


There are no bars in the area and only a few dining spots (see the Eat section).



There are three lodges in the park located at Skyland, Big Meadows and Lewis Mountain. These lodges are about the only accommodation in the park and they can be fully booked for months, especially during high season. Be careful about making reservations. There is a company called National Parks Reservation Service that charges a 10% booking fee and a cancellation fee of $15. Reservations should be made with Aramark [2] which runs the park hotels.

  • Skyland Resort, Mile 41.7, Skyline Drive, 888-896-3833, [3]. $74-$269.  edit
  • Big Meadows Lodge, Mile 51.2, Skyline Drive, 888-896-3833, [4]. $84-$159.  edit
  • Lewis Mountain Cabins, Mile 57.5, Skyline Drive, 888-896-3833, [5]. $30-$119.  edit


There are four campgrounds that offer sites on a first-come, first-serve basis and by reservation at phone number 877-444-6777:

  • Matthews Arm, Mile 22.1, Skyline Drive. 167 sites, flush toilets, dump station, camp store two miles south at Elkwallow Wayside. $15.  edit
  • Big Meadows, Mile 51.2, Skyline Drive. 220 sites, flush toilets, coin showers, coin laundry, dump station, camp store. $20.  edit
  • Lewis Mountain, Mile 57.5, Skyline Drive. 31 sites, flush toilets, coin showers, coin laundry, campstore. Fist-come first-serve olny. $15.  edit
  • Loft Mountain, Mile 79.5, Skyline Drive. Flush toilets, coin laundry, dump station, campstore. $15.  edit

There are also cabins:

  • PATC Cabins, (703) 242-0693 or (703) 242-0315, [6]. Locked primitive cabins maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC). There are six of them in the park.  edit


A free permit is required for backcountry camping. You can get the permit at the visitor contact stations during business hours. Alternatively you can download a permit application from the park website [7].

  • Bears. The park has a resident colony of black bears. It is important not to feed the bears. A wild bear will run away as soon as it notices there are humans nearby, unless it associates people with food by being feed previously. If you encounter a bear and it approaches you, make loud noises by yelling and clapping your hands so that the bear notices that you are a human. If you see one while you are in a vehicle, remain in the vehicle.
  • Snakes. If you see a snake, leave it alone! All wild animals are protected. There are poisonous snakes including copperheads and rattlesnakes so use ordinary precautions, wear shoes and carry a flashlight after dusk.
  • Ticks. Several species of ticks are common in the park and there is a risk of tick-borne diseases if one bites you. Take precautions like using tick repellents, wear light colored clothing, long sleeves, and long pants with pant's legs tucked into socks if you are in tick habitat. Always check for ticks afterwards. Some ticks are so small that you may not see them, so if you feel sick after visiting an area where ticks are common tell your health carer of the possibility of a tick-borne disease.

Get out

The Luray Caverns are a short drive from the Thornton Gap Entrance Station. To reach the caverns, drive past Luray and turn right at the sign. The caves are the most extensive of the East Coast and feature large columns of white and pink stalactites, reflection pools, and the Great Stalacpipe Organ that operates by gently striking selected stalactites.

This is a usable article. It has information about the park, for getting in, about a few attractions, and about accommodations in the park. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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