Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park was established in 1935 using lands donated by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The forest was once devastated by logging and farming, but has now returned, and covers more than 95 per cent of the Park. congress designated two-fifths of the Park as wilderness in 1976.
More than 500 miles of trails lead beyond the Skyline Drive to secluded places where you can discover the beauty and peace of this recycled land.
The High Road Through the Shenandoah National Park
Among the scenic roads of America's National Parks, the Skyline Drive may be the most famous. For decades the Drive has given millions of visitors easy access to the mountains and sky of Shenandoah National Park.
The Skyline Drive follows the winding backbone of the Blue Ridge for 105 miles, sometimes losing itself among the clouds. In clear weather, views are dramatic. To the east you can see the rolling Piedmont plateau with its patchwork of farms; on the west there's the Shenandoah Valley and the Appalachian Mountains beyond.
Unlike other roads, the Skyline Drive is not the shortest distance between two points. Its is designed for enjoyment. You can enhance your visit by stopping at overlooks, and taking time to explore park trails.
Total Distance ... 105 miles (170 km)
Maximum Speed Limit ...35 mph (56 kph)
Minimum Non-stop Driving Time .... 3 hours
Highest Elevation .... 3,680 feet (1122m) above sea level at Mile 41.7
Number of Overlooks ....71
Year Construction Started .... 1931
Year Construction Completed ..... 1939
Construction Cost Per Mile ..... $50,000
Be alert for deer, bear, and other animals which may be seen at any time. Reduce speed if you see a deer cross in front of you, since others may be following. Report accidents to the nearest ranger.
Weather conditions at high altitudes on the Skyline Drive are usually more severe than in the valleys below. Hazardous driving conditions sometimes make it necessary to close the Drive. Please exercise special caution if you encounter snow, ice, fog, or high winds.