One of my favorite fall activities is to visit Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park! Skyline Drive is a scenic route atop the Blue Ridge Mountains, stretching 105 miles long. This is the only public road through the park. Not only does Skyline Drive boast stunning views from Front Royal to Waynesboro, it also offers access to hiking trails, camp sites, picnic areas, and cabins.
There are four entrances to Skyline Drive:
- Front Royal Entrance (off of 66 in Front Royal, VA)
- Thornton Gap Entrance (off of 211 near Sperryville, VA)
- Swift Run Gap Entrance (off of 33 near Harrisonburg, VA)
- Rockfish Gap Entrance (off of 64/250 near Waynesboro, VA)
It costs $30 per vehicle to enter, or $25 for a motorcycle. It takes approximately three hours to drive the full length of Skyline Drive. All along the drive there are overlooks scattered on either side of the road for cars to pull off and enjoy the view. When you enter, you can ask for a map that marks the overlooks, bathrooms, trails, and other places.
Shenandoah National Park has hiking trails all throughout Skyline Drive. In fact, 105 miles of the Appalachian Trail is in the Shenandoah National Park! If you visit the hiking page of the park website, you can browse the different trails available and see which have waterfalls! One of my favorite trails is Dark Hollows Falls. However, I haven’t tried out a trail that I did not enjoy!
Driving on Skyline Drive is always beautiful, but I find it extra stunning in the fall with all of the leaves changing! I visited this past weekend, just as the leaves had finally changed! We entered from Swift Run Gap and drove up to Thornton Gap, just past the Rock Tunnel. When we entered, there happened to be clouds hanging RIGHT OVER the top of the mountain! It made for a spooky ride, which was very appropriate for Halloween week! Luckily, it cleared up partway through so we could still enjoy the wonderful views and colorful trees.
Enjoy this photo tour of Skyline Drive in the Fall. 🙂