An RV Adventure Along Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Valley

Sunset From Skyline Drive

Sunset From Skyline Drive

Shenandoah Valley’s Skyline Drive is 105 miles of pure beauty. Motorhome vacations on this scenic byway offer spectacular views, healthy outdoor recreation and interesting historic sites.

Let’s start in Front Royal, Virginia. From this lovely town, you will access the northern entrance of Shenandoah National Park to start your scenic journey.

However, before you actually enter the park, Front Royal deserves some attention. This gateway town is surrounded by some fine wineries. Take time for a short country-road detour along a wine trail to enjoy a delicious wine tasting experience. Stop in historic downtown with your RV rental parked only briefly while you browse the quaint shops.

Now you are ready to embark on the main objective of your RV vacation – seeing one of the most scenic drives in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Skyline Drive is a two-lane road that twists along through the long and narrow Shenandoah National Park. From one end to the other, you won’t have a lack of things to do and see.

With numerous overlooks along the route, this scenic trip is a dramatic nature experience, with wildlife standing quietly on far-off hillsides, birds flitting from tree to tree, bubbling streams and unspoiled landscapes. The flowing Shenandoah River sparkles on your right, peaceful forested hills lie to your left.

Those who explore the park on their RV vacations find camping is a pleasure. No matter if your motorhome rental is large or small, there are three campgrounds that have pull-through sites. These are:

  • Mathews Arm Campground – at Mile 22.1
  • Big Meadows Campground – at Mile 51.2
  • Loft Mountain Campground – at Mile 79.5

When you reach Mile 31 on your trip south, you will go through the only tunnel on this National Scenic Byway – Mary’s Rock Tunnel. The height of this tunnel is 12 feet 8 inches, so ensure you plan for this when you pick up your RV rental at the start of the trip. Also at Mile 31, you have the opportunity for a great side-trip to Sperryville, 7 miles to the east on US 211. While visiting this friendly town, you will find many arts and crafts shops and so have a multitude of choices for souvenirs to take home to family and friends.

Outdoor lovers never fail to find the hiking trails immediately. Skyline Drive offers many choices, from easy to the most challenging. The Skyland area (PDF) has the best trails, among them the difficult Whiteoak Canyon Falls Trail. Plan on this steep trek taking three to four hours. Having the opportunity to view seven different waterfalls make this trip completely worthwhile.

An RV vacation along Skyline Drive offers so much in the way of natural beauty, and a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. If you get the opportunity to enjoy this scenic drive, don’t pass it up.

Picture credits: The picture of the sunset is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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