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going alone to shenandoah Valley

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san diego
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going alone to shenandoah Valley

I'm 56 and going alone for 3-4 days to the Shenandoah Valley. I want to see the fall foliage, hike, relax and eat well and be next to the river. any recommendations?

Virginia Beach...
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1. Re: going alone to shenandoah Valley

Shenandoah is a beautiful National Park with many scenic hikes for all abilities. Good information can be found at www.nps.gov/shen.

You probably know this already but.........

If you are hiking during October/November, the nights and mornings will usually be cool/cold but the days may be sunny and even warm, so wear layers. You may want to check with a ranger at the visitor center for trail suggestions especially when hiking solo. I would say, review trails online, see which one interest you and match your abilities, and when possible stick with popular trails because anything can happen; an injury, fall, sprain, wildlife, etc and on well traveled trails someone will likely be coming by. Carry first aid, whistle or signal, cellphone (by the way, I learned the hard way...if your cell has no signal it searches for a signal, depleting your battery, so turn it off until you need to use it, also consider buying one of those Eveready battery chargers $20 Walgreens specific for each type of cell...lifesaver when your battery is dead) plenty of water and snacks, pepper spray, maybe bear spray, etc. Let someone know what trail you're hiking, timeframe, and contact someone at a specific time each day so if they don't get a call from you, they know to call for help, provide them Park phone numbers and any emergency numbers so they can take quick action.

You will likely meet other hikers and be invited to join them. A hiking stick or trekking poles are helpful to take the stress off ankles, knees, and of course you can use it to whack something if necessary.

Some of my favorite hikes are:

Dark Hollow Falls, Stony Man, Bearfence, Rose River Loop, Hawksbill, but there are many more.

Hope this helps. Happy Trails.

Philadelphia...
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2. Re: going alone to shenandoah Valley

I couldn't believe I found your post because I am 56 and am planning a solo road trip from NJ to Skyline Drive/Shenandoah probably this fall or next June. My personal plan is to drive Skyline Drive, a little hiking, check out all the overlooks, and end in Virginia Beach via Williamstown. I am still doing research.

Unfortunately, I have no recommendations for you but enjoyed reading the one who did.

Have a great time and if you can, post your experience when you return.

Virginia Beach...
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3. Re: going alone to shenandoah Valley

BakuBabs, Sounds like you're planning a great adventure. When doing your research, please post any questions you have for the Virginia segment of your trip, we have many knowledgable participants in forum who will be glad to share their expertise.

Happy trails.

Philadelphia...
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4. Re: going alone to shenandoah Valley

You read my mind "goneagain2" as I am researching and saw your post. What would be your suggestions and route from the end of Skyline Drive to Virginia Beach for seeing some of Viriginia's highlights? As I am beginning from South Jersey, I thought I would drive to Front Royal and spend the night; then spend the 2nd day doing Skyline Drive. Thanks for your advice & suggestions.

La Plata, Maryland
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5. Re: going alone to shenandoah Valley

Virginia has several cavern tours. The best and most famous one is "Luray Caverns" near the town of Luray. Dress warmly for underground.

Charlottesville is rated on many lists as one of the very best cities in America to live, or retire to. It has a university, scenery, culture, and a "pedestrian only" zone downtown. "Monticello" the home of Thomas Jefferson on a mountaintop is there, and "Ash Lawn" the home of James Monroe. Vineyard tours nearby.

Richmond and Petersburg both have many Civil War-related Monuments and Museums. Richmond has the student bohemian neighborhood known as "Carytown" or "Fan District." See the forum section on those cities.

Colonial Williamsburg is outstanding, and possibly the world's premier example of a living-history town. Read about in on this forum. Jamestown Settlement, another living-history site, is a few miles from it via a scenic parkway road.

La Plata, Maryland
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6. Re: going alone to shenandoah Valley

Get advice here:

http://www.localhikes.com

http://www.hikingupward.com/SNP

http://www.nps.gov/shen

Virginia Beach...
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7. Re: going alone to shenandoah Valley

MarylandMist's suggestions are a great way to see several wonderful sites in Virginia.

If you drive to the end of Skyline Drive, you will be in Waynesboro (an alternate route, if you have had you fill of SNP (?) is to take 33 to 29 into C'Ville)...from there you can take I64E to hit Charlottesville...Monticello and extremely nice 2 mile hike to Jefferson Visitors Center called Saunders-Monticello trail www.monticello.org/parkway/trail.html, then on to Richmond, Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown, Newport News...Mariners Museum, great museum and 5 mile hike around Lake Maury on the grounds, then on to Va Beach...include a hike in First Landing State Park while at the beach, www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/fir.shtml, it's unique, bald cypress trees, inland beach, river, woods. I've hiked all the trails in First Landing, so just ask if any questions. Have fun planning.

Happy trails

Philadelphia...
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8. Re: going alone to shenandoah Valley

Thanks Maryland Mist - I love pedestrian only areas and love your description of Colonial Williamsburg. What would you recommend? Williamsburg and Jamestown in one day and drive on; or spend the night in one of those areas? Thanks again! :)

Virginia Beach...
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9. Re: going alone to shenandoah Valley

If you have the time, spend a day (or more) and evening in Williamsburg, there's plenty to see and do, very unique area. Check out some previous posts in the Williamsburg forum for ideas. Added benefit is driving the Colonial Parkway to Jamestown or Yorktown, it's a lovely road with nice scenery.

Philadelphia...
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10. Re: going alone to shenandoah Valley

Thanks goneagain2. I appreciate your advice and suggestions; sounds like I don't have to do the whole SNP drive. I wanted to know your opinion/suggestions of overnight stops on my way to VA Beach. I'm thinking of the first week in November - what do you think?

Thanks again. And as I said earlier somewhere - I LOVE TRIPADVISOR.COM - it's the best. And why, becasue of people like you.