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Our First, Last, & Only Trip to Shenandoah - Please Help!

Wilmington, Delaware
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83 posts
4 reviews
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Our First, Last, & Only Trip to Shenandoah - Please Help!

My wife and I are visiting Shenandoah for the first time in late April and although we have done a lot of research on this forum and other websites we would love any extra help or insight. Here is some additional information:

•Plan is to drive from our home in Delaware on Friday after work and stay at Skyland until Monday

•Hiking is a must, the Old Rag Trail is currently at the top of our list as we love a challenge and are in good shape

•Also looking for an awesome waterfall hike

•Not interested in horseback ridding as we have been let down on a lot of single file trail rides

•We have a $75 food credit to eat at the resort which I heard is mediocre but if you have a favorite dish please let us know

•Would love to stop and see other area attractions as this will probably our last time in this area of the country

•Wondering how far south it is worth it to drive on Skyland Drive to see the best views

•Anything worth stopping at on the drive to or from Delaware? Great Falls, Caves, Restaurants, Etc…

I know it’s a lot but I appreciate any help or direction you can provide. Thanks in advance for your help!

~Shaun

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Shenandoah
Shenandoah
Virginia
Delaware
Delaware
United States
Washington DC...
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53 reviews
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1. Re: Our First, Last, & Only Trip to Shenandoah - Please Help!

Old Rag is not hiked by starting up on Skyline drive, but from below down in Nethers. You CAN do it from SLD, but that is a seriously long day of hiking.

Give yourself plenty of time-it is easily a 7 hour hike, if not more.

If it has at all been raining or there has been overnight frost, I would advise against Old Rag. The rock scrambles are dangerous when wet. Old Rag is great fun, but not to be taken lightly. If portions of it were jusssst a little bit harder, you would need climbing equipment.

I like to do Old Rag "backwards", that is hike the fire road, and then up to Byrds nest and then down the rocks. You avoid being stuck behind groups that are struggling to get up.

Don't do Old Rag on a weekend day.

For waterfalls, White Oak Canyon.

Luray Caverns.

Now, if you want a super-special treat, see if you can eat dinner at the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, VA. Look it up on the internet.

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Washington
Washington
United States
Wilmington, Delaware
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83 posts
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2. Re: Our First, Last, & Only Trip to Shenandoah - Please Help!

How long does it take to drive from Skyland Resort to the Old Rag trail parking lot?

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Our First, Last, & Only Trip to Shenandoah - Please Help!

It will take you about 45 minutes (it is about 30 miles).

Drive north on Skyline Drive to Thornton Gap (Route 211). Go down to the East and drive into Sperryville, getting onto 522 and then turn onto 231, Fort Valley Road, then left on 707 to the parking lot. They have built a parking area which is almost a mile from the trail head. You can't park at the trail head anymore.

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Skyline Drive
Skyline Drive
2,278 Reviews
Shenandoah National Park, VA
Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
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4. Re: Our First, Last, & Only Trip to Shenandoah - Please Help!

\i would disagree that the food at the lodges in Shenandoah \national park is mediocre. \i have always enjoyed my meals there finding that they use lots of fresh, locally grown products.

We usually do day trips, so we eat lunch there. \i like all of the sandwiches and usually order the Bear Club. \if you have a big appetite, the CCC sandwich is tasty. \i've also had the onion soup and it's good. \my husband almost always orders the turkey pot pie and he loves it.\

When we've been there for dinner, we generally order the turkey platter, but \i'll bet the Rapidan trout and Virginia ham steak are really good too.

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Shenandoah
Shenandoah
Virginia
Rapidan
Rapidan
Virginia
Virginia Beach...
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for Suffolk
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5. Re: Our First, Last, & Only Trip to Shenandoah - Please Help!

It sounds like you have done a good amount of research. If it doesn't work out for Old Rag (too crowded, etc) and you need plan B, consider Bearfence Trail for a Rock Scramble and great views, trail map: nps.gov/shen/…lewis_mtn_area.pdf

Also check out Hawksbill for a challenge nps.gov/shen/…hawksbill_mtn_area.pdf

For a great trail with waterfall and stream you can't beat Rose River Loop Trail, waterfall is not spectacular but overall wonderful, serene hike mostly near water nps.gov/shen/…big_meadows_area.pdf

Dark Hollow Falls is the Park's most popular waterfall hike due to ease, location, nice waterfall and hike but it's like being in Walmart....too many people.

If you go to the southern end of the Park, check out Jones Run Falls around milepost 84, nice hike and you can enjoy a break/lunch at the bottom while taking in the view of the falls, nps.gov/shen/…loft_mountain_area.pdf

Happy trails

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Dark Hollow Falls
Dark Hollow Falls
402 Reviews
Shenandoah National Park, VA
Leesburg, Virginia
3 posts
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6. Re: Our First, Last, & Only Trip to Shenandoah - Please Help!

I would definitely agree, White Oak Canyon is awesome for falls. It's lengthy, especially if you go to the lower falls, but if you're in good shape, it'll be worth it!

The food at the Skyland Lodge is much better than at Big Meadows!! The Waystation at Big Meadows has a nice diner-type restaurant for a quick breakfast or greasy burger.

7. Re: Our First, Last, & Only Trip to Shenandoah - Please Help!

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