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Will we have enough time??

Iowa
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Will we have enough time??

I'm busy planning our trip for the end of May. The way I currently have things planned, I'm scheduling two days for Shenandoah National Park.

However, I've been thinking this morning that maybe now we'll visit Monticello as well (worth it with kids ages 11,11, 10?), which would mean we'd have only one day for Shenandoah NP.

What the new plan would entail is leaving Gettysburg (early) in the morning, driving to Front Royal, and spend the day driving along Skyline Drive. We'd like to do a few short easy hikes, plus stop at a Visitor's Center, have a picnic lunch, and stop at any of the scenic views. We'd spend that night at Charlottesville, and then visit Monticello the next day.

Doable, or am I packing too much in?

Thanks!!

Arlington, Virginia
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for Arlington
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1. Re: Will we have enough time??

I think this is do-able. The drive from Gettysburg to Front Royal is about 2 hours. The drive from Front Royal down Skyline Drive to the Byrd Visitor Center and Big Meadow Lodge (where you can picnic) is 50 miles. The speed limit in the park is 35mph, so this would take around 1.5 hours with no stops. The drive from Big Meadow to the exit at Swift Run Gap is another 15 miles (30 minutes) and the drive from Swift Run Gap to Charlottesville should take around 1 hour. So you are looking at 5 hours of driving. If you get an early start to the day, I see no reason why you still wouldn't have enough time for a picnic, a walk through the Visitor's Center and a couple of short hikes. Check the NPS website for SNP--there's lots of good information about hikes in the park. Also, the rangers at the Visitor's Center will have a lot of good suggestions for hikes too.

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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2. Re: Will we have enough time??

Another good resource for hikes is

http://www.midatlantichikes.com/

Click on a state, scroll down, and you can see the number of miles, and the difficulty of the hike.

Virginia Beach...
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for Suffolk
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3. Re: Will we have enough time??

In addition to other suggestions,use this trail index from the Virginia Trail Guide for hike ideas, just scroll down until you see the Shenandoah NP heading.

http://virginiatrailguide.com/trail-index/

Look for trails in the northern and central sections of the Park and get detailed descriptions and photos when you clik on the trail name. I like the Appalachian Trail section near Big Meadows Lodge, it's an easy hike and you can walk as far as time allows and return.

When you go to Monticello, consider a wonderful hike on the Saunders-Monticello Trail, just 2 miles, ends at the Visitor Center and quite scenic. Here are TA reviews..........

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g57592-d24…

Hope this helps.

Iowa
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4. Re: Will we have enough time??

Thanks everyone:-). I just reserved two nights in Charlottesville. I'm so excited for this trip!

Virginia
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for Virginia Beach
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5. Re: Will we have enough time??

This is a very cool, very user friendly site someone did of Skyline...a few words of what's at the milemarkers, including great pix that doesn't take up much space, views, elevations, and the length of short/medium hikes 1 mile, 3 miles, etc. so you are prepared.

http://www.cnyhiking.com/SkylineDrive.htm

Iowa
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6. Re: Will we have enough time??

Thanks explorer3:-). I love those type of websites. Very helpful when planning a trip!

Washington DC
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7. Re: Will we have enough time??

All above advice excellent. Have one thing to add. Keep in mind that an animal siting may bring the already slow pace of driving to a complete standstill as visitors eagerly snap photos! I consider this a bonus and not a problem! How often do we get to see wild animals outside a zoo setting? So you might want to slot in some wiggle room in your schedule.

8. Re: Will we have enough time??

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