Snapshots from Shenandoah 🔗On Friday, November 2, I went hiking at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Temperatures were chilly (ranging from freezing to the mid-40's), but the sun was bright, and the colors were beautiful.
I drove to Shenandoah on Thursday evening and spent the night at the Hampton Inn in Front Royal. The hotel was excellent -- clean and quiet with a friendly staff. As a nice touch, in addition to providing breakfast, the hotel provided "to go" bags including breakfast bar, apple, blueberry muffin, and bottled water. Staying at the hotel allowed me to hit the trails early Friday morning -- after scraping ice off my car's windows.
In the past year, National Park fees have risen. An annual pass valid at all National Parks is now $80 (up from $50). This is the busiest time of the year at Shenandoah; on weekends, Skyline Drive can be bumper-to-bumper with leaf-peeping visitors. On Friday, the Park was not crowded -- weekdays are always the best time to visit. I only saw a few other people on the trails.
During my visit, I hiked -- a lot. Over 8 miles, while carrying a heavy backpack, across large elevation changes. At times I was wishing a ski lift would magically appear around the next bend. But the chilly temperatures were perfect for hiking -- I even managed to break a sweat with the temperatures in the upper-30's. There is also nothing more relaxing than spending an hour at the side of a bubbling stream, casually taking photographs as leaves fall gently through the air and squirrels scamper through the forest collecting nuts.
Some photographs from the hikes are provided below.