52 Weeks of Fun

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Skyline Drive Scenic Byway


Virginia's Skyline Drive is a National Scenic Byway that runs 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It starts in the northern Shenandoah Valley at Front Royal and runs south to Waynesboro, where it meets the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is Shenandoah National Park’s linear conduit, with 75 overlooks connecting travelers to all the major visitor centers, campgrounds, lodges, picnic areas, and most trailheads.

Traveling along Skyline Drive you will notice mileposts on the west side of the road (right side if you are traveling south, left if you are heading north. These cement posts help you find your way through the Park and help you locate areas of interest. The miles begin at 0 in Front Royal and continue to 105 at the southern end of the Park. Skyline Drive is a worthy destination in its own right, but a stay in Luray provides a great mid-point destination from which to start a loop tour.

Fall is the most popular time to travel along Skyline Drive, with its colorful foliage from late September to mid-November. But spring offers the most colorful wildflowers along the drive, as well as blooming azaleas and mountain laurel.

It is important to note that the speed limit on Skyline Drive is 35 MPH, and drivers should be wary of white-tailed deer and black bears that may cross the road. Skyline Drive is also home to two visitor's centers that are worth stopping at for newcomers. For those coming from the north end of Skyline Drive, the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center will be easy to find near mile 4.6. This should be the first stop for travelers if only to watch the national park orientation movie, which is part of what makes Shenandoah National Park so unique. Roughly 46 miles away on the opposite end of Skyline Drive is the Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center, which is located in Big Meadows, offering expansive views of the valley in which it sits. Both centers offer information about the park, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the wildlife that calls it home.

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A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about Skyline Drive Scenic Byway

The last person to live in Shenandoah National Park died in 1979.

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  • Skyline Drive Scenic Byway
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