- Shenandoah National Park is also known for its popular trails. During the 1930's the Civilian Conservation Corps built and impressive network of facilities and trails. There are countless miles of trails, picnic areas, two major campgrounds, food service facilities and visitor center.
Recreation - This park provides numerous activities for individuals of various interests and skill levels. A good place to begin your trek through the park is at one of three visitor centers: Dickey Ridge at mile 4.6, Harry F. Byrd, Sr. Visitor Center at milepost 51 and Loft Mountain Information Center at mile 79.5. In these information centers you will find exhibits, books, maps, audiovisual programs and conducted activities schedules. These sites are usually open late spring through late fall and closed during winter.
Camping is available at four developed sites within the park as well as in the backcountry. The following list makes reference to the campgrounds in respect to their location along Skyline Drive: Matthews Arm at Mile 22.2, Big Meadows at Milepost 51, Lewis Mountain at Mile 57.6, Loft Mountain at Mile 79.5 and Dundo Group Campground at Mile 83.7. All of the individual sites are first come, first served except for Big Meadows, where sites can be reserved after May 14.
Picnicking is also a popular activity within Shenandoah National Park. The following picnic/day use areas are listed in respect to their position along Skyline Drive: Dickey Ridge at mile 4.6, Elkwallow at mile 24, Pinnacles at mile 36, Big Meadows at milepost 51 and Lewis Mountain at mile 57.5. These areas have picnic tables, fireplaces, water fountains and toilets.
Other activities for park visitors include hiking (over 500 miles of hiking trails), backpacking, bike touring, wildlife and wildflower photography, viewing exhibits, fishing and watching demonstrations.
Climate - The mountains in Shenandoah National Park are usually ten degrees cooler than the valley below, but provide pleasant summer weather for outdoor activities. Summer afternoon showers are the norm and weather changes quickly. Winters can be severe with snow and ice. Layered clothing is recommended throughout the year to ensure comfort with any forecast.
The Park lies in northwestern Virginia along the Blue Ridge Mountains between the Shenandoah River, to the west, and the Piedmont country, to the east. The Central District begins at Thornton Gap (milepost 31.5) and continues to Swift Run / Rt. 33 (milepost 65).