Take in crisp mountain air and enjoy outdoor adventures at one of the many beautiful vacation rentals at Shenandoah, Virginia. The region extends along the Blue Ridge Mountains, creating a narrow, long space with hundreds of miles of trails, exhibits, fishing spots, and biking areas for your family to partake in. Book a stay at a Shenandoah vacation rental today. Shenandoah goes through four distinct seasons, and the area’s elevation means that it experiences a 10-degree temperature difference compared to the surrounding towns. Accordingly, while it may be raining nearby, Shenandoah could be covered in snow or ice. Check out exciting activities to do in Shenandoah.
1. Enjoy a Hike
With over 500 miles of hiking trails, including over one-hundred miles of the Appalachian Trail, Shenandoah lets you get an up-close look at waterfalls, wilderness, and the forest. Unlike many other hiking trails with native animals, Shenandoah allows you to bring your dogs along with you, as long as you keep them restrained on leashes.
2. Explore on a Ranger-guided Tour
Shenandoah National Park offers ranger-guided tours in the spring, fall, and summer. Grab your camera and get ready to learn about the local plants and animals. The knowledgeable rangers share stories of Shenandoah’s past, and you get to see the best sites the area has to offer. Seasonal programs are detailed months in advance, giving you time to prepare and make reservations for the perfect vacation rental.
3. Take Part in Special Events
There are special events year-round for your family to enjoy, providing opportunities to listen to music or explore the outdoors. Let your kids express their artistic side during the Wildflower Art Contest in April, then take the family to sight-see the hundreds of flowering plants that grow in the Shenandoah region. Junior Ranger Day is focused on the little ones, giving your children the opportunity to place their hands in a bear’s footprint, or put on a ranger’s hat to feel connected to nature and what’s going on at the park.
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4. Catch Some Fish
Featuring over 70 mountain streams with many types of fishes, such as trout, Shenandoah National Park is an excellent place to go fishing. Teach your little one how to cast a fly-fishing reel over Rose River, or do a little fishing off the banks. In order to preserve the aquatic population, there are certain rules that need to be followed, and you can bring questions to the friendly park rangers or grab a fishing brochure from visitor centers, entrance stations, and campgrounds.
5. Go Bicycling
Feel the breeze through your hair while you’re biking on the park’s paved areas or Skyline Drive. Whether you’ve got beginner or advanced bicyclists in the family, there are plenty of trails to match every skill level. Enjoy the pleasant atmosphere while you’re biking with many other outdoor enthusiasts, and be sure that your bikes have lights on the front and back for safety.
6. Enjoy Breathtaking Views at Dark Hollow Falls
One of the most popular hiking trails at Shenandoah, Dark Hollow Falls puts you in close proximity to one of the area’s most beautiful waterfalls. Because of its popularity, this trail is often busy, so you may even make a few new friends during your visit. During autumn you can often snap stunning pictures of the colorful leaves against the rushing water. With an approximate round-trip distance of 1.5 miles, this trail isn’t highly difficult to navigate, and the trail is maintained often so that your journey is generally problem-free.
7. Venture on a Low-impact Hike
Bring all the little ones, even your preteens, to Bearfence Mountain Trail. This short trail is just over one mile, and it’s popular for walking, hiking, birding, and nature trips. Generally popular from April through October, this trail is suitable for people of all ages, and it offers an amazing 360-degree view once you and your family reach the top, so make sure to bring your smartphone or camera to capture memories.
8. Unwind on a Simple Trail
Consisting of mostly gravel with minimal elevation, Limberlost Trail is a low-impact route that most people in your family will be able to handle. Because of the low intensity, bikes and pets aren’t allowed on the trail, and camping in the area is off-limits. This quaint trail offers more than meets the eye, as you and the family are likely to spot a wide range of birds, trees, and unique wildlife.
9. Take in an Amazing Panoramic View of Nature
Reward your family with an incredible panoramic view of the canyon of the Linville Gorge Wilderness by making the journey to the peak of Hawksbill Mountain Hike. Be sure to take along a picnic lunch, as there are multiple vantage points at the peak of this hike where you can enjoy a delicious meal with the family.
10. Test Your Limits on Old Rag Mountain
Push yourself to the limit and get rewarded with an incredible view when you travel up Old Rag Mountain. The hike totals around nine miles, so you likely should venture it with experienced travelers, and it’s best to start early as it could take up to seven or eight hours to complete.
11. View Dozens of Species of Birds
Over 190 species of birds inhabit Shenandoah National Park, and your family can see about three-dozen of them throughout the year. Certain species are only found in particular areas, such as Big Meadows, so be sure to consult a park ranger to ensure that you get the full birdwatching experience.
12. Embark on a Horseback Adventure
Travel through Skyland at a leisurely pace by signing up for a guided horseback riding adventure. Shenandoah National Park also contains more than 180 miles of open trails where you can bring your own horse. From smooth graveled paths to steep rocky trails, there’s something for everyone at Shenandoah.
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