The Baltimore area is within a short drive to many great cultural, historical and nature destinations. One of nature’s spectacular creations, the Shenandoah National Park in the heart in the Shenandoah Valley, is just a few hours from Baltimore (and only 75 minutes from Washington D.C.). The Shenandoah is home to rich farmland, historical battlefields, parks, caverns, and small cities.
History of Shenandoah Valley
The Shenandoah Valley is a region in Western Virginia and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia bordered to the east by the Blue Ridge Mountains, west by the eastern front of the Ridge and Valley Appalachian Mountains, north by the Potomac River and South by the James River. The Shenandoah Valley covers nine counties in Virginia and 2 counties in West Virginia. The cities within the Shenandoah include Winchester, Harrisonburg, Staunton, and Lexington, Virginia. This geographic area is named for the Shenandoah River that stretches for most of its length. The name is Native American in origin, but there are many legends as to how the river was actually named. The first settlers came to the area in 1727 traveling on the Great Wagon Road, which is today called the Valley Turnpike. The area was called “The breadbasket of the South” during the Civil War and many key battles took place fighting for the rich farmland and resources. The Shenandoah Valley contains wineries, farms, resorts, historical estates, battlefields and towns.
Shenandoah Valley National Park
The Shenandoah Valley National Park is a 105 mile park starting in Front Royal, Virginia and ending in the Waynesboro-Charlottesville area. The park, 200,000 acres of protected natural lands, was created in 1935 and development was completed at the start of World War II. At that time, according the National Park Service, the mountains were released back to the wild. The park has natural landscapes such as waterfalls, fishing, hiking, animal and bird watching and camping. There are over 200 species of resident and migrating birds in the park, 51 species of animals, 51 reptile and amphibian species and 39 fish species. It is great place to “get back to nature”.
Skyline Drive is the only public road in the park. It travels north to south through a meandering path along the crest of the mountains. There are 75 overlooks. It takes about 3 hours to travel through the park at the designated speed limit of 35 miles per hour. There are parking, lodges, and camping areas within the park. However, the rest of the park is in its original habitat, perfect for hiking, camping and enjoying. There are many areas in the park that are designated as Shenandoah Valley camping areas; a perfect getaway from the “real world”.
ezStorage has created the “1 Day Trips from Baltimore Guide” sharing just a few of the great destinations that are only a few hours (or less) trip from Baltimore. Don’t just take our word for it, get out there and enjoy the wonders of Mother Nature in its purest form at the Shenandoah Valley National Park.