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Journeys Through America is a nonprofit organization providing educational material for all school-aged children across the country. The program will form partnerships with local school districts to provide children with a new, interactive, educational experience integrating the history of America and its National Parks. Journeys Through America's goal is to foster a fun and adventurous learning environment that will promote altruistic growth within our children and our greater community.

Shenandoah National Park

By Jul 8th 2010 No Comments »

It was Tuesday morning at 7:00AM and it was time to finally leave Boston (again).  After a quick holiday-weekend hiatus it was time to head to our next National Park. This time, our travels took us to Shenandoah National Park, with a short break in Washington D.C.

We met up with a friend who was able to give us a walking & driving tour of a bunch of the monuments downtown.  We unfortunately did not have a lot of time to see the city but look forward to going back.

We continued on to Shenandoah, which lies about 75 miles south of Washington D.C., a quick drive for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. We arrived Tuesday night and stayed at Matthews Arm Campground. Actually getting some sleep was extremely difficult.  The 100+ degree temperatures during the day hardly dipped below 75 at night and the hoot hoot of the owl outside our tent worked better than an alarm clock.

We woke Wednesday morning on a mission to see Shenandoah. Our first stop was a quick 1.7 mile loop on the Traces trail. Today there are still traces of old roads, farms, and broken stone walls from the time of the earliest white settlers in Shenandoah Valley.

Our next stop was at mile post 37 on Skyline Drive to the Corbin Cabin Cutoff Trail.  A 1.5 mile steep descent into the heart of the Shenandoah woods took us to a cabin built in the early 1900’s by the Corbin family. Their original house still stands and is even rented out through the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.  The Corbin family was some of the earlier settlers in the area and lived off of what they grew and made like most people during that time.  This largely consisted of brandy made from apples and peaches growing in the area.

Five miles down the road we stopped at Skyland Resort, a resort built in the 1890’s. We then continued on to the Stony Man Trail, a quick 1.6 mile loop which provided sweeping views of Shenandoah Valley. This is the second highest peak in the park at 4,011 feet.

Shenandoah National Park is filled with history and remnants of the past. It is one of the few National Parks where settlers lived for centuries prior to the creation of the park.  When the park was authorized in 1926, hundreds of families were forced to vacate the land and moved to communities outside the proposed park boundaries, many of which left against their will.

Shenandoah is divided by Skyline Drive which traverses over 100 miles of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This scenic drive attracts many tourists each year and provides amazing views of the mountains and valleys from the dozens of picturesque outlooks.

In summary, Shenandoah is truly a special place and Skyline Drive is a memorable experience. For those history buffs, we highly recommend the park as the history dates back hundreds of years and for anyone looking to sneak in a road trip come the fall, Shenandoah is a top pick for fall foliage by many.

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