Do it all. Or do nothing at all.
Adventure seekers need not search far and wide to find thrills and wonderment. In fact, adventure often finds you at Shenandoah. A simple stroll can reveal secrets of the mountains and infuse the senses with nature’s bounty. You can hear a serenade of wildlife chirping and humming. A breath of fresh mountain air will send you hints of wild-growing floral varietals.
Deeper exploration awaits hikers of all levels along numerous trails. Discover on foot, horseback or via climbing rope up a mountain. Sightsee by day. Stargaze at night. Or simply make time stand still as you contemplate the shapes of clouds, give names to the trees and watch the deer, rabbits and other Shenandoah residents go about their business.
Entertainer Schedule and Bios
Take four experienced, professional musicians from different backgrounds, mix well and what do you get? A red hot contemporary bluegrass band! With four different lead singers, all with the ability to sing any harmony part, their performances keep you on the edge of your seat. Each song has it’s own distinct sound.
Charlie is a native of the Shenandoah Valley where his family has lived for over 200 years. This deep connection with the heritage of this region he has maintained and explored through his love for the history and performance of traditional music. His programs focus on the traditional music of the Appalachian Region and the music of the British Isles, the primary source for pre-1920s Appalachian song and dance among English speaking peoples. Charlie strives to engage the imagination of guests of all ages by an earnest invitation to participate in singing the refrains of songs and to accompany him by playing various primitive folk instruments. He performs with the following instruments: hammer dulcimer, lap dulcimer, banjo and guitar; and, occasionally, the jaws harp, mouth bow, bones, limberjack, washboard, and washtub.
Resi sings with tracks and performs country, bluegrass, top 40, disco, jazz, swing, standards and some originals.
Debbie Zinn and Natural Grass
This band plays easy Listening, contemporary songs, sing-a-longs, bluegrass, country, classic rock. Debbie also plays acoustic guitar.
After years of playing various styles of music in several different bands, Mike McCray decided to go solo with his own type of music. For lack of a better term, it can be called contemporary folk, but with influences ranging from traditional American to swing, and from bluegrass to rock, his is not your normal coffee-house folk. An educator, historian, writer and farmer, Mike uses the songs he has collected and composed to tell stories that make you think, laugh, remember and learn.
Richard performs easy-on-the-ears acoustic folk music. His song list includes familiar tunes from the 1920’s to the present as well as his original compositions, which offer insightful lyrics and inviting melodies you will want to hear over and over again. Rich is a public school teacher whose program is punctuated with interesting anecdotes and true stories from his classroom experiences. One of Rich’s CDs received the following review from Amazon.com: “Rich Follett's melodies are not only soothing to listen to, his lyrics speak right to your heart with feelings only he seems to be able to put to words. His voice is like velvet, and people just want to stop and hear it.”
A seasoned veteran to the stage, Larry offers acoustic entertainment for audiences of all ages and a fun evening filled with old favorites as well as current tunes.
Shenandoah Valley Cloggers
The Shenandoah Valley Cloggers Inc., formed in 1984, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Appalachian clogging, a distinctive form of American folk dance, which encompasses many different traditions of step dances with Scottish, English, Dutch and German roots. To entertain a variety of ages, the troupe’s music includes everything from bluegrass, to country, to pop, to old time rock ‘n’ roll. Since 1984, the troupe has been performing Tuesday evenings from April through October at Skyland Resort in Shenandoah National Park. In addition to performing more than 30 shows a year, the Cloggers also perform at the Page County Heritage Festival in October, Luray’s Festival of Spring in May and have danced at the Homestead in Hot Springs, for PanAm Tours in Washington, D.C, at an Eastern U.S Trade Show representing Virginia at Stone Mountain, Ga., and aboard the USS Shenandoah in Norfolk. In 2002, the troupe’s performance at Skyland Resort was nationally broadcast on the NBC morning program, the Today Show. The troupe is made up of 14 dancers, ranging in age from mid-20s to late 60s, all focused on their love of clogging and the enjoyment of entertaining.
Lee started performing while aboard the USS Nassau in the mid 1980's. He moved to the Shenandoah Valley and played Bluegrass for years before returning to solo performing. Now starting the 15th year performing at Skyland Resort and Big Meadows Lodge, he provides a genre of music considered to be Americana Folk or Folk Roots. Songs range from late 1800's folk ballads and 1930's Blues with covers of Johnny Cash, Neil Young and Dylan in the mix.
More hiking information is available from the National Park Service website
Transport yourself across the ages. On foot.
For the complete picture of the very old and the brand new, Shenandoah is best viewed from all the various perspectives—at a distance, and up close. Take a casual stroll or challenge yourself on an advanced trail. There are all kinds of hikes for first timers and experienced trailblazers alike.
Self-Guided Trail Hiking
Put your inner guide to work outdoors.
You might be looking for a short, easy-going self-guided hike. Or you may be making your way through 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail that runs through Shenandoah. Either way, what better way is there for you to get in touch with yourself? Wind your way through miles of hiking trails. Trail maps are available at entrance stations or Visitor Centers, and guide booklets can be found at trailheads and the Visitor Centers.
Appalachian Trail hikers are invited to stop at camp stores and waysides for groceries and supplies, enjoy a meal at one of our restaurants, or take a break from the trail and spend the night at Skyland Resort or Big Meadows Lodge.
Shenandoah Mountain Guided Hikes
Get to know the mountain from top to bottom.
2013 scheduled hikes pending review and approval by National Park Service.
Amble through the 'big meadow' with your guide as the sun sets beyond the mountain painting the heavens red, yellow, pink and gold. As night sets in, a billion star lights turn on to illuminate the sky in more ways than one. Have the stars guide and enthrall you as they did natives years ago. You'll arrive at a destination that cannot be measured by longitude and latitude.
Saturdays departing from Big Meadows Lodge. 2013 schedule pending review and approval by National Park Service.
National Park Service Programs
Exploring Shenandoah on a guided Ranger program is a fun way for visitors of any age to explore the wonders of Shenandoah. Many of the programs, like Birds of Prey, offer the entire family a fun and exciting way to learn about the park together. Visit the National Park Service’s website for more details. Programs are offered in spring, summer, and fall.
My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nachos
In case you were wondering, this quirky phrase is a little trick budding astronomers use to memorize the planets and their order from the sun. It may come in handy for you, too, when you join amateur astronomers Jim Richberg and Frank Green at the Big Meadows area (mile 51.3) to view the heavens through large telescopes.
Want to see the craters on the moon? The rings of Saturn? The eye of the storm on Jupiter? Depending on the time of year, celestial objects viewed can vary from a quarter moon to the planets, distant galaxies, star clusters, nebulae and double stars! At Shenandoah, you’re far from city lights, so the viewing is spectacular. All you need to do is bring a blanket or lawn chair and your curiosity—this monthly activity is free!
Have you figured out how the phrase works yet? M=Mercury, V=Venus, E=Earth, M=Mars, J=Jupiter, S=Saturn, U=Uranus and N=Neptune. (A little pizza beforehand at one of our restaurants isn’t a bad idea, either!)
Fridays - May 31 at 8:00 p.m.
June 28, July 26 at 8:30 p.m.
August 23 at 8:00 p.m.
September 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Program will be cancelled in event of inclement weather. Reservations not required and event is free.
Call Big Meadows Lodge on the day of event for program status at 540.999.2222.
Disclaimer: 2013 Dates pending National Park Services approval.
Points of Interest
Things just got a little more interesting.The experience begins as soon as you enter Shenandoah National Park and wind your way along Skyline Drive, the scenic roadway that traverses the crest of the Blue Ridge. Where it goes from there is based on your own personal adventure itinerary. The best way to get a handle on all things Shenandoah is to stop at one of the NPS Visitor Centers. There you can find out about all the points of interest that await you. You'll also find backcountry permits, Junior Ranger information and passport cancellations at the visitor centers. Dates/times of operation vary, so check the Park's visitor guide or park bulletin boards for current hours.
- Historic Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6)
- Byrd Visitor Center (Milepost 51)
Redefine what it means to take a joyride.
Gorgeous! Incredible! Amazing! Spectacular! Exhaust your list of adjectives on one-hundred-and-five miles of the sights and sounds from Skyline Drive, the national scenic byway that traverses the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains through Shenandoah National Park.
The road is 105 miles, but the vistas seem to go on forever. Soak in the tapestry of crimson, gold, salmon and bronze hues in autumn; pink, green and white in spring and summer. And of course, the blues of the ridge all year long. No doubt Skyline Drive may be a road, yet in and of itself, but it is a destination as well.
Mile markers on Skyline Drive will help you identify your surroundings along the way, including 75 overlooks to pull over and enjoy the panoramic views.
Park Visitor Guide
Pick up the park visitor guide, Explore Shenandoah, for seasonal park information. Get your free copy at any entrance station, visitor center, park campground or our DNC Parks & Resorts concession facilities. For your convenience, clink on this NPS link to locate a map of the park.
Rock Climbing & Rappelling
Mind Over Mountain
The Shenandoah Mountain. The Shenandoah Mountain Climbing Staff. Two reasons why students travel from all over to “learn the ropes” and climb with them. The Shenandoah Mountain Guides' climbing program is one of the most respected in the East. The instructors average 15 years of experience teaching others how to climb. They are full-time teachers and guides as well as certified EMTs. They teach rock climbing at regional colleges, universities and national institutions, and they certify instructors for various youth organizations.
The climbing programs at Shenandoah are not extraordinarily physically demanding, but they can be psychologically challenging. For instance, Little Stony Man Cliffs is designed to be a highly effective introductory through intermediate learning program in rock climbing and rappelling.
All required gear is provided. It is recommended that participants bring a camera to capture the experience!
Rock Climbing & Rappelling 2013 dates coming soon!
Disclaimer: Dates and details pending review and approval by National Park Service.
An encounter with wildlife can occur at any given moment at Shenandoah. It may be deer prancing across a meadow, or a wild turkey scampering across the road, or a black bear foraging for berries in the woods. A host of creatures call Shenandoah home. Many regularly cross Skyline Drive in their daily travels. Please watch carefully for these animals that may dart across your path without warning. Driving at 35 mph is the posted speed limit that will allow you to safely navigate during a chance encounter. For a closer look, be sure to pull completely off Skyline Drive, but stay in your vehicle for safety. Also, please remember, it is unlawful to feed the wildlife.