Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains are perhaps the most beautiful in the Appalachians. In the heart of the Blue Ridge section lies Shenandoah National Park, Virginia’s finest sightseeing location that is home to breathtaking scenery and views, and to diverse wildlife, making it certainly one of the top parks in the eastern states. Following is a profile of Shenandoah National Park.
About Shenandoah, One of the Top National Parks in the Eastern U.S.
The park is located in Northern Virginia, not far from the West Virginia border. Through Shenandoah National Park runs the Appalachian Trail, and also Skyline Drive, one of the most scenic routes in the United States. The park encompasses over 199,000 acres of mountain, deciduous forest, meadow, and valley, and is home to countless species of plants and animals.
Flora and Fauna of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains
For the most part, the park is dominated by deciduous forest, though other types of trees and plants also thrive in Virginia’s Appalachian Mountains. Oak, tulip poplar, hickory, chestnut, and maple trees are most common in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, but pines, cedars, and hemlocks also grow in parts of Shenandoah National Park. Numerous species of wildflowers, ferns, mosses, and grasses are also found in the park.
Animal life abounds in Shenandoah National Park. Among the notable animals in the park are white-tailed deer, black bear, bobcats, gray and red foxes, opossums, raccoons, skunk, and groundhogs. Birds include the common eastern hawks (Red-tailed and Red-shouldered are most prevalent in the Blue Ridge Mountains), owls, Wild Turkeys, Bobwhite quail, Ruffed Grouse, and dozens of species of wood warblers and other songbirds, like chickadees, titmice, sparrows, wrens, nuthatches, orioles, and towhees.
Shenandoah National Park, VA Activities
The beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains offer some of the most breathtaking scenery in the United States. Hiking the parks many trails and camping are some of the most popular activities in Shenandoah, though others are available as well. Birdwatching, fly fishing for wild trout and native brook trout, and participating in water sports (canoeing, rafting, kayaking, tubing) on the Shenandoah River along the west side of the park are also great activities for visitors to enjoy. Though usually not as productive as the James River, also in Virginia, the Shenandoah River offers recreational anglers with some prime smallmouth bass fishing.
Shenandoah National Park in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains is among the most beautiful places in the Appalachian Mountains, and arguably in the nation. Located in the northern part of the state, nature can be seen and experienced firsthand in the park.