Southern Belle in Training

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November 1, 2018

Virginia Travel Guide: Jones Run Falls in Shenandoah National Park.

     Shenandoah National Park is one of Virginia's most special natural gems. Since I moved here, it had been a hope of mine to visit and do some hiking in the fall season! I finally had the chance to do that a couple of weeks ago, when my dad was here visiting. Although I can only say that I've seen a really small portion of Shenandoah, I still wanted to share more about my visit there! It was my first time in Shenandoah National Park, but definitely not the last.



    Shenandoah National Park info:

    Founded as a national park in 1935, Shenandoah National Park is an 105 mile long natural treasure. Shenandoah runs through eight counties in the state of Virginia, with the northern entrance of the park beginning near Front Royal, and the southern entrance located in Afton (30 minutes from Charlottesville). It is a very accessible national park, thanks to Skyline Drive, the paved and well maintained road that runs above the mountain tops, and through the entire length of the park. With a constant speed limit of 35 mph, it takes an estimated 3-4 hours to drive Skyline Drive in its entirety. There are four access points to Skyline Drive. The two closest to Charlottesville are at the beginning in Afton (off I-64), and Route 33 in Greene County. When I first moved to this area, I was very confused as I thought that Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway were the same thing! They are actually totally separate (and Blue Ridge Parkway is free to drive on), but Skyline Drive ends in Afton right where the Blue Ridge Parkway begins!

     There are over 500 miles of trails within Shenandoah National Park, and a number of campgrounds and lodges. Most of the hiking trails have their own parking lots right off of Skyline Drive.  There are also 75 overlooks with parking that visitors can enjoy. If hiking or camping isn't your thing, you can still enjoy a full day in Shenandoah National Park, by driving Skyline Drive and stopping leisurely at overlooks! Fall is known as a magical time to visit Shenandoah. The weather has started cooling off, and beautiful foliage is known to cover the mountains and trails.

     Park admission is $30 per car for a seven-day pass, and $55 for an annual pass. There are also a few fee free days each year in all of the US national parks, information on those can be found here.




     Jones Run Falls trail: 

     With the plethora of trails to choose from, it can seem overwhelming to pick a hike to do in Shenandoah National Park! I knew that my dad and I wanted a hike that was strenuous enough to make us break a sweat, but not too long or tough for us, being that we are more novice hikers. If we could see a water fall on the hike, that would be an added bonus! I started doing some research, and found Jones Run Falls trail.

    This trail is located just about 20ish miles after getting onto Skyline Drive from the southern end in Afton, and it's another 20ish miles to the next terminus, at Route 33, so it was a perfect driving distance for us to hike, as we were coming in from Charlottesville. The trail has its own parking lot, easily marked on Skyline Drive. It is just over two miles each way to hike to Jones Run Falls, so all in all it's about a four and a half mile hike, which was ideal for us. The waterfall is absolutely beautiful, and you can get pretty up close and personal with it!





    I've been trying to do more video content for Southern Belle in Training's Youtube channel whenever I travel- so I made a brief video about my fall day in Shenandoah!! You can watch it below:




     Even though my dad and I spent several hours driving on Skyline Drive and hiking to Jones Run Falls, we barely touched the surface of all the wonders that Shenandoah has to offer! I am considering getting an annual park pass so that I can take more advantage of hiking and sightseeing next year.


     Have you been to Shenandoah before? Or a different national park closer to where you live? In talking with my dad, I realized that I think this is only my second national park visit ever! (My parents and I went to Carlsbad Caverns in NM when I was younger.)



     God Bless,



     xoxo Annaliese



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10 comments

  1. Wow! This is on my to-do list. Stunning waterfall!

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  2. This is breathtaking! I have never visited, but was JUST talking to my cousin about flying into VA, exploring the city and then driving to D.C. next March/April to see the cherry blossoms. Saving this post for later!

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  3. We have National Parks here in Missouri, but not as beautiful as this one! Wow! Just stunning!

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  4. I went to Shenandoah years ago, but this makes me want to go back. Those waterfalls are absolutely stunning!

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  5. Oh my gosh, that looks like such a gorgeous place. I would imagine that you'd be able to see a different park of the park on multiple visits.

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  6. Wow that is breathtaking! So neat having those treasures close to home. Between Utah and Idaho I’ve been so blessed with beautiful national and state parks!

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  7. I love chasing waterfalls around the US! This is such a beautiful area!

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  8. Wow this looks so beautiful!

    http://innapishtoy.com/

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  9. This park is totally on my bucket list! It looks absolutely majestic.

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  10. This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

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