Sunday, June 2, 2013

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway from Peaks of Otter Lodge to Skyline Drive to Skyland Lodge

Tunnel on skyline drive, va
Tunnel on the Skyline Drive
  • 86 - Peaks of Otter Lodge
  • 84-87 – Peaks of Otter Area
  • 83 – Fallingwater Cascades National Scenic Trail
  • 74 – Thunder Ridge Parking Area
  • 63 – Visitor Center/Exhibit(s) also takes you to Natural Bridge
  • 60 - Otter Creek – Gift/Craft Shop, Restaurant, Campground
  • 34 – Yankee Horse Parking Area – Logging Railroad Exhibit
  • 8 – Greenstone Parking Overlook – Nature Trail
  • 5-9.3 – Humpback Rocks – Visitor Center, Comfort stations, Farm Exhibit
  • 0 – Rockfish Gap – Junction of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive
Yes!! I completed the drive.  I was scared, but I did it.  Now I can officially put on my “I Drove the Whole Blue Ridge Parkway Sticker.”

Sky Line Drive, Shenandoah National Park, VA
Sky Line Drive, Shenandoah National Park, VA
Now onto our next scenic drive, The Skyline Drive. The Skyline Drive is 105 miles of scenic road that travels through the Shenandoah National Park.  The speed limit is only 35 mph.  Watch for bikers and wildlife on the road.  Believe it or not, but a black bear ran out in front of our car while driving this road.  We stopped and watched at she jumped over the wall, got up on her back legs to look and then hid behind he wall, then all of a sudden her cub came sliding down the tree.  She was crossing the road to get to her cub.  It was the neatest thing we ever saw and one of the many highlights of our trip. 

Bear Spotted Along Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, VA
Bear Spotted Along Skyline Drive
When you arrive at the Entrance Station, you have to pay $15.00 to enter the drive, but hold onto receipt, because you can leave and re-enter the park for up to five days.  Being that the speed limit was only 35 mph, this was a nicer road for me to travel.  You were going slow enough to be able to observe the wildlife and take your time.  There were the speedy drivers of course, so I would just pull over at an overlook.  I do have to admit though; it was hard after a while to only drive 35 mph.  It took a long time to get to destinations, but it was worth it. 

  Mile Markers:
  • 98 – Calf Mountain Overlook
  • 94 – Turk Gap Parking Area – Near Appalachian Trail
  • 84.8 – Blackrock Summit Parking – One mile round trip hike to Blackrock
  • 84.1 – Jones Run – 3.6 round trip hike to the 42-foot Jones Run Falls
  • 81.1 – Doyles River Trail – Takes you up to the upper falls – 2.7 miles round trip
  • 79.8 – Loft Mountain – Gift Shop, Restrooms, Camp Store, Comfort Station, Camp Ground and Service Station
  • 78 – Rockytop Overlook
  • 67 – Swift Run Overlook
  • 66 – Hightop Mountain Parking
  • 62 – South River – Round trip hike to South River Falls – 2.5 miles
  • 57 – Lewis Mountain – Campground and Cabins
  • 56 – Bearfence Mountain Summit
  • 51 – Big Meadows – Lodge, Restaurant, Ranger Programs, Hiking Trails
  • 50 – Dark Hollow Falls – Waterfall Hike
  • 45 – Hawksbill Gap Parking Area
  • 44 – Crescent Rock Overlook
  • 43 – Limberlost Trail
  • 42 – Whiteoak Canyon – This trail has 6 waterfalls!! 4.6 miles round-trip
  • 41 – Entrance to Skyland
This was our destination, The Skyland Lodge.  As soon as we got to our room, there was a deer near the front door.

Deer on Skyline Drive

Below is my newest book that is available on Amazon that was written about this road trip along with some added bonuses

Below is my first travel guide