“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Panorama in Page County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Through the Gaps

Through the Gaps Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 30, 2007
1. Through the Gaps Marker
Inscription.  In the valley below, Highway 211 snakes its way through the town of Luray and connects Thornton Gap, 1/2 mile to your left on Skyline Drive, with New Market Gap, the low point in distant Massanutten Mountain. Luray and Route 211 illustrate how mountain gaps have often determined townsite locations and travel routes.

Imagine yourself 300 years ago pushing west across Virginia's wilderness. Ahead, an imposing north-south wall of Blue Ridge Mountains blocks your path. Where do you cross? Like all travelers, you choose a low spot, or "gap," in the mountain wall. Now you look ahead again, there stands yet another wall. Your path across the intervening valley leads you to the next inviting gap. Over time, others follow and a gap-connecting travel route grows.

Towns like Luray often evolved near gaps as logical marketplaces where cross-mountain roads intersected north-south valley roads.

From Indian footpaths to modern highways, mountain gaps have controlled human movement and settlement.
Erected by Shenandoah National Park.
Location. 38° 
View from Pass Mountain Overlook image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 30, 2007
2. View from Pass Mountain Overlook
The line of Highway 211 leads to Luray in the distant center. Beyond it further in the distance to the left is New Market Gap through Massanutten Mountain.
40.505′ N, 78° 20.064′ W. Marker is near Panorama, Virginia, in Page County. Marker is on Skyline Drive, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located at the Pass Mountain Overlook in Shenandoah National Park. Marker is in this post office area: Luray VA 22835, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. William Randolph Barbee (approx. 1.3 miles away); Thornton Gap (approx. 1.3 miles away); Rappahannock County / Page County (approx. 1.3 miles away); The Greatest Single Feature (approx. 1.3 miles away); Rocks Older than Mankind (approx. 2 miles away); Marys Rock Tunnel (approx. 2 miles away); Shenandoah National Park (approx. 2.2 miles away); Pass Run and Thornton Gap (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Panorama.
More about this marker. On the right is a collage of drawing depicting the travel through the gaps throughout history. Indians, explorers, Civil War armies, settlers, merchants, and modern vacationers have all passed through Shenandoah's gaps. Below it is a map of this section of the park. Many of Shenandoah's gaps are marked on this map with red dots. Only the deepest - Thornton's, Swift Run, Rockfish - have major travel routes today. In the past, many of the others had minor routes.
Categories. ExplorationRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
More. Search the internet for Through the Gaps.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 859 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings in context. • • Can you help?
Paid Advertisement We are suspending advertising until they remove an ad for a certain book from circulation. A word in the book’s title has given rise to number of complaints. The word is inappropriate in school classroom settings.