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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Luray in Page County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Shenandoah National Park

Skyline Drive

 
 
Shenandoah National Park Side image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
1. Shenandoah National Park Side
Inscription.  Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park was established in 1935 using lands donated by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The forest was once devastated by logging and farming, but has now returned, and covers more than 95 per cent of the Park. congress designated two-fifths of the Park as wilderness in 1976.

More than 500 miles of trails lead beyond the Skyline Drive to secluded places where you can discover the beauty and peace of this recycled land.

Skyline Drive
The High Road Through the Shenandoah National Park

Among the scenic roads of America's National Parks, the Skyline Drive may be the most famous. For decades the Drive has given millions of visitors easy access to the mountains and sky of Shenandoah National Park.

The Skyline Drive follows the winding backbone of the Blue Ridge for 105 miles, sometimes losing itself among the clouds. In clear weather, views are dramatic. To the east you can see the rolling Piedmont plateau with its patchwork of farms; on the west there's the Shenandoah Valley and the Appalachian Mountains beyond.

Unlike other roads, the Skyline Drive is not the
Skyline Drive Side image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
2. Skyline Drive Side
shortest distance between two points. Its is designed for enjoyment. You can enhance your visit by stopping at overlooks, and taking time to explore park trails.

Drive Statistics
Total Distance ... 105 miles (170 km)
Maximum Speed Limit ...35 mph (56 kph)
Minimum Non-stop Driving Time .... 3 hours
Highest Elevation .... 3,680 feet (1122m) above sea level at Mile 41.7
Number of Overlooks ....71
Year Construction Started .... 1931
Year Construction Completed ..... 1939
Construction Cost Per Mile ..... $50,000

Safety Reminders
Be alert for deer, bear, and other animals which may be seen at any time. Reduce speed if you see a deer cross in front of you, since others may be following. Report accidents to the nearest ranger.

Weather conditions at high altitudes on the Skyline Drive are usually more severe than in the valleys below. Hazardous driving conditions sometimes make it necessary to close the Drive. Please exercise special caution if you encounter snow, ice, fog, or high winds.
 
Erected by Shenandoah National Park.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkNatural Features. In addition, it is included in the Civilian Conservation Corps series list.
 
Location.
Park Headquarters Kiosk image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
3. Park Headquarters Kiosk
38° 39.765′ N, 78° 22.335′ W. Marker is in Luray, Virginia, in Page County. Marker is on Lee Highway (U.S. 211), on the right when traveling west. Located at the Shenandoah National Park Headquarters. Touch for map. 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 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Pass Run and Thornton Gap (approx. 0.9 miles away); Gaps in the Story (approx. 2.2 miles away); Thornton Gap (approx. 2.8 miles away); The Greatest Single Feature (approx. 2.8 miles away); William Randolph Barbee (approx. 2.8 miles away); Rappahannock County / Page County (approx. 2.8 miles away); If These Walls Could Talk (approx. 3 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Luray.
 
More about this marker. On the Shenandoah National Park side is a map of the park.

On the Skyline Drive side are a set of photos from the construction of the drive and early days of operation. Between 1933 and the outbreak of World War II, men of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) built many of the stone guard walls you see today. They also constructed picnic areas, cleared trails, and helped control erosion. The photo shows the construction of Hazel Mountain Overlook (Mile 33.0) in August 1935.

Below it is photo of cars on the drive, The Skyline Drive was only partially completed in 1935 when this photo was taken. More of the skyline was visible then because trees had been cut for lumbering, grazing, and farming before the park was established. Today new forests are maturing, but viewpoints are maintained all along the Drive.

At the lower left is a photo of an early accident, This confrontation between a Chevrolet and a Ford in 1937 illustrates a lesson that time hasn't changed: If you're driving, keep your eyes on the Drive - not the Skyline. To the lower right are examples of the may sign posts and warning signs in the park.
 
Also see . . .  Shenandoah National Park. National Park Service site. (Submitted on November 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Park Plantlife Information image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
4. Park Plantlife Information
Park Wildlife Information image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
5. Park Wildlife Information
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,111 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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Aug. 8, 2020