A Flyby Visit along the Ridges and Ravines of Shenandoah National Park
Because of our tight schedule, we had only a few hours to explore Shenandoah National Park. We certainly didn’t give the park the time it deserved, but despite our whirlwind adventure, we saw more wildlife, big and small, in Shenandoah, than we had seen in any other park.
If I had to describe Shenandoah, it would be of a half-scale mashup of our previous two parks, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Shenandoah certainly has components of both, from the winding, ridge-hugging Skyline Drive reminiscent of the Blue Ridge, to the plentiful summit and falls hikes, similar, though slighter in elevation to the Smoky Mountains.
What Shenandoah lacks in scale, it more than makes up for in wildlife. Atop the northern Virginia mountains, summer was still new, with all manner of wildflowers blooming along the roadsides and meadows of the park. With the flowers came a panoply of bees and butterflies, showing off their colorful patterns as they landed on the flowers to extract the life-giving nectar. Add to the variety a young buck fresh with velveteen antlers, and though our trip was short, we got a chance to see many wonderful pieces of God’s creation firsthand. We can’t wait to go back again soon and give the park the time it deserves.
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