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Skyline Drive is 105 mi (169 km) of twisty roads in Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia. This motorcycle route from Front Royal to Waynesboro is 110 mi (177km) long and can be completed in 3 hours.
Photo by Kevin Borland/Flickr
Skyline Drive is a designated Scenic National Byway so it's well maintained. It's extremely popular in autumn when the forest changes colors. Every year, two million people travel Skyline Drive so there can be traffic, but the ride's worth it. With this in mind make sure you give yourself enough time to conquer the road. Once you embark, there aren't many places to get off and the posted speed limit is 35 mph (60 km/h). Watch out for tourists stopping along the Skyline to take in views from the 75 available overlooks. Before you go, note that the road is closed during inclement weather and at night during deer hunting season from mid November to January.
Photo by William Spinrad Jr./Flickr
The start of the route is in Front Royal, a town of 14,400 people; it's located at the Northern entrance to Shenandoah National Park. Riding South for 1 mi (1.6 km) on US Highway 340 will get you to the entrance of Shenandoah and the beginning of Skyline Drive. From here it's a twisty, scenic and unimpeded ride South for 105 mi (169 km). Since there are only two cross roads to Skyline Drive through the park, riders can put their maps away and ride at peace, knowing that getting lost is --very nearly-- impossible.
Photo by touristguy87/Edited by ESR
A popular attraction in the Shenandoah area are Caves. Some of the most popular cave systems being the Skyline Caverns http://www.skylinecaverns.com/ in Front Royal and Luray Caverns http://www.luraycaverns.com/ in Luray. The Luray Caverns can be reached by heading West at Skyline Drive and Highway 211. Once in the cave you'll find a natural pond where many visitors cast coins donated to charity; over $750,000 in coins have been gathered here so far. Be sure to bring your camera to both caves because many photo opportunities await inside.
While in the park take an opportunity to explore many of the great hiking trails. Some great ones include Dark Hollow Falls Trail, Stony Man Trail and ever popular Appalachian Trail.
Photo by Carl Kriigel/Flickr
With many streams and rivers in the park, fly fisherman flock here to catch the abundant Brook, Brown and RainbowTrout. Riders who fancy some time wading in the shallows should remember to pack their portable rods when prepping for a ride through Shenandoah. Note that there are restrictions and regulations on fishing in U.S. national parks, for details on how it works in Shenandoah see here: nps.gov/shen/parkmgmt/upload/fishing_regulations.pdf (use Anchor Link: Fishing Regulations in Shenandoah)
Photo by Larry W. Brown/Flickr
The roads on this National Scenic Byway are very twisty, with what seems to be an endless stream of curves running through the National Park. Riders will travel through forest, tunnels, along rivers and around mountains.
From the end of Skyline Drive ride Northwest to Waynesboro on East Main Street (Highway 250) for 4.3 mi (6.9 km). Waynesboro is a town of 21,000 people located at the South end of Shenandoah National Park. For more information on what to see where to eat and sleep in Waynesboro see: http://www.waynesboro.va.us/index.php
With over 100 miles of twisties through a Virginia treasure and countless tourist opportunities Shenandoah gives you many reasons to visit. After an exciting ride through the park and a rest stop in Waynesboro get back on your trusty steed and enjoy the ride back South to North on Skyline Drive. Enjoy the ride, Eat Sleep Ride!