Shenandoah National Park extends from Front Royal in the North to Waynesboro in the South covering some 198,000 acres of Government protected lands that are haven to deer, songbirds, and many small animals. Shenandoah National Park offers many opportunities to take a quiet hike or a casual walk, view cascading waterfalls, or just spend time on a family picnic. The park property ajoins Sun Dancer Lodge and Spirit Dancer Lodge enabling Old Rag Mountain, one of the primary hiker attractions, to be directly accessible from our property. There are many other access points around the perimeter for hikers as the park has over 500 miles of trails that vary in length from short leg stretchers to a 101 mile segment of the Appalachian Trail that runs the length of the park.
But by far the greatest number of people enjoy Shenandoah National Park from the 105 mile long Skyline Drive that winds down the ridge line of the mountains along the Blue Ridge offering spectacular vistas below. The road connects directly with the 469 mile Blue Ridge Parkway. Many parking overlooks present panoramas of the Piedmont to the east and Shenandoah Valley to the west. Sun Dancer Lodge and Spirit Dancer Lodge are located just a short drive from Thornton Gap which is one of the major entrance points to the park. Park rangers at the entrance station can answwer your questions and give other assistance. Skyland, located just 10 miles south at 3,680 feet is the highest point on Skyline Drive and is one of the primary tourist facility stops providing dining room, gift shop, horse riding, conducted hikes, and evening programs.
Plan a group outing at Spirit Dancer Lodge or Sun Dancer Lodge and drive to Skyline Drive at the Route 211 Thornton Gap entrance for a mountain escape and spectacular views.
If you would like to hike Old Rag Mountain, arguably the best hike in the Shenandoah, we are just a few miles from the ranger staffed trail head at the base of the mountain. Alternatively, we have developed a set of GPS coordinates that enable the experienced hiker to summit Old Rag Mountain directly from our property bushwhacking through the woods to intersect the National Park Old Rag Trail just prior to the start of the final rock scramble. Hiking distances from either starting point are approximately the same. During your stay at The Lodges, we would be happy to share these GPS coordinates with you for a truly outstanding hiking experience.