The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
 
Everyone's a cousin at Brocks Gap Heritage Day

Brocks Gap in the Shenandoah Valley

 

There was a time when the “great American frontier” was right here in the Shenandoah Valley. At that time, the size of the North American continent may likely have simply been too big to deal with for most of the newly-arrived colonists. How could they ever wrap their minds around such a vast, unexplored expanse?

For many of these Europeans who wonderingly landed on eastern seaboard city wharves in New York or Philadelphia, it seemed that the farther out west you went, it just got tougher and tougher.  

For one thing, sooner or later you'd likely run into a wall of mountains. Roads were bad or non-existent. And a short time later, at least partially thanks to French efforts to turn Native American goodwill against the British, many of the longtime inhabitants out there were definitely not friendly to newcomers.

Colonists who followed the Great Wagon Road south from Pennsylvania – now historic U.S. Route 11 – were able to find a only a precious few passes into and through the imposing and seemingly unending Allegheny mountain range. The challenge would be to somehow get a wagon to the Ohio River and then hopefully be able to push farther westward from there.

One such passage through the Alleghenies exists in the Shenandoah Valley, beginning at Brocks Gap. There, the North Branch of the Shenandoah River flows out into the Valley from a circular vale ringed with rugged mountains, forming Virginia's boundary with West Virginia. Brocks Gap is located in Rockingham County, Va., northwest of the city of Harrisonburg, Va., and a few miles west of the town of Broadway.

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It’s Springtime in the Shenandoah Valley!
Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia

In April, the Valley shakes off the coldness of Winter for good.  The ridges green up, the days get even longer and warmer. Our regional parks swing into gear, offering hiking, fishing, cycling and sightseeing. History, music, fun. Outdoor festivals. Sparkling days, cool nights. April is simply a great time to be livin’ good in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia!

  Happening today

Music and Dancing in Raphine, Va.

Clarks Ole Time Music Center, located at Clarks Lumber Co., 1288 Ridge Road. longtime Friday-night tradition of old-time music and dance from 7:30-10 p.m. Admission: $8 per person, $15 per couple. For more information, call 540-377-2490.


Theater production at Schultz Theater in New Market, Va.

9357 N. Congress St. The Glass Menagerie. Tennessee Williams. Drama. Performances on April April 29 and April 30 at 7 p.m. and May 1 at 3 p.m. For more information, call 540- 740-9119. Tickets: $13 for adults and $11 for students and seniors. For more information, call 540-740-9119 or visit www.schultztheatre.com


Spring Choral Concert at Bridgewater College

Carter Center. BC assistant professor of music, Dr. John McCarty, directs the BC College Chorale and Concert Choir. Free admission, open to the public.


Trillium Field Trip at Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, Va.

Marion Lobstein, VNPS, hosts Arbor Day field trip to Thompson Wildlife Management Area. Meet at Blandy library to carpool. Reservations required. Foundation members $10, non-members $12. For more information, visit blandy.virginia.edu.


Art exhibition at Smith House Galleries in Harrisonburg, Va.

The Smith House, Darrin-McHone Gallery, 311 South Main St. Atlanta-based artist Jessica Caldas: Carrying On, debuts new mixed media work from the artist exploring themes of surviving and transitioning through the trauma of sexual assault. Opening on April 1 from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Runs through April 29. Open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. . For more information, call 540-801-8779.


Apple Blossom Party concert at Bright Box Theater in Winchester, Va.

15 N Loudoun St. Mojo Mothership. Blues music. Tickets: $5 at the door. For more information, visit www.brightboxwinchester.com


Theater performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Arms and the Man. Admission: Pay-what-you-will. Opening performance. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com.


Art exhibition at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau will present works from the Dhawan Collection, Los Angeles, one of the largest collections of Alphonse
Mucha work in the United States, in a traveling exhibitioin. Changing Exhibitions Gallery. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.theMSV.org.


Arbor Day in Virginia tour at Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Va.

780 University Blvd. Frances Plecker Education Center. Virginia Native Trees Tour led by Arboretum director. For more information, call 540-568-3194 or visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum


Queens Ball in Winchester, Va.

George Washington Hotel Ballroom. Features Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival Court. Limited ticket availability. Admission: $50 per ticket, $100 per couple. Nearby parking garage parking available. For more information, call 540-662-3863 or visit www.thebloom.com.


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About ShenandoahValley.com

Visiting this website, you've just landed in the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, USA. ShenandoahValley.com is owned and operated by a small, independent business located right here in the region. We know the place. Our mission is to showcase its visual beauty, but we've also got some things to share about the people who live here, the culture and, of course, some really rich history and heritage.

Visit this place and it can seem like you are coming home. Our website background photos are provided by a select group of photographers from across the region who share their own love of the Valley through the lenses of their cameras.

While we provide a regional events listing that is always up to date, ShenandoahValley.com is not an encyclopedia about the Valley or a travel guide. In fact, we're not really selling anything on here. You can find location-specific tidbits about the Valley, particularly on our events page.

Each month we feature a Home page feature story and video that highlights something special about events, history and people.

Much of what is on here simply comes from our love for this world-reknown spot, the Daughter of the Stars, O Shenandoah, Shenandoah River... Shenandoah Valley.

If you like our website, consider making a donation ...we'd certainly tip a glass of Virginia-made beer or wine to your kindness! Either way, we're glad you stopped by. Come back to see us again!

Old farm truck in Shenandoah County Virginia

An old farm tanker rusts in a Shenandoah County, Virginia farm field.

About West Phillips

West Phillips is an international portrait and travel photographer, currently based in Miami, Florida. He began his photography career in 2010 while living in San Francisco, California.

...photo by West Phillips