It is no secret that much of the scenic allure of the Shenandoah Valley has to do with how its landscape and environment changes are so dramatically visual from season to season – but most so whenever Autumn arrives.
As days get shorter and cooler, you can always count on seeing more and more out-of-state plates on scenic byways and up on Skyline Drive, the world-famous Shenandoah National Park highway that meanders for miles and miles among spectacular Valley vistas and Blue Ridge Mountain peaks.
In fact, about 23 percent of the yearly number of Shenandoah National Park visitors arrive during the month of October, the same month that the annual fall foliage colors tend to be the brightest.
A portion of Skyline Drive traffic comes from the nearby Washington, D.C. - Baltimore area. And as increasing numbers of cars, motorcycles, campers, bicycles and joggers converge on a two-lane, limited access ribbon of winding road with a 35 m.p.h. speed limit, city escapees can often find themselves in the middle of the one thing they were trying to get away from back home: gridlock!
Autumn traffic congestion does exist on peak foliage days, but with a little bit of planning it's also something that can be avoided. First and foremost: Avoid the weekend crowds and plan to come during the week.
Then try heading in a direction from south to north on Skyline drive, instead of entering via the northernmost gateway, just off I-66 at Front Royal, Va.Read more...
Virginia's scenic Shenandoah Valley is a great place to visit during any season, but Autumn is extra special. World renown mountaintop vistas, countless Valley backroads with a myriad of visual experices. It's also a time for flavorful festivals, thrilling live performances and inspiring living history ... all set against a flaming backdrop of Fall colors and natural beauty.
15 Tannery Lane. Bi-annual show sponsored by Clarke County Historical Association. Oover 300 artists from around the region and over 1000 works of art for sale. 25th Anniversary. Runs through Oct. 18. Monday through Thursday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday frrom 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Lunch available at nearby Locke Modern Country Store or picnic in a meadow. Admission: Adults, $5. Seniors $3. Ages 12 and under, free admission. Free Admission Day Oct. 10. For more information, call 540-955-2600 or visit www.clarkehistory.org/art-at-the-mill.html.
41-F Court Square. Appalachian Trail: An American Legacy. Presented by the Harrisonburg Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, and community partners. Presention follows: Harrisonburg as an Appalachian Trail Community, thru and section hiking the trail, and the partnership between the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club PATC and Harrisonburg High School STEM students. Benefits Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and related ocal projects. Outdoor gear displays, networking with related organizations. Tickets available online: $8 and can be purchased online. For more information, call 540-433-9189 or visit www.valleyarts.org/films.
Shenandoah National Park has closed the Whiteoak Canyon area trails and parking area due to recent flooding: Whiteoak Canyon parking lot off of Berry Hollow road, route 600, and the Whiteoak Canyon and Cedar Run trails. TClosed until further notice. All hikers should generally be extra careful on the trails. Check for weather updates on the SNP Facebook page, Twitter feeds or at www.nps.gov/shen.
Fire Hall Gallery JC Visitors Ctr 108 N. George St. Light Dark Fire. Ginny Fite, Words and Color, Martha LeRoi, Clay, Carol Slovikosky, Glass. Runs through Oct. 27. Works in words and color, clay, and glass. Free admission. For more information, call 304-724-2090 or visit washingtonstartists.org.
830 Long Branch Lane. The Big Book of Virginia Ghost Stories 2010 by L.B. Taylor, Jr. New members welcome, free membership. Club meets first Tuesday of every month. OK to bring a snack or dinner. For more information, call 540-837-1856 or visit www.visitlongbranch.org.
Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen St. Runs through Oct. 11. Gallery co-op space with 18 artists and artisans. Open Wednesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Part of the nationally-celebrated American Craft Week.For more information, visit www.berkeleyartswv.org.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is located at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. The town began as an important crossroads and was also a strategic transportation hub during the Civil War.