Day Tripping In The Mountains

On Thursday (4/23), we decided to take a day trip up to the mountains. The campground where we are parked is located at the base of the western side of the Massanutten Mountain. (Bottom left of the following image).  The light blue squiggly lines on the left and right sides of Massanutten is the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River which flows North into the Potomac River at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia about 90 miles  (145km) from our home base location. (That will be a day trip for another day.)

Day Trip SkyLine 1

Day Trip Route
Google Maps

We had cool temperatures for the day so we packed up the fur babies and headed for the hills. First stop was breakfast at Southern Kitchen in New Market. According to Urban Spoon, TripAdvisor, and Roadfood this is a definite stop for foodies.

Southern Kitchen
New Market, VA

Second generation family now operates the restaurant and has kept the nostalgic look and feel. Breakfast was tasty. Fried Chicken is to die for and Peanut Soup is their specialty. Cindy is our favorite waitress – yes, we’ve been here a few times already.

OK, back to the road trip. We stopped at the post office in New Market to drop off some snail mail then headed north for 48 miles (6.4 km) to Front Royal, the northern entrance to Sky Line Drive. Front Royal has 13 sites listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. This is another city we need to visit on a future trip; most likely on our way to Harper’s Ferry.

Sky Line Drive is designated a National Scenic Byway. The route runs 105-mile (169-km) through Shenandoah National Park (311.1 sq mi; 806 km2) along the ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains of in Virginia.

Shenandoah Skyline 1 Our America The Beautiful Senior Pass (which cost us $10 three years ago and is good for life) gives us free access to this and any national park in the US. Four miles up into the park is the Dickey Ridge Visitor’s Center. We stopped here for a pit stop and to get some general information about the park and the drive. We learned the drive is broken into three segments. The Northern segment runs about 30 miles south to the Thornton Gap Entrance Station near Luray, VA on US 211. This is where we got off on this trip. Then the Central segment runs about 35 miles (56km) from Thornton Gap to Swift Run Gap  near US-33 at Elkton, VA. This will be our next trek on Sky Line Drive. The Southern segments continues about 40 miles (64km) to Rockfish Gap which is near Waynesboro at I-64. Click here to see a detailed map of the entire 105 mile (169km) Sky Line Drive. The route continues under the name of Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway continues on for 469 miles (755 km) through Virginia and ends near Cherokee, North Carolina.


View looking west from Dickey Ridge Visitor’s Center
Elevation 1940 feet

There are over 75 overlooks along the route that provide a safe place for visitors to pull over to take in the beauty of the valley. You will have to come back tomorrow to see some of the photos I took along the route.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.


7 responses to “Day Tripping In The Mountains

  1. We love the Drive. Used to tent camp there when a child. So much to see in the area. Have spent days there many times. As they say…Virginia is for Lovers.

  2. Ya’ll had quite a trip Jerry!Thanks for that tip on the senior pass. Never heard of it. I checked it out and I have two years till I’m eligible, but H passes through nicely and he just had another birthday, but we won’t say which one! 😉 ~Elle

  3. Neat trip. A fun get away for the day with fried chicken too! That view was beautiful! And a wealth of information for all of us to tuck away into our brains for our future trips. Thank Ya, Jerry!

  4. I love the view, takes your breath away! I like your idea of putting in the maps – thanks for that, as I don’t know the area, it makes the post very interesting to read.

  5. What a fabulous outing and beautiful country! 🙂

  6. Pingback: On A Clear Day . . . | Tales from the WagginMaster

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