The Shenandoah Valley is probably most famous for its Civil War history. But to those who know and love the beauty and natural fertility of this area, it should come as no surprise that the Shenandoah Valley had human inhabitants well before Europeans arrived. In honor of these fascinating early peoples, we’ve rounded up six fun facts on the Native American History of the Shenandoah Valley.
1. There’s a Lot We Don’t Know about Native American History
This is more of a non-fact than a fact, but it’s important to keep in mind! Native Americans aren’t the easiest people to learn about. They lived quite a long time ago, and they left behind few remains for our historians to find. The Native Americans were often nomadic people whose relationship with the natural world seems to have been one of great respect. They made an effort to leave little impact on the natural systems of which they were a part. However, they did leave some traces of their presence, including pottery shards and burial mounds. Some of the more permanently settled Native American groups also left behind evidence of villages and food storage systems.
2. The Keyser People were among the more settled inhabitants of the Shenandoah Valley
The Keyser people were a group of Native Americans believed to have immigrated to the Shenandoah Valley from the Ohio valley. They seem to have enjoyed a more farm-based and stable culture than some of their hunter-gatherer counterparts, and left traces of large villages of up to 200 inhabitants. Artifacts of shellfish and quartz suggest that the Keyser people were also importing goods from coastal and other regions. It is believed that they exported deer hides from the Shenandoah Valley. Remains of a Keyser village have been discovered near Front Royal.
3. There were tensions between hunter/gatherer and farming tribes
It is believed that the Iroquois, whose culture was based primarily on hunting and gathering, may have been responsible for emptying the Shenandoah Valley of its Native American farmers and villages. These hunter-gatherers thrived in lands otherwise devoid of human settlers. They may have forcibly removed the villagers, whose settlements threatened their own way of life.
4. Native Americans blazed the trail for some modern day Shenandoah Valley roads
It was buffalo, and the Native Americans hunting them, who originally formed the trail that would become Virginia’s Route 11. Running north and south through the Shenandoah Valley, Route 11 closely parallels the busier and less scenic I-81. Whether on the highway or the byway, many modern travelers through the valley are following a Native American route more or less closely.
5. Native Americans formed a complex trail system in the Valley
Native Americans traveled the Shenandoah Valley for many purposes. Hunting, trade, warfare, and the search for the best seasonal forage areas were among their many reasons for travel. Their journeys eventually formed a system of trails known as the Great Warrior Path.
6. Visitors can see Native American Artifacts at the Strasburg Museum
The Strasburg Museum is found in Front Royal’s neighboring town of Strasburg. It’s a fascinating historic building, and a treasure trove of local history. You’ll find Virginia history since the time of the Colonial Era here. If you’re interested in finding out more about the first known human inhabitants of the Shenandoah Valley, you can see Native American artifacts too.
The story of the Native American inhabitants of the Shenandoah Valley is a fascinating, and often overlooked part of the Valley’s history. But exploring the Shenandoah Valley with these facts about its earliest human inhabitants in mind can provide a thrilling new perspective on one of Virginia’s most beautiful landscapes.
Winter is probably the least enticing time of year for venturing outdoors, yet it’s important for your physical and mental health to keep some kind of outdoor activity going through the winter. The good news is that the Front Royal area is a great place to get outdoors all year long. Whether you made a New Year’s resolution to spend more time outdoors, or are simply looking for a breath of fresh air to clear your head this winter, read on. We have six great tips for enjoying being outside around Front Royal all year long.
1. Plan Ahead
If it’s hard for you to take that first step out of your door on a cold day, planning specific outdoor adventure that you’ll enjoy is a good way to overcome this mental block. Whether you decide to take a ten minute walk around your neighborhood, or head to Shenandoah National Park for an afternoon of adventure, you’re more likely to get out there if you know what you’re going to do, and how long (or short!) it’s going to take.
2. Find a Buddy
Having some accountability can make all the difference if you’re on the fence about whether to leave your cozy home on a winter’s day. Find a friend (furry friend is good too!) who’s also committed to getting more outdoor time and make them your winter buddy. If you’ve set a time to meet up, you’re much more likely to go. Or make it a date and have your accountability partner be your spouse or significant other.
3. Be realistic about what you’ll enjoy
The beginning of a New Year is a classic time for making unachievable resolutions and ending up frustrated and depressed. If you’re excited about a resolution to get outdoors more, make sure it’s a realistic one. You’re more likely to succeed at something you genuinely enjoy. If you’re not much of an outdoor adventurer during the rest of the year, don’t plan on a five mile hike once a week in the winter. The good news is there a lots of ways to get outdoors in the winter. Just step outside and look around! Front Royal has some amazing views! A window-shopping walk down Front Royal’s Main Street could be a great option. Or if you have kids, plan a trip to one of Front Royal’s fantastic parks. On the other hand, if you already love to hike, planning some winter adventures might be a great way to keep enjoying the outdoors during the cold season.
4. Dress Appropriately
Having warm enough clothes can make a huge difference to your enjoyment of a winter outing. Warm socks, a hat, and gloves, are all key items to help retain body heat. And you’ll need a good warm coat too, of course. For all your winter clothing needs, check out Mountain Trails on Front Royal’s Main Street.
5. Make the most of winter weather conditions
If the weather’s snowy, it may be unsafe to drive, but you have a great chance to try some winter sports that can’t be enjoyed under any other conditions. Enjoy the stillness and the sights of a snowy walk around your neighborhood, build snowmen in your backyard, or venture a little further to find a sledding hill (Front Royal’s Skyline Middle School has one that’s a local favorite!). If the roads are clear, you could head to Shenandoah National Park and try snowboarding, snowshoeing, or cross country skiing for even more snowy excitement.
6. Reward Yourself with a Treat
Once the chill wears off, we hope you’ll find that the outdoors in winter is so enjoyable that you don’t need any other special treats to help get yourself outside. But if you’re in the camp of those who still aren’t excited about it, reward the extra effort you’re making with a little treat. You could buy (or make) yourself a cup of your favorite hot drink to sip on while you walk or watch your kids at the park. You could enjoy your favorite baked goods when you get home. Or promise yourself a beer and burger as you warm up and refuel from that epic winter hike. Getting outdoors in the winter isn’t always easy. If you’ve risen to the challenge you deserve a reward!
Getting outside in the winter can be more difficult than in any other season. Use these tips to make sure you keep on getting outside this winter. You’ll enjoy the benefits of better health and a better mood all winter long.
Many people would rank winter as their least favorite season, and with cold temperatures, shorter hours of daylight, and long stretches of time cooped up at home, it’s not hard to see why. It may take more effort to get everyone out the door, but winter can still be a great time for family adventures and creating memories with your kids. Read on for five ideas for keeping winter fun around Front Royal with your kids this year. You’ll find suggestions for kids of all ages, and ideas for outdoor and indoor activities you can enjoy in the winter.
1. Go on a Winter Outdoor Adventure
Getting outside can be less appealing in the winter than any other time of year. But if it’s not too cold, an outdoor adventure can be the boost everyone needs. In fact, getting outdoors in the winter has been proven to help combat seasonal depression. An adventure when it’s chilly leaves a great sense of accomplishment. Older kids will enjoy less crowded hiking conditions and the stark beauty of the winter landscape at some of the Front Royal area’s fantastic hikingl ocations like Shenandoah National Park. For little kids, a less demanding walk will still be an adventure. Try heading to Eastham Park for a walk along the stroller-friendly riverside trail. Little ones can enjoy the playgrounds here too. Kids will be having so much fun they’ll for get to feel cold.
2. Enjoy a Winter Sport Together
If it’s snowy, the Front Royal area is a great location for bigger kids to try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Don’t be deterred if you’ve never tried these sports yourself. Snowshoeing is not that much harder than walking, and kids will be tickled at the idea of learning something new alongside an adult they love. Sledding is a favorite winter pastime for kids of all ages and adults too. Front Royal’s Skyline Middle School has a sledding hill that’s a local favorite. Walking back up the hill is a great way to get a work out in.
3. Go on a Hot Chocolate Run
Add some warm and sugary fun to your kid’s winter day by grabbing a hot chocolate together at one of Front Royal’s fantastic coffee shops. DL Campus Coffee on Main and The Daily Grind are two local favorites on Main Street. Or head about a block further to find Manor Line’s Back 40. You’ll find friendly and welcoming environments at all. Manor Line’s Back 40 has board games available, as well as a designated kids area with toys for little ones.
4. Learn New Skills Indoors
If it’s really too cold and wintry to be outside for long, there’s lots to do indoors in Front Royal, and some fantastic opportunities for kids to pick up new skills. Head to Explore Art and Clay for a chance to paint your own pottery. Check out Code Ninjas if your kids are interested in learning about computers and coding skills. Or for exercise and indoor fun wrapped into one, head to Battlegrounds Fitness. Kids can enjoy moving around and getting active while avoiding winter weather conditions.
5. Play Games at Home or in Town!
Playing a game as a family is a great way to enjoy some time with your kids in the winter. If you’re looking for a new game in Front Royal, head to Play Favorites and pick out something to bring home from a fantastic range of games and toys. Make your family game night even more fun by playing a game while you’re still out and about. Play Favorites has a game room where you can try out many of the games in the store, as well as check out some arcade games. Or grab your hot chocolate at Manor Line’s Back 40, and enjoy one of their stash of board games while you’re there.
If winter weather is turning “cozy” into “cabin fever,” don’t feel like you have to stay cooped up at home! Front Royal is a great place to enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor winter activities. Say goodbye to those cold weather blues and come cheer up in Front Royal this winter!
Buying and giving gifts is a beloved tradition of the holiday season, and a great way to spread good will and seasonal cheer. The shopping end of things can be time consuming or stressful, though. If buying gifts has you in a tizzy this year, fear not! Front Royal has you covered. We’re here with a gift guide to help you find something for everyone on your list while supporting local businesses.
If you’re concerned about waste and clutter and are jumping on the clutter-free gift trend, we have ideas for you too. There’s no need to feel obligated to burden your loved ones with unwanted stuff. In Front Royal, you can give the gift of a gift card or a Front Royal experience that your friends and family will love and remember for years to come.
So read on for ideas that will delight your loved ones and make this year’s gift shopping simple, easy, and fun.
Front Royal Gifts for the Art Lover
You shouldn’t have a hard time finding a gift for the art lover in your life in Front Royal. Stop by Turnmeyer Galleries for fine art, and gorgeous photography prints. You’ll also find beautiful gifts, such as puzzles, coasters, and more. Any lover of beauty will be thrilled with a gift from Turnmeyer Galleries. Christmas ornaments are another classic gift, and you’ll find beautiful and unique ones here that’ll remind your loved ones of the fantastic Front Royal area.
Want to give an artistic gift, but not sure what to buy? Give a gift that’s both an experience and a treasured art piece by signing a friend or family member up for a class at Explore Art & Clay. They can have a great time learning new skills, and will come home with a piece of art of their own.
Front Royal Gifts for the Outdoor Adventurer
Front Royal is a haven for lovers of the outdoors, and it’s a great place to shop for them too! Even the most committed outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy their adventures more with a gear upgrade. Check out Front Royal’s Mountain Trails to find great outdoor shoes and clothing as well as everything your favorite outdoors lovers might need in their backpacks.
Looking for a clutter-free gift that keeps on giving? How about an annual pass to Shenandoah National Park? The outdoors enthusiasts in your life can enjoy adventures on you all year long!
Front Royal Gifts for Kids
New toys usually bring smiles and excitement on Christmas morning, and in Front Royal, Play Favorites is a great place to shop for the kids of all ages in your life. You’ll find great toys and games that will not only keep your kids entertained, but allow opportunities for spending quality time together.
Don’t want to add more stuff to your home? For many kids, the best gift can be time spent doing something fun with the adults they love. Consider planning a family bowling adventure at Royal Family Bowling Center. Or give the gift of fun and fitness by signing the kids up for classes at Battlegrounds Fitness.
Exploring Front Royal’s Gift Shops
When hunting for the perfect gift, it can be much easier to explore gift shops in person. Online shopping doesn’t give you the same chance to browse for ideas or handle an object before buying it. If you’re looking to go on a treasure hunt for unique and perfect gifts, Fornt Royal’s downtown in the perfect location. Explore several antiques on Main Street, and find unique gifts at White Picket Fence, Inklings, Explore Art and Clay, and more. Make your shopping trip fun by taking a break for a delicious coffee at DL Campus Coffee on Main, The Daily Grind, or Manor Line’s Back 40.
Front Royal’s Food Gifts for the Foodie or the Person who’s Hard to Shop For
We all have at least one of them on our list. Every year, it’s a struggle to come up with a great idea for a gift that they’ll love. Good news: everyone loves food! Foodies dream of receiving edible gifts, and even the most difficult person to shop for will appreciate (and actually use!) a restaurant gift card or some gourmet foods to enjoy at home during the holiday season. In Front Royal, there’s a great range of places to buy gourmet local foods, wines, and more. Or check out our extensive restaurant scene and find a gift card to suit any taste!
To give the gift of delicious treats to enjoy at home, check out Front Royal’s Manor Line Market and Dusty’s Country Store. You’ll find gourmet, healthy and local food items at both. Or head out of town to the Apple House for an extensive selection of local products and gifts. For wine lovers, check out Front Royal Wines, or give them something new to try with the gift of Front Royal-produced mead from Saga Meadery or Honey and Hops Brew Works.
Don’t forget that the Front Royal area is Virginia Wine Country. Another great alternative for a wine lover might be the gift of a membership to one of Front Royal’s many fantastic wineries.
Exploring Front Royal’s shops and local businesses is a great way to make your gift shopping experience fun this year. You can support local businesses, and find exciting and memorable gifts at the same time. Say good bye to gift shopping stress and say hello to Front Royal’s fantastic shopping scene.
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