It’s the scene of beautiful drives, exciting hikes, and stunning fall vistas. Its northern entrance station is located in Front Royal. It’s Shenandoah National Park. Views of the tree covered slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains are gorgeous from Shenandoah National Park in the fall. The leaf colors are slowly changing, putting on a fantastic display. All this beauty draws in the crowds, making October Shenandoah National Park’s busiest month. In honor of another beautiful fall in Shenandoah National Park, we’re taking a look at the history of this popular Virginia destination. Read on for five fun facts about the story of Shenandoah National Park.
1. Shenandoah National Park has a Different Story from the National Parks of the West
The earliest national parks sprung up on the federally owned lands of the west. They were based around preserving natural wonders for public enjoyment. Thus, the Grand Canyon, the geologic wonders and amazing wildlife of Yellowstone, and the towering rock faces of Yosemite were all obvious selections. In the 1920s, a committee was formedto select an area in the east so that those unable to travel to the west could still have a national park to enjoy. Thus, Shenandoah National Park and its sister park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park came to be.
2. Shenandoah National Park once had Human Inhabitants
Because Shenandoah National Park was created less organically than the parks of the west, the area chosen for the park already had private landholders and residents. One of the earliest stages in the process of building the park was purchasing privately owned land and evicting squatters who had lived on the land without owning it for generations. Some landowners and residents were happy to comply. Others resisted until they were forcibly evicted. In order to allay public uneasiness with this process, several reporters visited the area. They painted a picture of the mountain people as near-savages who would be better off resettled in more urban civilization. It now seems that these reports were exaggerated or even falsified. The U.S. government’s treatment of these mountain residents remains controversial to this day. Today, remains of the homes of these early inhabitants can still be seen at the park.
3. Many of Shenandoah National Park’s areas of Wilderness were Planted
Because Shenandoah National Park had been the site of human settlements, areas of the forests had been cleared for orchards, pastures, gardens, and human habitations. One of the jobs of the park’s builders was to destroy human habitations, orchards, and farmlands, and replant these areas with native species. A nursery was even established for this purpose at Big Meadows.
In 1933, President Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to provide work for young men and relieve the unemployment crisis of the Great Depression. The President established six CCC camps in Shenandoah National Park in 1933. These civilian workers completed much of the important work on the national park, including working on the park’s central roadway (Skyline Drive) as well as building trails, picnic sites, bathrooms, and more.
5. Skyline Drive was Meant to Give Travelers a Sense of Flying
When Shenandoah National Park was built, car travel was becoming popular, but airplane travel and skyscrapers were still uncommon. Driving along Skyline Drive, atop the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, was the closest many residents of the Eastern United States ever got to flying. With sweeping panoramas on either side, it’s easy to see why taking a spin along Skyline Drive makes you feel on top of the world!
With its northern entrance station in the town of Front Royal, Shenandoah National Park is a great fall destination. Enjoy an amazing fall adventure at the park, and don’t forget to check out delicious dining and exciting shopping in Front Royal on your way in or out.
The town of Front Royal may be small, but it’s anything but sleepy! With a full calendar of fantastic events, there’s always something exciting to do. Mark your calendar and make your plans to attend a fun-filled event in Front Royal this fall, starting this weekend! There’s something for everyone, from relaxing at a vineyard to throwing axes and stargazing. Check out Front Royal’s events calendar and see what’s in store for the glorious season of fall.
September 2022 in Front Royal: Cars, Music, Axes, and History
Front Royal’s fall events get started this weekend, with a jam-packed schedule of fun, education, music, and more.
First up, and lasting the whole weekend, the NCMTFC Tour is planned for the Front Royal area. If you happen to own an antique car, you’ll want to jump right in on this one. Imagine exploring the stunning Front Royal countryside by road, and taking your vehicle on the iconic Skyline Drive. With stops planned at fantastic Front Royal restaurants you’ll get to enjoy so much of what our town has to offer. This event is a great one for all car enthusiasts. If you’re not driving, check the itinerary and figure out where you can enjoy watching a parade of antique cars pass by!
On the afternoon of September 24, history lovers should head to Bel Air house at 2 p.m.. Enjoy a tour of this local historic home, along with readings from the diary of Civil War era resident, Lucy Buck.
In honor of Public Lands Day, National Parks are offering free admission on Saturday, September 24. Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. Take a hike, pack a picnic, go for a drive, and enjoy the day!
Find out more details here.
If Blues Music is your jam, make sure to be in the Front Royal area on September 24th. You can head to nearby Woodville and explore the John Jackson Piedmont Blues Music Festival. Spend the whole afternoon/evening relaxing with live music, book signings, food trucks, and more.
September 24th is also the date of the Shenandoah Valley Axe Company’s grand opening celebration. Axe throwing is a fresh new entertainment trend that we’re so excited to see in Front Royal. Help Shenandoah Valley Axe Company celebrate making a fresh beginning in a new Front Royal location. There’ll be live music, mud trucks, a knife throwing demonstration, and more. And, of course, you can try your own hand at axe throwing.
Wine lovers won’t want to miss with Sunset in the Vineyard event at Fox Meadow Winery on September 24th. Sip on into the evening until 9 pm at this gorgeous vineyard, and enjoy live music.
September is truly going out with a bang in Front Royal this year. After a weekend of fun, Front Royal residents should mark their calendars for the Civic Pride Workshop on September 27th. Noted speaker Jeff Siegler will help residents learn how to give the local community a boost.
October 2022 in Front Royal
October is a month when the crowds head to Front Royal to see the leaves change. Whether you live in Front Royal or are one of many planning a fall Front Royal trip this October, check out our events calendar to get the most from your time in Front Royal.
The annual Homesteaders of America Conference takes place at Warren County Fairgrouds October 7 and 8. Noted homesteading speakers such as Joel Salatin, Justin Rhodes, and Shawn and Beth Dougherty will teach attendees how to take more steps to raise, preserve, and prepare their own food. Homesteading is a fast growing movement, and you’ll find plenty to interest you whether your efforts at food production are confined to your kitchen or include a few acres and some livestock.
For thrills and fun, head to the Warren County airport for the Wings and Wheels event on the morning of October 8th. With planes, skydiving, cars, and more the Wings and Wheels event is a fun one for the whole family. Call 540-635-3570 for more information.
Front Royal has plenty of small-town festival fun in store this October, too. Head our way October 14th and 15th for the fiftieth annual Festival of Leaves. The excitement kicks off with a Friday night block party in Front Royal’s historic downtown. Come back any time on Saturday for fall festival fun, with craft vendors, live music, food drink, and family friendly activities.
Round your October out Front Royal’s Hometown Halloween celebration on October 29th. Enjoy an afternoon and evening of Halloween fun, with pumpkin painting, costumes, and more. Head back to Fox Meadow Winery in the evening for another Sunset in the Vineyard event.
With changing leaves, glorious fall colors, and fun events, fall is an exciting season in Front Royal. Mark your calendar so you don’t miss a moment in our favorite Shenandoah Valley small town!
Independence Day is an iconic American holiday, and a midsummer event that’s full of potential for adventuring and memory-making. With warm weather, schools on summer break, and tents full of fireworks everywhere, it’s not too hard to get in vacation mode whether you’re celebrating over a week, a long weekend, or just for the day. Front Royal has all you need to make Fourth of July glorious this year, no matter how you plan on celebrating. Read on for some ideas on celebrating Independence Day in the Front Royal area.
Plan a Back Country Camping Trip
What better way to celebrate independence than by reducing your dependence on modern conveniences for a weekend? Independence Day falls on a Monday in 2022, giving many of us a three day weekend. Take advantage of the opportunity for an extended break from work and get away from it all in the great outdoors. The Front Royal area has great options for backpacking and back country camping. Start with Shenandoah National Park, which has plenty of scope for adventure with over 196,000 acres of wilderness. Not sure where to start? Check out this list of back country trips in the park. They’re all categorized by level of difficulty so you can find something that’s exciting but not too much of a challenge to be safe or enjoyable. George Washington National Forest is another nearby area with primitive camping options that will provide peace and solitude and challenge experienced backpackers.
Want to spend a weekend camping, but not feeling ready for the adventure of the back country? Shenandoah National Park and George Washington National Forest both offer a range of camping options so most families and groups can find something to suit their wishes. For more camping ideas in the Front Royal area see here.
Enjoy the Front Royal Outdoors with Friends and Family
You may not have a whole weekend to plunge into a camping adventure, but spending a day of Fourth of July weekend outdoors with friends and family is still a great way to recharge and celebrate. Front Royal has so many opportunities for families and groups to enjoy themselves in the great outdoors. For epic relaxation and fun, plan a river trip in the Canoe Capital of Virginia.
If a river trip doesn’t suit, why not just get everyone together for a fun afternoon of lawn games and grilled food at Shenandoah River State Park’s riverside picnic area. You can enjoy wading or fishing from the banks, and relax with some lawn games in the shade. Or see here for loads more ideas of summertime fun that’s waiting in Front Royal.
Attend an Event in Front Royal
If you’re looking for a Fourth of July Party, Front Royal is a great place to be. The celebration starts on the evening of Friday July 1st, with fireworks at the NOVA 4-H Center. With food trucks and live music starting at five, followed by fireworks at nightfall, this FREE event is an evening of classic Fourth of July fun you won’t want to miss.
The Town of Front Royal presents, 'Let's Celebrate our Independence' on Sunday July 3! The day will begin with car show at Lindsay Chevrolet Front Royal from 12 - 4 p.m. and FREE Double Header with the Front Royal Cardinals at Bing Crosby Stadium. To top the day off, there will be a FIREWORKS SHOW after the 2nd game!
Come hang out at Mac's Roller Rink for their first annual summer fest! Featuring games, inflatables, face-paint, cookout with burgers/hotdogs, slip n slide, music, cornhole, fireworks, AND more!! A day for the whole family!
Kids wristbands $15. Supervising parents/adults are FREE.
Food Tickets $5 includes burger and drink or 2 hot dogs and drink.
Enjoy a day out and some summer fun for all ages!
On Fourth of July itself, find the party at the Shenandoah Valley Golf Club. Enjoy an afternoon/evening of live music, DJ fun, an epic Slip N Slide, and a buffet of delicious food. Get your tickets here.
Whether you’re looking for family fun, fireworks, or a weekend in the great outdoors, Front Royal is the perfect small town to celebrate Fourth of July. Join us for adventure, excitement, and relaxation, and you’ll a Fourth of July that’ll leave you with great memories for years to come.
With schools out and warm temperatures, summer is the time of year when many Americans plan to travel and enjoy vacation. But in 2022 with gas prices hitting record highs, taking a trip to a distant destination will be more expensive than ever before. If gas prices are giving you pause, don’t give up on the idea of a vacation just yet! It’s time to start seeing travel limitations as an opportunity! A local vacation can be just as fun as one that involves long-distance travel, and if you’re near the Front Royal area, you have the perfect destination right on your doorstep. Whether you’re a resident of the D.C. Metro area, or hail from even closer to Front Royal, give our amazing small town a look. You’ll discover that Front Royal is packed with all the ingredients it takes to make for a great vacation. Bonus: with travel time cut down you’ll have even more time to spend relaxing and enjoying yourself.
Read on for six reasons we love the idea of a local vacation in the Front Royal area! Soon you’ll be wondering why you ever took the trouble of travelling far away for a vacation!
1. Front Royal has Fantastic Lodging and Dining
It wouldn’t feel like a vacation without the chance to relax and enjoy comfortable accommodations and delicious food. If a local vacation has you saving money on travel expenses, you may have a little left in the budget to enjoy some extra luxuries in the lodging and dining departments.
In the Front Royal area, you can find truly unique lodging options for a memorable and comfortable stay. Check out the John Pope Cabin at Walnut Hill Farm and Estate, or Mountain Home Bed and Breakfast for fantastic lodging you won’t forget. Explore the rolling farmland that surrounds Rolling River Holidays’ stunning vacation homes. Or plan on some hot tub relaxation by booking a cabin with Hot Tub Heaven. See here for a fuller list of Front Royal’s lodging options including hotels, cozy cabins, and more.
Gourmet meals area also easy to find in Front Royal. The Element is Front Royal’s classic option for fine dining. Check out Vibrissa Beer or Pavemint Taphouse for local craft beer and delicious food. Or head to neighboring Flint Hill to enjoy other upscale options.
2. Outdoor Adventures Aplenty Await in Front Royal
With its location conveniently close to Shenandoah National Park and the Shenandoah River, Front Royal is perhaps best known as a destination for lovers of outdoor adventure. Adventure awaits whichever way you turn in Front Royal. Plan a hike or backpacking trip in the National Park, explore rock climbing, or plan out a whole week of outdoor fun with canoeing in the Shenandoah River, hiking, biking, and more all easily accessible from Front Royal.
3. Front Royal has Lots for History Buffs
It’s a lesser known claim to fame, but the Shenandoah Valley (Front Royal included) was the scene of some key battles of the Civil War. The Front Royal area retains a strong sense of history to this day. Explore at your own pace with the Battle of Front Royal Civil Driving Tour, or check Front Royal’s events page for Civil War talks, tours, and more. If you’re staying in Front Royal, you’ll also be within reach of Civil War Battlefields at New Market, Cedar Creek, and Antietam.
4. Find the Fun at Front Royal’s Events
Keep your local Front Royal vacation exciting by attending some special events. Front Royal has a busy events calendar, and you’ll find there’s a lot going on. Relax at Fox Meadow Winery with their Sunset in the Vineyard events, or head to Shenandoah Valley Golf Club on a Friday Night for Fire Pit Fridays. Take in a Front Royal Cardinals home baseball game for more fun. If you’re here mid-July, don’t miss the Valley Baseball League All-Star Game on July 17. Plan your visit for the first week of August and enjoy some honest country fun at the Warren County Fair.
5. Front Royal is Camping Out Heaven
Some like a little luxury in vacation accommodations, for others it’s more refreshing (and affordable) to take it back to the basics with a camping trip. Some long-lasting family memories can be made around the campfire, and it’s a great way to unplug a little more and help the whole family enjoy being together. With fantastic scenery and lots of parks nearby, Front Royal has great camping options, from riverside to mountain top and more. Check them out here.
6. Front Royal is Fun for all the Family
If you’re bringing kids you’ll want to make sure you plan some fun for them, too. From a fun splash pad for little ones to kayaking, horseback riding, and hiking fun for older ages, there’s plenty kids will love about Front Royal. Skyline Caverns is a great family attraction, and Front Royal’s delicious ice cream shops can provide the perfect sweet ending to any family adventure. See here for more ideas on keeping kids happy and entertained around Front Royal.
Don’t let gas prices ruin your summer plans this year! Plan a local vacation, and discover all the fun you can have without having to log lots of miles. With convenient proximity to the D.C. Metro area, a rustic feel that makes it seem like you’re worlds away, and loads of fun and adventure waiting for you to enjoy, Front Royal is the ideal destination for a local vacation. Bonus: you may even discover a nearby attraction that you’ll be able to return to again and again over the coming year.
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