We lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia from 1996 – 2004, but never visited this quaint town before now. In fact, we didn’t start really enjoying the Shenandoah Valley or the Appalachian Mountains until our last year there. We discovered hiking in July 2003 and loved it – but we moved to Florida in November 2004.
So now was our chance to go back and enjoy some great memories and hike! And we planned to drive the entire Skyline Drive, which we mistakenly thought was also the Blue Ridge Parkway, which near the Virginia/ North Carolina state line. Our ultimate destination for this trip was to meet friends at Campfire Resorts in Asheville, NC.
The North Fork RV Resort, part of Passport America’s discount program, so the price was great and the location perfect for what we wanted to do. BUT we were pretty shocked at the resort and the front office staff when you either call to make your reservation or when you arrive. They were not friendly or welcoming. We now see how important this first impression is and how it sets the tone for your stay. But first a few positive statements: the price was perfect and the location was great – oh, I already said that….OK for the cons: This is an owner operated resort so we don’t think they really like “visitors.” We were clumped in one area and there was not much room for parking our truck. Fortunately, it was off season so we had room, but for some reason, our second night there, we had a neighbor right next door and then we saw how there really was not much room! Funny, there were so many empty spots, why put someone right next to us? And RULES and SIGNS every where telling you what you could and couldn’t do. I should have taken a picture of a few of them….It was more annoying than any thing and we vowed to not stay here again….
Here is a slide-show of our drive there and then at the RV resort:
We had a GREAT time as the below slide show reflects. We were close to the entrance to the National Park which was ideal. We paid $10 for unlimited entrance to the park for 7 days. It is our plan to drive the Skyline Drive to North Carolina, so we would have had to pay the fee then anyway.
So here are pictures of our first afternoon – the benefit of a short drive to a location! We had all afternoon to hike! We hiked what is called “Fox Hollow” and Snead Farm, for a total of 5.5 miles! We saw lots of deer and learned more about the history of how the National Park “took” over the homes of about 450 mountain resident families. What we visited at the remains of a barn and root cellar. Learn more here.
The next day, we decided to visit the Shenandoah Caverns in the morning and hike in the afternoon. We loved the Luray Caverns, so why not? We read the reviews and they said not as nice, but we figured how bad could they be? Maybe a bit pricey and not as cold! We did enjoy them, but Luray Caverns were definitely bigger! I log how long our hikes are, so even monitored it in the Caverns, which was a total of 1.8 miles! Then we hiked to the Fort Windham Rocks for another 2.4 miles.
Loving being in the mountains!
Psalm 125:2 “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people,
from this time forth and forevermore.”