Shenandoah National Park, one of the first big East Coast parks, is within 100 miles of Washington D.C. and is a popular destination for many city dwellers looking for a breath of fresh air. The most popular time to visit is late September and October when the fall colors are in full force. We were there in prime time. The trees were starting to turn from their summer green to amazing reds and oranges. We saw lots of deer and a bear run across the road. The only downside to our visit was the weather- it was cool and foggy and we had a fair amount of rain. Most of the viewpoints were obstructed by the fog, but we managed to do some nice hiking and filled our lungs with plenty of fresh air. Herbert Hoover kept his summer White House in Shenandoah and we hiked to the site where the buildings are…most of them are restored and used for meetings and employee housing. We also explored the visitor center where we learned about a darker side of National Park story- hundreds of people were evicted from their lands when the park was created.
The weather finally cleared up as we were leaving the park, so our final views were of bright blue skies. We’ll have to return another time to fully appreciate the myriad of colors and views.