We arrived in Shenandoah mid week and we’re planning to stay until Thanksgiving.
As it was the end of November and the National Park Campgrounds were closed, we chose to stay at Shenandoah River State Park.
It was strange because when we pulled up we were surprised at how full the campground was. And it stayed that way through Thanksgiving! I guess Thanksgiving camping is a thing around here.
After working part of the next morning we needed to make a run into town for some goods. And decided to hop onto the Skyline drive, and drove from Thorton Gap to Front Royal.
It was a sunny day so we had some nice views of the surrounding mountains and Valleys.
Thanksgiving Day in the Park
On Thanksgiving day we woke up and drove the Southern part of Skyline Drive. Which was through Shenandoah National Park from Thorton Gap to Swift River. Unfortunately, the rest of the drive was still closed from a previous winter storm.
Shenandoah National Park Trail Run
While up on the Skyline Drive we decided to do a big Thanksgiving trail run.
So, we went up Hawksbill Peak then cruised on the Appalachian trail up to Big Meadows Campground.
Most of the run was on packed snow and it was about 19 degrees out… So… it was cold! But sunny!
During our run we saw a few hikers, but for the most part it was empty on this portion of the trail. And after all our time in the cities we welcomed the solitude.
After intersecting Big Meadow, we crossed the Skyline Drive and ran the Dark Hollow Falls and Rose River loop.
Here we saw a ton of Thanksgiving day hikers!
The trail was fun, and paralleled the river. Where we saw multiple water falls before climbing back up toward the road.
Once on the road we took a right turn and followed the horse trail for the remainder of our run, arriving at the van around 3:30pm.
Our day totaled about 14 miles and we drove about an hour before partaking in our KOA Vansgiving feast.
Once at the KOA we prepared turkey and goat cheese stuffed acorn squash, rolls, mashed sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts, pound cake and an apple tart!
It was a great feast! And we were able to FaceTime with family before happily climbing our tired bodies into our warm bed.
The next day we started our drive toward Charlotte and our first out of town Seahawks game!