Front Royal, Virginia, September 30- October 3, 2013
02.10.2013 82 °F
Well, we made the long trek (95 miles) to Front Royal and decided to stay for three days. That was our smart decision. Our not-so-smart decision was not to go into the National Park the day we arrived. Since then, of course, the National Parks have been shut down. We have been here a number of previous times and the mountains are usually socked in with fog or smog, but this time it has been bright and sunny and clear, naturally!
Upon speaking to a woman at the Visitor's Center in Front Royal, we made a new plan and went to Shenandoah River State Park. It is a very nice, relatively new, state park right on the river with lots of hiking trails, camping and some biking. We chose to do about 4 miles of hiking and it was very nice. Some beautiful scenery, the river, even deer! We enjoyed our picnic lunch after hiking and then stopped at a couple of overlooks to admire the mountains. There is a little bit of color starting, but not enough for me! After a scenic ride to Luray we tried a local restaurant for dinner, the Market Street Mill. It was recommended by the woman in the Visitor's Center and very good.
This morning we did our own walking tour of Front Royal and saw some wonderful homes and buildings. Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine spent time right here in Front Royal as children. There was also a Battle of Front Royal in the Civil War that took place right on the streets in town. The Confederacy won and the local women were so excited they helped point out hidden Yankees to the southern soldiers.
Since the possibility of going to the National Park was still nil, we drove to George Washington National Forest Next. We had thought about some more hiking, but ended up just enjoying the drive.
The weather has been beautiful, with temps in the low 80s and abundant sunshine!