I spent the first week of November in Shenandoah National Park near Front Royal. The weather here in Virginia has been unusually warm lately, and I really wanted to go hiking before the trees were completely bare.
The Fall Color Tracker on the park's website was a particularly helpful resource. Since the park charges a $20 fee for a week's worth of trips to the park (Tip: If you live in the area or travel to Shenandoah frequently, an annual pass is only $40) I wanted to make sure I was going at the right time to view the trees. Although late October is considered peak fall foliage viewing time, the Mountain View Webcam showed that many of the trees along the Skyline Drive had only just begun to change colors during the first week of November.
If you're unwilling or unable to hike, Shenandoah is one of the best parks in Virginia that you could visit. The Skyline Drive is a 105-mile road that stretches through the heart of the park with 75 scenic overlooks for you to stop, take photos, or even picnic. I spent most of Monday hopping in and out of the car because I had never spent much time along it - I would usually go to Shenandoah just to hike. On Wednesday and Friday, I left the car behind and headed out on some trails. Unfortunately, with all of my oh-so-careful preparation, I forgot to check the weather forecast for the week and ended up getting rained on both days. Lesson learned!
I have rarely been on such a lovely hike. I felt like I was stopping every hundred feet to take "just one more" photo although in reality, I was basically being towed along the path, clicking away madly and praying that some of my shots would turn out well. Most of my photos are still languishing on my camera roll, but I've stopped slacking off long enough to upload a few to share here. I hope you enjoyed them!