Virginia’s fabled Skyline Drive weaves through the length of Shenandoah National Park, one of the region’s top draws for hikers. In a two-day active getaway designed for outdoor lovers, meet up and explore the Blue Ridge trails at the height of their fall beauty, and stay at an historic lodge on Skyline Drive that offers magnificent panoramic views of the mountain landscapes. During the program, naturalist and study leader Keith Tomlinson leads two moderate-level hikes in the park and presents an engaging evening program that offers insights into the area’s history, geography, geology, wildlife, and forest environment.
Begin on Sunday with a welcome lunch and orientation on arrival at the iconic Skyland Lodge, followed by a 3-mile circuit hike down the Skyland Big Meadows Trail to the Limberlost Area, and back on the Whiteoak Canyon Trail. After an invigorating afternoon, relax and enjoy dinner at the lodge and Tomlinson’s program on Shenandoah National Park—the perfect way to prepare for another day spent on the trails. After breakfast on Monday, grab a sack lunch and head out for a 3.5-mile circuit hike to Stoney Man Summit, a great place to enjoy lunch and spectacular views. Pack your hiking gear and get ready to experience the natural splendor of fall in an unforgettable way.
Know Before You Go
- Participants meet on site with independent travel to and from Shenandoah National Park (approximately 2-hour drive from the National Mall).
- The program begins at 11 a.m. Sunday, October 15 and ends at 4 p.m. on Monday, October 16.
- Cost includes includes hotel, services of a study leader and Smithsonian representative, lunch on arrival, dinner and breakfast at Skyland, guided hikes, an evening lecture, taxes, and gratuities (Note: Shenandoah National Park entrance fee is not included).
- Preferred-room accommodations at Skyland Lodge, which dates to the late 1880s, feature private balconies that survey the area from Skyline Drive's highest elevation of 3,680 feet.
- Single-room supplement $150 (factored into the Single Room Member and Single Room Non-Member pricing).
- Singles registering at the double-room rate are paired (on a nonsmoking basis) if possible, but must pay the single-room supplement otherwise.
- Detailed information is emailed to registrants about four weeks prior to departure.
- Group size is limited to 25 participants.
- Participants are advised to purchase travel insurance for overnight and multi-day tours from a provider of your choice. Travel insurance provides additional coverage against unforeseen incidents that require last-minute cancellations.
- Note: This is an active trip that requires good stamina, balance, and sturdy shoes for hiking. Each day covers 3–4 miles in distance with moderate elevation gain and uneven terrain. Please contact us if you have any questions about your ability to participate.
- Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Friday, October 13, 2023.
- Smithsonian is a mask-friendly environment. Masks are strongly recommended and may be required at various indoor sites.
- For additional tour information: