The sun sets behind the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park. Though it's only 75 miles from Washington, D.C., the quiet forests, peaceful rivers, and mountain trails of this Virginia park couldn't feel further from the hectic pace and political wheeling and dealing of our nation's capital.
Credit: National Park Service
Running the length of Shenandoah National Park along the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Skyline Drive is one of the most beautiful scenic byways on the East Coast.
More than 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail run through Shenandoah National Park.
Credit: Katie Walker/Flickr
The Shenandoah is only one of three riversthe others are the James and the Rappahanockthat have their headwaters in Shenandoah National Park. The rivers' many high-elevation watersheds produce scores of streams as well as rapids, cascades, and waterfalls.
Credit: Joy Schoenberger/Flickr
A stand of dogwoods under stormy skies in the Big Meadows section of the park
Credit: Woodley Wonderworks/Flickr
Snack time for a doe. Deer abound in Shenandoah National Park; other commonly seen mammals include grey foxes, cottontail rabbits, opossum, and groundhogs.
Credit: Lin Mei/Flickr
Rapids in the Hughes River, running fast after a rainstorm
Credit: Miguel Vieira/Flickr
A monarch enjoys a wildflower's nectar in Shenandoah National Park.
Credit: Bill Ward/Flickr
South River Falls in Shenandoah National Park
Credit: Digital Vision
Late-afternoon sunlight falls on the Blue Ridge Mountains.