Surrounded by the majestic mountains of Virginia, the beautiful Shenandoah Valley offers a wide variety of outdoor and educational activities. The Shenandoah National Park contains spectacular waterfalls fed by the many mountain streams that traverse the park. Besides providing great natural photography opportunities, the park's mountain streams offer visitors the ideal setting for fishing and swimming. Those who wish to fish the streams should check state and local regulations regarding harvest locations, fish size, and the licensing needed to participate in this activity at Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.
A unique activity offered to the park's more daring visitors is hang gliding. Visitors may take advantage of the mountains and high altitude of the Shenandoah National Park to launch hang gliders in designated areas. The sport is not for everyone. Only gliders who have reached a documented experience level and have obtained a special permit are allowed to hang glide in the park.
Families visiting the Shenandoah National Park may choose to view the wonders of nature by bike and horseback. Cyclists are allowed to share the paved roads with other vehicles in order to enjoy this great way of exploring the area. Horses may be rented and taken on trail tours guided by staff members of local stables. The stables even have ponies available for small children to ride, which makes this activity truly fun for the entire family.
The area surrounding Shenandoah National Park is also rich in natural beauty as well as cultural and educational activities. The Natural Bridge, which is over twenty stories in height and composed of limestone rock, has formed naturally over centuries. Nearby underground caverns provide additional hidden places to explore. A visit to the Monacan Native American Village located on the Natural Bridge property lets guests peer into the past society of the early Americans who lived in the area. Guides dressed in the native attire take visitors on a tour of the village while presenting the daily activities of the Native Americans of that day.
Many of the most notable Civil War battles were fought in Virginia so it is only natural that the area has become home to some premier Civil War historic sites and museums. The Virginia Museum of the Civil War, which is located within the New Market Battlefield State Park, is one such museum. The museum exhibits cover a wide range of Civil War artifacts, but the museum's primary focus is on the Civil War battles fought in Virginia. Those who visit during the spring may be able to catch a showing of the award winning, annual New Market Battle Re-enactment.