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article imageOp-Ed: Virginia's Skyline Drive showcases stunning foliage Special

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By Leigh Goessl     Oct 23, 2012 in Lifestyle
For several weeks now many regions have been seeing spectacular fall foliage. In recent weeks, Virginia's rich greens have been steadily turning into a stunning array of color. A perfect time of year to visit Skyline Drive.
Skyline Drive is a destination both locals and tourists flock to in order to see fall foliage.
Skyline Drive, a 105-mile roadway that takes visitors along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park, is a breathtaking ride. The entrance starts at Front Royal, Va. and stretches down to the Charlottesville vicinity, with a couple of entrances in between.
Operated by the National Parks Service (NPS), it is not uncommon to see a high volume of traffic during the October weeks. This past weekend saw beautiful temperatures and many visitors headed out to drive, hike, photograph and picnic along Skyline Drive.
Westward view from a Skyline Drive overlook on a warm autumn day
Westward view from a Skyline Drive overlook on a warm autumn day
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One of the many trails located inside the Shenandoah National Park.
One of the many trails located inside the Shenandoah National Park.
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Families enjoying the breathtaking mountain views at one of the overlook stops along Skyline Drive.
Families enjoying the breathtaking mountain views at one of the overlook stops along Skyline Drive.
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Photographers stop along Skyline Drive to capture the beautiful fall foliage
Photographers stop along Skyline Drive to capture the beautiful fall foliage
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The NPS had noted that fall foliage during the week of Oct. 12 had reached about 75 to 90 percent peak, so this writer thought this past weekend would be an ideal time to go. This was a venture I'd been trying to time for years and was my first visit; I wasn't disappointed.
A zoomed in view of scenery observed from one of the dozens of overlooks located along Skyline Drive...
A zoomed in view of scenery observed from one of the dozens of overlooks located along Skyline Drive.
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Skyline Drive  located in Shenandoah National Park
Skyline Drive, located in Shenandoah National Park
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All day I d been hoping to see some wildlife along one of the stops. This ladybug was one of the few...
All day I'd been hoping to see some wildlife along one of the stops. This ladybug was one of the few I'd seen.
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An image taken inside Shenandoah National Park.
An image taken inside Shenandoah National Park.
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Cruising down the road at a leisurely pace, there were dozens of overlooks to stop at and absorb not only the fall foliage, but the natural beauty of the region. It was interesting to see the diversity of peaks traveling south. Different sections of the ride highlighted a variety of trees, some of which were bursting with color, some green and others already bare.
Tree remnant alongside Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.
Tree remnant alongside Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.
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Many bicycles and motorcycles could be observed driving along Skyline Drive
Many bicycles and motorcycles could be observed driving along Skyline Drive
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The trip along Skyline Drive takes about three hours each way. This writer only got maybe to the 65-mile mark, just a little over halfway, before it was time to turn around. Next year I'll have to make a better plan which will allow for the entire drive. Highly recommended drive if you live in the area or are traveling through.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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